Outfitter & Guide Permit Definitions

Allocation of Use

  • An amount of use allocated to a holder that is measured in service days or quotas and that is enumerated in a programmatic or project decision that is consistent with the applicable land management plan.

Commercial Use or Activity

  • 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). Non-profit organizations and educational institutions are not exempt.


  • An individual, organization, company, corporation, or cooperating state or local agency holding a valid special use permit authorizing the provision of commercial recreation services, facilities, or activities on national forest system lands.


  • Providing services or assistance (such as supervision, protection, education, training, packing, touring, subsistence, transporting people, or interpretation) for pecuniary remuneration or other gain to individuals or groups on national forest system lands. The term "guide" includes the holder's employees and agents.


  • An individual or entity that holds a special use permit authorizing outfitting or guiding activities on national forest system lands.

Needs Assessment

  • An assessment of public or agency need for authorized outfitting or guiding activities.

Open Season

  • A period specified by the authorized officer during which eligible applicants may apply for service days from a temporary or priority use pool.


  • Renting on or delivering to national forest system lands for pecuniary remuneration or other gain, any saddle or pack animal, vehicle, boat, camping gear, or similar supplies or equipment. The term "outfitter" includes the holder's employees and agents.

Permitted Access Route

  • Any road or trail that a holder is authorized to use under an outfitting and guiding permit or operating plan for purposes of pedestrian, stock or vehicular access.

Priority Use

  • Authorization of use for up to 10 years, based on the holder's past use and performance and applicable programmatic or project decisions to allocate use. Except as provided in 36 CFR Part 251, Subpart E, authorizations providing for priority use are subject to renewal (FSH 2709.11, sec. 41.53l).

Service Day

  • A service day is a day or any part of a day for which an outfitter or guide provides service to a client on National Forest System (NFS) lands (1 service day for each client per 1-24 hours). . The total number of service days is calculated by multiplying each service day by the number of clients on the trip. For example, if an outfitter brings 5 clients on the forest for one day or less than one day, that visit would utilize 5 service days. If an outfitter brings 5 clients for a 5 day trip, the activity would utilize 25 service days.

Temporary Use

  • Short-term, non-renewable outfitting and guiding use that is authorized in increments of 50 service days, up to a maximum of 200 service days in a 180-day period.

Temporary Use Pool

  • A pool of service days or quotas in a use area that are reserved for short-term, non-recurring, seasonal distribution during an open season to qualified applicants who do not hold a priority use permit in that use area, and thereafter may be distributed to all qualified applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.

Use Area

  • Any geographical configuration, such as a ranger district, wilderness area, Wild and Scenic River, or national forest, that allows for efficient management of temporary and priority use pools.