Outfitters and Guides on the IPNF
Already an Outfitter? Click Here for forms and other information.
Outfitter & Guides
As partners in providing unique recreational experiences, commercial outfitters and guides have an integral role on fulfilling one of the agency's missions to serve the public. Although many visitors possess the necessary skills and equipment to enjoy the National Forests, others may not have the capability or equipment to participate in an activity on their own.
By permitting commercial services to operate on the Forest, this need can be met. Visitor experiences can be enhanced by hiring outfitters and guides who contribute their skills, specialized equipment, pack and riding stock, local knowledge and safety instructions for their clients.
In Idaho, for most activities an outfitter and guide must be licensed through the Idaho Outfitter & Guides Licensing Board (IOGLB) and obtain a special use permit from the Forest Service in order to operate and must offer their services as equal opportunity provider and employer.
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, in any either case, regardless of whether the use or activity is intended to produce a profit. (36CFR 251.51)
Applying for an Outfitter & Guide Permit
The basic requirements for qualifying for a license and permit include showing technical and financial capability, payment of a fee, and having an insurance policy that includes the U. S. Government as additionally insured. Prior to issuance of a permit, the Forest Service may have to complete an environmental analysis, the costs of which may be shared with the permit applicant, depending on the extent of the analysis and permit processing fees (known as cost recovery fees).
Institutional outfitters include groups like schools, universities, religious organizations, clubs, camps, rehabilitation centers or special interest groups. All of these groups are considered commercial outfitters and guides which require a state license and a special permit.
To learn more about the requirements and process to become an outfitter, please click here or contact the special uses permit administrator on the district you are interested in.
*New hunting opportunities are extremely limited in Idaho. The IOGLB will not overlap hunting areas. If you wish to become a hunting outfitter, your best opportunity is to check the IOGLB website for existing businesses that are for sale.