Outfitter-Guide Needs Assessment Questions and Answers

  • What outfitter-guide activities are currently authorized in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland (ARP)?  The ARP currently authorizes many activities, including the following: hiking, backpacking, rafting, kayaking, ATV riding, horseback riding, pack trips (horse and llama), hunting, fishing, bird watching, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice climbing, mountaineering, jeep tours, mountain biking, and wagon rides.


  • How will this affect me if I don’t use guided services?  Outfitters and guides operate in many areas on the national forest including on rivers, lakes, roads, trails, backcountry areas, Wilderness areas, and other general forest/grassland areas.  They provide specialized equipment, knowledge and experience to people who may not have it.  You may encounter commercially guided activities as you recreate on the ARP or you might be interested in using their services to introduce you to a new recreational activity that you’re interested in trying.


  • Will this change current outfitter-guide use on the ARP?  The primary focus is to assess if there are additional needs and demand for commercial outfitted or guided services on the ARP.  However, we are also interested in public feedback regarding the scope of the existing program.  We anticipate the majority of existing authorized use to be maintained at existing levels but will ultimately rely on the results of the assessment to determine what changes might occur in any given management area.  We’ll be looking at how to manage use by activity, location, timing and season to provide quality recreation opportunities for all.


  • How will you determine if there’s too much use?  The ARP 1997 Forest Plan identifies general goals and desired conditions by geographic area.  Knowing the desired condition for each management area and the existing outfitter-guide permitted use will help us assess if resource and social conditions are being met or exceeded. Some management areas already have restrictions in place for commercial recreation or public use, but in most areas we are looking for feedback to help us determine what types and to what extent additional outfitter-guide use might be authorized.


  • Will you limit the general public’s use of an area if you limit outfitter-guide use?  All authorized guided activity on the forest is already limited.  There are no outfitter-guide permits without specified service day limits, and some areas on the ARP already restrict commercial guided activity entirely (e.g., Fraser Experimental Forest) or in part. Over time and with increasing demand, it is feasible that additional areas on the ARP may have limits on total use (public and commercial guided) to protect resource conditions at sustainable levels.