Matt Pruitt was leading an expedition for The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization near the Steel Creek campground outside Ponca, Arkansas on Feb. 24th, 2012, when he encountered two National Parks Service rangers who fined him $525 for “engaging in a business without a permit or written agreement”.
Pruitt has since paid the fine, most likely out of the money paid by those on the expedition, an estimated $300 to $500 per person. There were between 17 and 31 paying participants on this outing.
According to the Buffalo National River website, special use permits must be obtained for groups of 26 people or more. Those permits normally cost $150.