The White River National Forest is located in the northwestern center area of Colorado.
Where is this Forest?


Event/Commercial Permits

Special Use Authorizations

Image of various Special Uses


With very few exceptions, all uses of National Forest System lands involving extended occupancy, improvements, the use of resources and conducting any business or commercial activity are designated "special uses" and require written authorization.

White River National Forest Special Uses
Proposal, Application & Authorization Process


Recreation Events

Image of a bike race on the ForestRecreation events are commercial activities requiring temporary, authorized use of NFS land. Examples of recreation events include, but are not limited to: animal, bicycle, motocross, or triathalon races, jeep rallies, dog trials, fishing contests, rendezvous, rodeos, adventure games, youth treks, wagon trains, concerts, and other similar events. A permit is required for these type of events, regardless of the number of people involved in the activity.

Frequently Asked Questions-Recreation Events Permits

Recreation Event Permit Application & Operating Plan Form (editable)


Commercial Use

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. Money collected may cover expense categories, such as food, transportation, prizes, advertising, purchase replacement of equipment, or compensation for the leader of the activity.

Use is considered noncommercial if the fees charged are used only for the purpose of paying for actual expenses directly related to operating or staging the activity, with any excess funds returned to participants. The fees charged should not include costs for employees or personnel who stage or run the event.


Commercial Photography and Filming

Image of Commercial filming on the White River National ForestThe Forest Service permits commercial filming and still photography on public lands.  Like other commercial uses of National Forest lands and resources, commercial filming requires a special use permit issued by the District Ranger.


Frequently Asked Questions-
Commercial Filming and Photography

Application and Process for
Obtaining a Commercial Filming or Still Photography Permit

SF-299 Application

Photography and Filming Request-Supplemental Application

Note: Due to administrative limitations caused by staffing vacancies the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District will require all applications to be submitted a minimum of 15 business days in advance of the planned shoot dates through 2016.



Outfitters and Guides

Operators offering outfitting and guiding services on National Forest Lands must have a permit. 

Planning a Guided Trip on the White River National Forest:
Lists of Permitted Outfitters

Resources for Outfitters and Guides on Forest Service lands

Vail Pass Bicycle Delivery Prospectus


Temporary Outfitter and Guide Permits

Most guided recreational activities on the White River National Forest are available through existing permit holders. However, Temporary Outfitter/Guide Permits will be considered for applications that focus on youth, educational, underprivileged and religious groups for a limited number of activities in limited areas across the Forest. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Temporary Outfitter and Guiding Permit Program

Application  for Temporary Outfitting and Guiding Permit