Passes & Permits

Special Use Permits - Recreation Events

Recreation special use permits are authorizations issued by the Forest Service to conduct commercial recreation activities on National Forest system lands. A commercial recreational use or activity is defined as:

Any use or activity on National Forest System lands (a) where an entry or participation fee is charged, or (b) where the primary purpose is the sale of a good or service, and in either case, regardless of whether the use or activity is intended to produce a profit. (36CFR 251.51)

Recreation events are usually short term in nature and can include organized events such as animal, running, biking races; dog trials; fishing* contests; adventure games; and fairs.

*Fishing tournament guidance January 21, 2021

Insurance and Bonds

A specific legal entity must be identified as the permit holder.  A performance bonds may be required when needed to ensure return of the site to a satisfactory condition. Permit holders are required to furnish or arrange for appropriate liability insurance, law enforcement, crowd control, safety, and sanitation.

Waivers and Acknowledgement of Risk Forms

Insurance companies often require that their policy holders use Waivers of Liability and/or Acknowledgement of Risk forms.  Even when not an insurance company requirement, special use authorization holders frequently require that their customers sign one or both of these forms before participating in an activity provided by the holder.  The Shasta-Trinity National Forest will be complying with the following policy direction:

  1. Appropriately worded Acknowledgement of Risk forms required by insurance companies or special use authority holders are acceptable [Sample].
  2. Do not permit use of Waiver of Liability forms [Sample] except for high risk recreation events, such as enduros, road rallies, equestrian events, hang-gliding contests, and so forth.  Many of the forms used for these purposes are unacceptable, because they would have the participant release the U.S. Government from liability for its own negligence. This conflicts with the intent of Congress in the Federal Tort Claims Act, which makes the Federal Government liable for the negligence of its officers and employees acting within the course and scope of their employment. Additionally, these forms may be at variance with state law.

We will not be allowing these forms for guiding where there is a guide in full custody and control of their clients.


Event Fee

The fee is five percent (5%) of adjusted gross receipts (gross revenue less cost to holder of prizes awarded) for one-time events and three percent (3%) for multiple events under a single permit.  The minimum fee is $65.29 per event.

  1. Gross Revenue includes all of the following:
  • Event Charges: Fees charged to participate in the event and/or fees charged to spectators to view the event, if applicable. 
  • Vendor Fees/Sales: Includes, but not limited to, sales from concession stands, raffles booths, etc.  Only include vendors that are located on NFS Lands.
  • Discounts: Portion of fees that either the participants, spectators, or sponsors were not required to pay.
  • Gratuities: The value of privileges that are not available to the general public and that are donated or provided without charge to the organization or individuals.  For example, but not limited to, a fee entry ($500) to the race for a European Bike Team.
  • Sponsorship Fees: A fee each sponsor pays in order to be a part of the event and/or to advertise their product(s) such as, but not limited to, shoes, boats, etc. For example, but not limited to, a sponsor such as Nike or Bass Boat Company, etc. pays the permit Holder $100 to place their product in the event area, or an advertising banner in the vendor area. Only include those that are located on NFS lands.
  1. Prizes:  "A reward for victory or superiority, as in a contest or competition." (Random House Dictionary).  Prizes include:
  • Cash prizes awarded.
  • Cost of merchandise prizes, such as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. 
  • Cost of trophies. 

Prizes are not souvenirs such as, but not limited to, T-shirts, ball caps, socks, pens, tote bags, etc. given to all participants entered into the event.

The Holder must provide receipts to verify costs of all merchandise prizes and trophies. 

Donated prizes cannot be deducted from Gross Revenue.

Cost Recovery Fees

The cost recovery fee covers the administrative and personnel costs associated with issuing the permit. If the permit takes more than 50 hours to process or monitor these fees apply. The table illustrates this.

Category Hours Processing Fee
CY 2020
1. (Minimal Impact) Estimated work hours are less than 8. $130
2. Estimated work hours are between 8 and 24. $459
3. Estimated work hours are between 24 and 36. $864
4. Estimated work hours between 36 and 50. $1,239
5. (Master Agreements) Varies Full actual as specified in the agreement.
6. Estimated work hours greater than 50. Full reasonable or full actual as determined case by case

Requirements for Commercial Recreation Events on the NRA (Bass Tournaments, etc)

  • All Bass Tournaments need to contact a marina and gain permission to use their facilities for the Bass Tournament.
  • The authorized officer must approve recreation event locations and any advertising within the NRA, including the display of logos and event sponsors.
  • Unless specifically authorized, fishing tournament participants may not fish within 200 feet of marina docks. 
  • Fishing tournaments must also be permitted by the California Department of Fish and Game.
  • Product demonstration activities at the NRA, such as “Demo Days”, must be sponsored by marinas.
  • Prior to the arrival at Shasta, Trinity or Lewiston Lakes, the holder agrees to provide all tournament participants with the enclosed quagga and zebra mussel information flyer which can be found at the following attachment:

Quagga and Zebra Mussel Flyer

This flyer addresses the potential environmental and economic impacts should a vessel that has been moored in infested waters be launched in Shasta or Trinity County waters without the prescribed recommended cleaning and certification.

Any vessels that have been in infested waters within six months of arrival to Shasta, Trinity or Lewiston Lakes must be declared and be subject to inspection prior to launching. The permit holder must certify in writing to the Forest Service prior to the event, that all participants acknowledge these terms and agree to comply with these terms.  Failure to comply with the terms of this permit will result in immediate termination of the permit, and may jeopardize issuance of future permits.

Current information and listing of infested waters can be found here. We also have a podcast that provides additional information.

Submitting Requests

For questions regarding and or assistance in completing a recreation event permit application please contact:

For events in Mt. Shasta, McCloud, Weaverville, Big Bar and Hayfork area requests...

Jennifer Womack
Mount Shasta Ranger Station
204 West Alma
Mt. Shasta, CA 96067
(530) 926-9616 (direct phone line)
(530) 926-4511 (main office)
711 (TTY)

For events on the NRA (Shasta Lake, Trinity Lake, and Lewiston Lake) area...

Paulette Kelly
Shasta Lake Ranger Station
14225 Holiday Road
Redding, CA 96003
(530)275-1587 (main office)
711 (TTY)

[General Information]

[Commercial Filming & Photography] [Noncommercial Group Use Events]

[Recreation Events] [Outfitting & Guiding] [Non-Guided Bus Groups/Tours]

[Temporary Commercial Events] [Recreation Residences]

[Recreation Occupancy Vehicles (Private Houseboats)]