The El Yunque National Forest is located in the eastern part of Puerto Rico.
Where is this Forest?


Passes & Permits

En espanol


Are you ready to recreate on your national forest lands? This link will help you determine if a site requires a recreation fee to help pay for the facilities and services that you will be using. You will also learn about the variety of pass and permit options available to you. 


The USDA Forest Service requires you to obtain a Special Use Permit in order to perform certain activities within the forest boundaries. Various groups and individuals regularly approach the El Yunque National Forest with requests to use national forest lands for an variety of diverse activities. The Forest Service must weigh whether the proposed use is compatible with the values that make the El Yunque National Forest an irreplaceable resource, including its plants, animals, natural beauty, clean air and water, and recreation opportunities.

Applicants for special-use permits should note that the permitting process is lengthy, may require a multi-step environmental analysis and documentation process, and ultimately may not even be approved!

The Forest Service also evaluates special-use proposals and applications to determine if they are in the public interest. At a minimum, these proposals should: be consistent with Forest Plan management objectives, standards, and desired future conditions; they must be consistent with other applicable Federal, Commonwealth, and municipal statutes and regulations; and not be undertaken on national forest land if they can be reasonably accommodated on private lands.

Certain types of special use permits such as those required for commercial filming and photography, special events and activities, Outfitter/Guide and tour operators, scientific research, and various land uses, e.g., communication and broadcast equipment and road and water rights-of way, usually require Special Use Permits.

Most permits require at least 90 days to be processed and the appropriate application forms must be acquired from the El Yunque National Forest Special Uses & Land Program Management Office. Fees, liability insurance or bonds may be required for some types of permits.

Effective February 2007 the El Yunque National Forest began Cost Recovery procedures to assess and collect fees on applications for certain types of special use permits. See the section on Cost Recovery and Application Fees for additional information.

The following links should be helpful to you if you are planning on applying for a Special Use Permit:



For more information on special use programs with the USDA Forest Service:


Eastern Puerto Rico is seeing increased population growth and development. Because of this, the buffer zone surrounding the El Yunque National Forest is experiencing more encroachment. The Forest Service is interested in expanding the boundaries of the Forest and in placing additional land under conservation management.

The Forest Service has the ability to acquire lands within the Congressional proclamation boundary which surrounds the Forest. The following link should prove useful if you are contemplating selling property/land to the El Yunque National Forest:

For more information on Lands and Realty management programs with the USDA Forest Service: