Event and Commercial Permits

Plan Ahead

Special use authorizations provide use of National Forest System (NFS) lands for a wide variety of activities. Authorizations are issued to commercial and non-commercial operations which provide use of and access to these lands. Permits are also issued for private, non-exclusive use. Depending on the complexity of the proposal, obtaining a special use authorization can sometimes be a lengthy process. In order to facilitate this process, coordinate early with the Ranger District where you would like to operate.

The deadline to submit outfitter and guide proposals for the operating season is June 1 of each calendar year. After this date, proposals will not be processed until the next calendar year. This allows permit applicants and forest management sufficient time to coordinate and complete the authorization process before planned operations.

This process applies to both new outfitter permit proposals and to existing permit holders who would like to extend or renew permits, and to outfitters requesting changes to existing permits that would require additional environmental review and compliance.

Not all proponents receive a permit, therefore any action taken before receiving a special use authorization, such as advertising or expending funds, is premature and at the proponent's risk.


Outfitting and guiding services include but are not limited to hunts, backpacking, kayaking, guiding, packing, biking and hiking tours. A permit is required when the outfitting/guiding operation is conducted on NFS lands or waters.  More information... 

Photography and Filming

A permit is required for the use of motion picture, videotaping, sound-recording, or any other type of moving image or audio recording equipment on NFS lands that involves the advertisement of a product or service, the creation of a product for sale, or the use of actors, models, sets, or props. More information...

Recreation Event Permits

Recreation events are commercial activities requiring temporary, authorized uses of NFS land. Some examples are: races, dog trials, fishing contests, adventure games, youth treks, concerts, and other similar events. A permit is required for these types of events, regardless of the number of people involved in the activity.  More information... 

Non Commercial Group Use Permits

Noncommercial group uses are any activity conducted on NFS lands in which (a) no entry or participation fee is charged, and (b) the primary purpose of the activity is not the sale of a good or service. Some examples are: club or family recreation outings, reunions, and weddings.

A permit is required for all noncommercial group uses involving 75 or more people, either as participants or spectators. More Information...

Visit Special Uses to learn more about the special use permitting program, the authorizing regulations and laws, and the permit application process.