Guidance on the Prohibition of Scattering Ashes and Erecting Memorials

It is Forest Service policy to not permit the placement of memorials, monuments, shrines or items of remembrance on our shared lands. Existing permitting authorities do not provide for the permanent use of the NFS land. 

Neither burial nor scattering of ashes are an appropriate use of the forests and are not authorized on the lands of the National Forest System. The placing of remains creates a permanent occupancy of the land and the placing of headstones, shrines or monuments documenting the location are similarly permanent. Placing of statues, flowers and other items of remembrance would be considered a monument. 

In determining if an authorization can be issued, the proposed use or application to use the forest must pass the screening criteria (36 CFR 251.54).

However, burial of remains or scattering of ashes would not pass the initial screen (36 CFR 251.54(e) 1.iv); “The proposed use will not create an exclusive or perpetual right of use or occupancy” or the second level screen (36 CFR 251.54(e) 5.i); “The proposed use would be inconsistent or incompatible with the purposes for which the lands are managed.”