Recreation Residence Permits
Recreation Residences have existed since before the turn of the century, when national forests were reserves and were administered by the General Land Office in the U.S. Department of the Interior. The first lots were authorized by the Forest Management Act of June 4, 1897, also known as the "Organic Act" to encourage public recreation. In 1968, in recognition of other recreation needs, the Forest Service decided against establishing any additional new tracts. In 1976, this moratorium was expanded to include no development of new lots within existing tracts.
The Forest Service Recreation Residence program gives private citizens the opportunity to own a single-family cabin in designated areas on the National Forests. They are commonly called "summer homes" or "recreation residences". These privately owned cabins (improvements) are located within formally established "tracts" on "lots" designated for that purpose and are authorized and administered under the terms and conditions of a special use authorization (permit). The individual owns the improvements but not the land.
Occasionally permit holders sell their improvements. The Forest Service does not handle the sale of recreation residences, nor does it keep track of those that are for sale. For more information on this type of permit, visit the national "recreation residences" page or contact your local Special Use Permit Coordinator.
Communication Sites Permits
Emergency services and public broadcasting/communication services throughout the nation require communications repeaters and towers. These sites are permitted by the National Forest under a special use permit. The locations of these are varied and are usually on high elevation sites. Any time a facility is improved, a new permit may be required. For more information on this type of permit, visit the national "communication sites" page or contact your local Special Use Permit Coordinator.
Existing Use Permits
If you already have a special use permit and intend to make improvements, you may need an "Existing Use Permit". For more information on this type of permit, visit the national "existing uses" page or contact your local Special Use Permit Coordinator.
Commercial Road Use Permits
Using a National Forest System Road for commercial hauling is prohibited without a permit or written authorization. This use restriction applies to all commercial haul activity, not just activity directly related to Forest Service projects or operations
Examples of commercial vehicles that may need a Road Use Permit are logging trucks, tractor-trailer combinations, lowboys, yarders, chip vans, sand, gravel or cement trucks. This list is not all inclusive.
Please contact the Road Manager at the appropriate Forest Service office to obtain a Road Use Permit or written authorization.
Mineral Material Permits
Personal use permits may be obtained for collection of mineral material products such as: landscape rock for patios, walkways, walls and gardens and/or pit run rock for driveways and paths.
For small quantities of personal use products, there is no minimum fee. For large quantities, or commercial use, a fee is charged.
For most products, there are regulations covering when, how, and where collection is allowed. The intent of these regulations is to ensure continued availability and sustainability of our country’s forest resources.
For more information about how to get a permit, fees, product availability, or regulations covering collection, please contact the Forest Service office nearest your intended activity.