Other Permits

Other Permits

Guidance for Scattering Ashes and Erecting Memorials on Forest Service Land

It is Forest Service policy to not permit commercial scattering of cremains on NFS lands by flying services, mortuaries, or funeral homes. While there are substantial differences between a traditional cemetery and the scattering of cremains, our existing permitting authorities do not provide for the permanent use of the NFS land.

Neither burial nor scattering of ashes are an appropriate use of the forests and are not authorized on the lands of the National Forest System. The placing of remains creates a permanent occupancy of the land and the placing of headstones or monuments documenting the location are similarly permanent. Placing of statues, flowers and other items of remembrance would be considered a monument.

The use of the National Forests for these purposes would need a Special Use Authorization (36 CFR 250). In determining if an authorization can be issued, the proposed use or application to use the forest must pass the screening criteria found at 36 CFR 251.54.

However, burial of remains or scattering of ashes would not pass the initial screen found at 36 CFR 251.54(e) 1.iv; “The proposed use will not create an exclusive or perpetual right of use or occupancy” or the second level screen found at 36 CFR 251.54(e) 5.i; “The proposed use would be inconsistent or incompatible with the purposes for which the lands are managed.”