Special Use Permits
A Special Use Authorization is a permit, term permit, temporary permit, lease, or easement or other written instrument that grants rights or privileges of occupancy and use subject to specified terms and conditions on National Forest land. The occupancy and use may be for a one-day event such as a wedding or bicycle race, or for up to 40 years such as a ski resort permit.
Our policy is to manage special uses on National Forest lands in a manner that protects natural resource values, public health and safety, and is consistent with the Forest land and resource management plans.
Before a special use proposal is approved, the agency must determine that the proposed use complies with the Forest's land and resource management plan; that National Environmental Policy Act requirements are met; there is a demonstrated need for the activity on National Forest System lands; and the use is appropriate on National Forest System lands.
None of the existing special use authorities provide for permanent use of National Forest System lands.
Who needs a special use permit?
Commercial activities must obtain a permit when they charge a participation fee or where the primary purpose is the sale of goods or services, regardless of whether the activity is intended to produce a profit. Permits control recreational land use, protecting natural resources from overuse or damage. Special use permits must be obtained through the appropriate forests. See a list of the forests in the Pacific Northwest region.
Apply (SF-299 PDF 132 kb)
Application packages must be submitted to applicable forests. Pay attention to their open seasons.
Activities that require a recreation special use permit include competitive races, contests, fund raisers, eco-challenges, dog trails, club activities, adventure games and endurance races. If you or your organization is considering holding such an event on the national forest, contact your local ranger district well in advance of the scheduled event to determine whether a permit is available.
Apply (FS-2700-3c PDF 47 kb)
Commercial Filming and Photography
Commercial filming and still photography on national forest lands require a special use authorization.
Apply (FS-2700-3b PDF 106 kb)
Examples of special uses that support recreation interests:
Examples of special uses that support community and public information interests: (See non-commercial
Examples of special uses that support research interests:
Site surveys and testing
Research and research study
Experimental and demonstration
Examples of special uses that support industry interests:
Filming for motion pictures or commercials
Other kinds of special uses include: