Each year, the National Forest in North Carolina receives numerous individual and business applications for authorization for use of National Forest System (NFS) land for such activities as outfitting and guiding, recreation, telecommunication, research, photography and video productions, and granting road and utility rights-of-ways. The Forest Service carefully reviews each application and/or proposal to determine how the request affects the public's use of NFS land. Normally, NFS land is not made available if the overall needs of the individual or business can be met on non federal lands.
For information for outfitting and guiding, click here.
ATTENTION ALL SPECIAL USE AUTHORIZATION HOLDERS:
The online bill payment system is available for those who wish to make their land use fee payment online. Please refer to the following website for instructions: http://www.fs.fed.us/billpay
The Forest Service authorizes a number of recreational activities on National Forest System (NFS) lands. The following set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) will help you determine whether your proposal would be considered a recreation event.
What are recreation events and who needs a permit?
Recreation events are commercial activities requiring temporary authorized use of NFS land. Examples of recreation events include, but are not limited to, animal, bicycle, motocross and triathlon races; jeep rallies; fishing contests; adventure games; youth treks; wagon trains; and other similar events. A permit is required for these types of events, regardless of the number of people involved in the activity.
What is a commercial use or activity?
A commercial use or activity on NFS land occurs when
An applicant intends to charge an entry or participation fee, or
The primary purpose is the sale of a good or service, regardless of the intent to produce a profit.
Is a fee required?
Yes, land use rental fees are required and based on the length of your event there are two ways to determine the fees:
Five percent of adjusted gross receipts for one time events and 3 percent of adjusted gross receipts for multiple events under a single permit; or
Using the minimum fees for recreation events that have been established, but may vary, by National Forest.
There may be other costs for which you are responsible as part of your authorized activity. Liability insurance coverage and a performance bond to ensure protection of the environment and site cleanup may be required.Depending on the size and duration of your activity, costs associated with law enforcement, crowd control, safety issues, and sanitation may also be required.
What is a noncommercial group use?
Forest Service regulations require a permit for noncommercial group uses of National Forest System lands. Under the regulation, a group use is an activity that involves a group of 75 or more people, either as participants or spectators. Noncommercial is any use or activity where an entry or participation fee is not charged, and the primary purpose is not the sale of a goods or service. Some examples of noncommercial group uses are weddings, camping trips, hikes, rallies, and other gatherings.
Do applicants for a noncommercial group use have to sign a permit?
Yes, applicants for any noncommercial group use have to designate at least one person 21 years of age or older to sign a permit and that person or persons have to sign the permit. This feature is essential for effective permit administration. The agency must have someone to contact on behalf of the group. In addition, the signature gives the permit legal effect. A person who signs a permit for a noncommercial group use acts as an agent for the group and subjects the group to the terms and conditions of the permit. A person who signs a permit does not, however, assume personal responsibility for the group's actions.
For additional information please visit the National webpage for Special Uses: http://www.fs.fed.us/specialuses/special_app_process.shtml.