Frequently Asked Questions

Some information is more commonly sought out by visitors of the National Forests. We have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions with their answers below. If you do not see the answer to your question, please contact us for more information.

  1. What is the difference between the Forest Service, the National Park Service, Department of Wildlife Resources and State Parks?
  2. What are the new interagency passes and how much do they cost?
  3. How do I reserve a campsite?
  4. Are there fire restrictions in place? How do I know if I can have a campfire?
  5. Where can I get maps to know where I can ride my ATV, motorcycle or motorized recreational vehicle?
  6. Where can I get maps that show where recreation opportunities are on the National Forest?
  7. Can I take my dog hiking or camping on the National Forest?
  8. Where can I get a permit for Forest Products?
  9. Do I need a permit to enter a Wilderness Area?
  10. Do I need to have certified weed-free hay on the National Forest for my horses?
  11. If I have an emergency on the National Forest, who should I contact?

1. What is the difference between the Forest Service, the National Park Service, Department of Wildlife Resources and State Parks?

The Forest Service manages the national forests and grasslands, forestry research and cooperation with forest managers on State and Private Lands. The Forest Service is dedicated to multiple-use management for the sustained yield of renewable resources such as water, forage, wildlife, wood and recreation. Multiple-use means managing resources under the best combination of uses to benefit the American people while ensuring the productivity of the land and protecting the quality of the environment.

The National Park Service focuses on preservation. They preserve, unimpaired, the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation.

State Parks are similar to National Parks but are managed on a state level and can have fewer restrictions.

Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) can be under state or federal management. State DWRs handle fishing and hunting permits while federal DWRs Manage wildlife that crosses state boundaries such as migratory birds and whales.


 

2. What are the new interagency passes and how much do they cost?

 

Interagency Annual Pass $80.00

The new Interagency Annual Pass replaces the Golden Eagle Passport. This pass covers Standard Amenity Fees like entrance fees to the National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges and day-use fees charged at National Forests and Bureau of Land Management sites and areas. The pass is good for one year from the month of purchase.

Interagency Senior Pass $10.00

The new Interagency Senior Pass replaces the Golden Age Passport. It covers Standard Amenity Fees. The new Senior Pass is a lifetime pass available to citizens and permanent residents who are 62 years of age and older. Proof of Age is required. This pass must be applied for in-person at any Forest Service office.

Lifetime Access Pass *Free*

The new Interagency Access Pass replaces the Golden Access Passport. It covers Standard Amenity Fees.The new Access Pass is a lifetime pass available free-of-charge to persons who are permanently disabled. This pass must be applied for in-person at any Forest Service office.

Some specific recreation areas may have unique restrictions and fees that may not be covered by the pass. If you have a question pertaining to a location, contact that area for more information.

There are three types of fees that may be charged.
1. Entrance Fees are charged for entering designated federal recreation areas.
2. Use Fees are charged for using visitor services such as campgrounds, swimming areas, boat launches, parking, waterfowl blinds, cave tours or specialized interpretive services in designated federal recreation areas.
3. Special Recreation Permit Fees are charged for specialized uses that require a permit, such as group activities, recreational events and the use of motorized recreational vehicles in designated federal recreation areas


 

3. How do I reserve a campsite?

 

For Forest Service campground reservations nationwide you can call 1-877-444-6777. If you call the toll free number, the exact name of the campground and the Forest it is located on is needed. You can also visit the Forest Service campground reservations website at www.recreation.gov. The website offers interactive, clickable maps that lists campgrounds by state and will have the name of the specific campgrounds and forests, plus it has directions and campground maps.


4. Are there fire restrictions in place? How do I know if I can have a campfire?

Fire restrictions can change frequently as weather and drought conditions vary. For the most accurate information it is best to call your local Forest Service office. Fire restrictions can also be different for Developed campground vs. dispersed campgrounds.


5. Where can I get maps that show where I can ride my ATV, motorcycle or motorized recreational vehicle?

Travel plan maps and motorized trail maps have the most accurate information regarding trails that are open to ATV's and motorized recreational vehicles. These maps are available at most Ranger District and Forest Service offices.


6. Where can I get maps that show where recreation opportunities are on the National Forest?

Topographic maps, provide the greatest amount of detail for a small Portion of land, are available from the USGS or many local retail outlets. Local Ranger Districts and Forest Service offices have larger National Forest overview maps that show the locations of campgrounds, paved roads, unimproved roads and some trails. Ranger Districts and Forest Service offices will also have Travel Plan maps that show trails that are open to motorized recreational vehicles and ATV's.


7. Can I take my dog hiking or camping on the National Forest?

All dogs must be on a leash in all campgrounds, picnic areas and trailheads at all times.


8. Where can I get a permit for Forest Products?

Examples of Forest Products are firewood, Christmas trees and ornamental rocks. Urbanized areas are less likely to provide forest product permits. However, once away from urban areas, Ranger Districts are more likely to offer permits, but in very limited numbers. For more specific information, contact your local Ranger District. The District Ranger usually decides the number of permits available at a local level.


9. Do I need a permit to enter a Wilderness Area?

Wilderness areas are places where the imprint of humans is substantially unnoticed. It is where natural processes are the primary influences and human activity is limited to primitive recreation and minimum tools. This allows for the experience of wild places without intention to disturb or destroy the natural processes. Some wilderness areas require an overnight permit to camp. Contact your local forest service office for more information.


10. Do I need to have certified weed-free hay on the National Forest for my horses?

Virtually all forests in the Intermountain Regain require certified weed-free hay. You can contact your local Forest Service office if you have questions. There are also restrictions on how large an equestrian group can be.


11. If I have an emergency on the National Forest, who should I contact?

If you have an emergency on the National Forest, the best thing to do is call 911 and they will dispatch the nearest help.