Special Use Permits

recreation on the RGNF

Forms are downloadable below. If the elements on this page are not working properly, please contact the special-use permit administrators. 

Rio Grande National Forest: 719-872-4018 or 719-872-4041, 1055 9th Street, Del Norte, CO 81132        
email: divide_special_uses@usda.gov 

Business hours are 8:00-4:30 M-F.

The information provided here is to assist in understanding permit requirements and process. Additionally, this site provides valuable links to various information, forms, and resources for the permitting process.


Special Use Authorizations

With very few exceptions, all uses of National Forest System (NFS) lands involving extended occupancy, improvements, the use of resources and conducting any business or commercial activity are designated "special uses" and may require a Special Use Permit (SUP).

Special Use Proposal, Application, and Authorization Process

A verbal or written proposal from the prospective permittee is required to start the permit process. A proposal provides enough information to assist the Forest Service in determining whether to move forward with the request and accept a formal application. At a minimum the Forest Service needs to understand who will be offering the service, type of activity or service interested in providing, dates or season of use, location including specific routes and sites, as well as how many participants and/or spectators will be included. Written proposals are most useful when provided on the appropriate special use proposal form and include an attached map. Proposals may be submitted on an application form but will not be accepted as an application until meeting the Forest Service screening process.

Four primary categories of special use authorizations are listed below:

Events

Outfitters and Guides

Priority Use

Temp Use

Commercial Filming and Photography

Non-Commercial Group Use


Non-commercial Group Use

Non-commercial group use permits are for activities:

  1. Involving 75 or more people including spectators.
  2. Where an entry or participation fee is NOT charged.
  3. Where the primary purpose is NOT the sale of a good or service (36CFR251.51).

Non-commercial Group Use Proposal/Application (FS-2700-3b)


Commercial Use

A commercial use or activity on NFS land occurs when an applicant intends to charge an entry or participation fee, or the purpose is for the sale of a good or service.


Commercial Filming and Photography

Special use permits are required for commercial filming and still photography on NFS lands.  Commercial Filming includes locations used by motion picture and television media involving film crews, actors and sets. Anticipated news related uses, such as coverage of sports events, entertainment specials, or documentaries also fit into this category.  Still Photography includes commercial activities for capturing still images on film or in a digital format.

Commercial Filming or Still Photography Proposal/Application


Outfitters and Guides

recreation on the RGNF

Operators offering outfitting and guiding services on NFS Lands must have a permit. This includes all commercial outfitting operations involving services for accommodating guests, transporting persons, providing equipment, supplies and materials, and activities where the guide furnishes personal services or serves as a leader or teacher.

Please call if have questions on Outfitter and Guides currently permitted on the Rio Grande National Forest.


Temporary Outfitters

Most guided recreational activities on the Rio Grande National Forest are available through existing permit holders. However, temporary outfitter/guide permits may be considered. There is an emphasis on proposals that focus on youth, educational, underprivileged and religious groups for a limited number of activities in some areas across the Forest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Temporary Outfitter and Guiding Permit Program

Temporary Outfitting and Guiding Proposal/Application (FS-2700-3f)


Events

Recreation events are commercial activities requiring temporary, authorized use of national forest land. Examples of recreation events include, but are not limited to: animal, bicycle, motocross, or triathlon 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 type of events, regardless of the number of people involved in the activity.

Weddings may or may not require a special use permit.  Please contact the Permit Administrator to inquire.

Recreation Event Proposal/Application FS-2700-3c


To create Map click here. Submit map with application.

Form Table

The forms below work best with Internet Explorer. Internet browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Safari do not currently fully support Adobe Acrobat, please submit forms manually.

Activity/Use Form Name Form Link Submission Information
Commercial Filming or Still Photography Proposal/Application Photo and Filming Proposal Proposals accepted year-round and to be submitted at least 10 working days prior to shoot
Non-commercial Group Use Proposal/Application FS-2700-3b Proposals accepted year-round and to be submitted a minimum of 10 working days prior to event
Recreation Event
(Summer use)
Proposal/Application FS-2700-3c For events occurring between May and October 31 - proposals will be accepted starting January 1 (or first weekday following).
The application deadline for new proposals is February 15 and the deadline for returning proposals is March 15.
Decisions will be notified by April 15.
Recreation  Event
(Winter use)
Proposal/Application FS-2700-3c For events occurring between November 1 and April 30 -  proposals will be accepted starting July 1 (or first weekday following).
The application deadline for new proposals is August 15 and the deadline for returning proposals is September 15.
Decisions will be notified by October 30.
Temporary Outfitting and Guiding 
(Summer use)
Proposal/Application FS-2700-3f

For outfitting and guiding proposals that will occur between May 1 and October 31 - proposals will be accepted starting January 1 (or first weekday following).
The application deadline for new proposals is February 15 and the deadline for returning proposals is March 15.
Decisions will be notified by April 15.

Temporary Outfitting and Guiding 
(Winter use)
Proposal/Application FS-2700-3f For outfitting and guiding proposals that will occur between November 1 and April 30 - proposals will be accepted starting July 1 (or first weekday following).
The application deadline for new proposals is August 15 and the deadline for returning proposals is September 15.
Decisions will be notified by October 30.
Temporary Outfitter and Guide Operating Plan Template Operating Plan Template Temporary Outfitter and Guide Template Submit upon request
Special Use Screening Checklist Special Use Screening Checklist Special Use Screening Checklist Provided to understand FS evaluation criteria to move proposal to acceptance as application
Insurance Example Accord 25-S
Certificate Of Liability Insurance
Accord 25-S Certificate of Liability Insurance  Insurance will be required prior to permit issuance however it is not required prior to notification permit will be issued.