Passes & Permits

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest manages resources to meet sustainable resource management objectives. Most National Forest System lands are open and free of charge for your use and enjoyment. However, some areas and activities do require fees or permits to help maintain, manage, and improve the amenities that you enjoy.

Not sure if you need a pass or permit? Read below or click on one of the links for more information on the types of passes and permits available on the Chequamegon-Nicolet. 

What Pass/Permit Do You Need?

  • Recreation Passes and Permits

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    Learn about recreation passes including day, annual and lifetime recreation passes, the cost and how to purchase one. Low-cost and free passes for fourth graders, people living with disabilities, senior citizens, and military.

  • Forest Product Permits

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    Find out more about obtaining a fuelwood/firewood permits and Holiday tree tags.

  • Event/Commercial Permits

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    Obtain to commercial permit for recreation events (e.g. races, rallies, contests, adventure games, concerts etc.) commercial photography, filming, sound recording, outfitting and guides, and road use permits across NFS land to access private property.

  • Geocaching

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    Geocaching is permitted in most areas of the forest. learn how to register a cache and help protect the forest's natural resources.

Do You Need a Pass or Permit?

When DON'T You Need A Permit?

  • When you are gathering edible material (morels, etc.) for your own consumption.
  • When you are camping in a dispersed area.
  • When you are at a site that doesn't require a Recreation Enhancement Act Fee.
  • When you are building a campfire on National Forest System lands you can collect a reasonable quantity of wood for the campfire without a permit.

When DO You Need A Permit?

  • For some recreation activities:
    • At most day use sites such as trailheads, picnic areas and river access sites
    • Reserving a campsite
    • When riding an ATV, OHV or Motorcycle on National Forest System motorized trails
  • For collecting fuelwood.
  • Special Use Permits are required for commercial and non-commercial use of NFS lands, including:
    • Easements for electrical and utility lines,
    • roads to access private property bound by National Forest lands,
    • oil and gas pipelines, wells or holding tanks, etc.
    • Minerals