Event/Commercial Permits

Permits may be required for certain special activities, such as large groups, educational activities, or film-making. In general, permits are necessary for any activity that requires the forest to be altered in any way. Information about non-recreation special use permits is available from any Ranger District Office may contacted for more information about recreation special uses.


Outfitting and Guiding Services - A special use permit is required for outfitting and guiding conducted on the Umatilla National Forest, including rafting or fishing, guided hunting trips and packing services, hiking and other activities.




The Open Season for applying for outfitter guide permits, including for outfitting and guiding and river use, will begin January 1 and run through March 31 each year.


A special use permit is required when an individual, company, organization, institution or non-profit group charges a participatory fee for guiding services and/or provides recreation equipment. This policy is based on the following official definitions:

  • Guiding- Providing services or assistance such as supervision, protection, education, training, packing, touring, subsistence, interpretation or other assistance to individuals or groups in their pursuit of a natural resource-based outdoor activity for pecuniary remuneration or other gain.

  • Outfitting- Providing through rental or livery a saddle or pack animal, vehicle or boat, tents or camp gear, or similar supplies or equipment, for pecuniary remuneration or other gain.

Grande Ronde River


The Grande Ronde River flows through state, federal, and private lands. The Umatilla National Forest, in cooperation with the Baker City Bureau of Land Management (BLM), oversee the management of the river corridor. The Walla Walla Ranger District administers the special use authorizations for guiding on the river sections from Minam to Troy, Oregon. A BLM special use permit is required for day trips, outfitting and guiding on sections of the river accessed on foot, and trips that depart from Troy and continue through to Heller Bar, as well as commercial outfitting and guiding for the Wallowa River,


Big Game Outfitter Guide Program


All applications will be accepted on first-come, first-serve basis.  Applications will not be accepted before January 1 and will be accepted no later than March 31 of each year.  Applicants who are not selected will be placed on a list for future notification. This process will be re-evaluated prior to the each season.


The Walla Walla Ranger District (WWRD) administers the special use authorizations that utilize National Forest System lands on the Mt. Emily, Walla Walla, and Wenaha Big Game Management Units in Eastern Oregon. While part of the Wenaha Unit overlaps with the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness, the Wilderness Area is managed by the Pomeroy Ranger District and is excluded from the Walla Walla Ranger Big Game Hunting Program.  All applicants must have the appropriate clearance from Oregon State Marine Board and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Please contact the appropriate Ranger District Office

Commercial Filming and Photography:

A special use permit is required for all commercial filming activities on National Forest System lands. Click here for more information on commercial filming and photography.