Recreation Special Use Permits
Recreation Events and Commercial Recreational Activities often require the use of recreation special use permits (SUP), which are authorizations issued by the Forest Service to conduct commercial recreation activities on National Forest system lands. A commercial recreational use or activity is defined as:
Any use or activity on National Forest System lands (a) where an entry or participation fee is charged, or (b) where the primary purpose is the sale of a good or service, and in either case, regardless of whether the use or activity is intended to produce a profit. (36 CFR 251.51)
Most visitors enjoy non-commercial activities on their National Forests such as berry picking, camping, picnicking, fishing, participating in assemblies, meetings, demonstrations, and parades. In general special use permits are not required for these types of non-commercial recreational uses. However in some circumstances a recreation special use permit is requried.
Types of Special Use Permitted Recreation Activities
Group Use / Recreation Event Permits
The Forest receives dozens of requests to conduct recreation events each year. These are usually short term seasonal events. Some types of activities that require a recreation event special use permit include:
√ Recreation Events
√ Competitive snowmobile races and poker runs
√ Dog sled and Nordic ski events
√ Bicycle road tours and car rallies
√ Club activities
√ Adventure games
√ Endurance races
Non-Commercial Group Use Permits
Some non-commercial group activities will also need to obtain a recreation special use permit. The two main criteria are; determination of a commercial use or activity (as defined above), and total number of participants and spectators... more
Outfitter and Guide
Guided hunting, packing and camping; jet boat and float tours; guided ski tours, and scenic trips require that the Outfitter and Guide be permitted...more
How to Apply for a Recreation Special Use Permit
Recreation special use permits are generally issued at the local Ranger District Office. Basic requirements for holding a permit include technical and financial capability, payment of a fee, and insurance listing the US Government as additionally insured. Prior to accepting an application, the Forest may have to complete an environmental analysis which may be cost shared with the permit applicant depending the category and extent of the analysis, and permit processing fees (i.e. Recovery costs).
Please visit with your local Ranger District special use administrator to discuss your proposal for a permit.
Recreation Special Use Policy and Direction
As a permit holder of a special use permit, the following linked page will assist you in keeping up to date on the latest SUP policy and direction. Link to Recreation Special Use Policy and Direction.