Event/Commercial Permits

Photo show a newly wedded couple in the forest.Permits for events such as weddings, family reunions (outside of developed recreation sites), sporting events, festivals and such are required. In addition, commercial activities such as outfitter and guide services, are required to obtain a special use permit.

What are Non-Commercial Group Use Events?

Permits are required for groups of 75 people or more, such as weddings, family reunions, large social gatherings, etc., excluding group sites in designated campgrounds. Click here for the application (FS-2700-3b). Non-commercial group use is not applicable within Wilderness. Applications should be received by the District Office a minimum of 45 days in advance. 

What are Recreation Events?

Recreation events are commercial activities requiring temporary special use authorizations for use of NFS lands. Examples of recreation events include, but are not limited to, animal, bicycle, motocross, or triathlon type races; jeep rallies; dog trials; fishing contests; rendezvous; rodeos; adventure games; youth treks; wagon trains; concerts; and other similar events. A permit is required for these types of events regardless of the number of people involved in the activity.

What are Outfitter and Guides?

There are many types of outfitted and guided services provided on National Forest lands. The traditional types primarily involve hunting and fishing in a backcountry setting, but today the industry is highly-diverse and includes whitewater floating and jet-boating, backpacking, mountaineering, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, van touring, and dog sledding. Nonprofits and educational groups, such as schools and universities, are also frequently considered outfitters, as are those who use the National Forests for rehabilitation and therapeutic benefits. (Brochure)

Open Season for Temporary Outfitters and Guides and Recreation Events

The Payette National Forest implemented an open season for special use recreation events and temporary outfitter and guide applications on National Forest System (NFS) lands. A special use authorization is required before conducting any type of commercial recreation use of NFS lands. This open season will streamline permitting and allow time for review and processing prior to an event or start of operations.

To promote consistency associated with the timely submittal and review of proposals, applications are accepted during designated open season only for recreation events, and temporary outfitters and guides. Applications received prior to Open Season dates would be held and reviewed after the Open Season closes. The following application periods will apply for all Ranger District Offices.

Open Season Dates for Applications

  • For summer/fall events (occurring May 1 - October 31), applications are accepted between November 1 – February 15.  
    • Forest Service will alert applicants in early March as to whether the request was accepted, denied, or requires modifications.
  • For winter/spring events (occurring November 1- April 30), applications are accepted between August 1 – September 15.
    • Forest Service will alert applicants in mid-October as to whether the request was accepted, denied, or requires modifications.

How do I apply?

Please contact the appropriate District Ranger Officer for more information on recreation special uses. Contact information for each Ranger District Office can be found here. We know that you don't want to plan an event, only to find out at the last minute a permit is needed. If you are in doubt about the need for a permit, or have questions about the permitting process, please give us a call!

A pre-application meeting with the permit administrator is required to ensure the proposal is an appropriate and authorized use on NFS lands. If the request is eligible for consideration, the application and supporting documentation must be received by the applicable open season deadline. View the Forms page for application forms. The permit administrator can verify if your application is complete. An incomplete application will delay review of your proposal.

The USFS Special Uses Home Page provides additional information and links regarding the special use permit process.

For commercial photography and film-making, and many types of research permits, refer to Other & Land Use Permits for more information.

Photo shows a string of horse and mules used by an outfitter.