The barren hills in the Mecca Hills Wilderness Area create an interesting pattern across this desert landscape.
Desert cactus in bloom Dos Palmas Windmills at the base of the Santa Rosa Mountains Firefighter working a prescribed burn Bighorn Sheep
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Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office

Filming on Public Lands

The following links provide information to assist Filming Industry Customers in obtaining a permit to film on public lands in the California Desert Conservation Area.

1. Popular Filming Locations & Office Contacts

2. Fees

3. Permitting Process

4. Public Law 106 - 206 Commericial Filming 

5. Fee Schedule for Commercial filming



Five Resource Area Offices in the California Desert District authorize filming on public lands within their jurisdiction. Each location is unique and is subject to different conditions.

Some offices have agreements with local film commissions, who act in a liaison capacity to expedite permitting. Permitting for most locations in the Ridgecrest Resource Area is done through the Ridgecrest Film Commission. We encourage applicants to apply through local film commission offices when possible.

Application processing time depends on the location and type of production. Before filming can be approved, possible environmental impacts must be analyzed. For most popular locations, we have completed programmatic environmental assessments to expedite the approval of productions which have only minimal impacts. Although we may be able approve filming in a shorter time period, you should allow seven (7) working days for approval of filming with minimal impacts in popular filming locations.

Approval of filming outside of popular locations or involving more than minimal impacts will probably take a minimum of 30 to 60 days.We will review proposed productions to determine the level of impact. Generally, if the filming involves major set construction, explosives,significant pyrotechnics, or is in a sensitive area, processing cannot be expedited.