Passes & Permits

The Forest Service manages the national forests for multiple uses, including recreation, timber, wilderness, minerals, water, grazing, fish and wildlife. Our job is to help people share and enjoy the forest, while conserving the environment for future generations. To help us meet this goal, certain activities, such as firewood collection, require permits, while others, such as camping, benefit from passes.


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
  • 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




America the Beautiful Senior Pass

Passes and permits providing access to recreation areas and trails.

Forest Products

sand pine cones

Deer moss, and other forest products require a permit to harvest commercially.


Special Events

Ocala National Forest Centennial cake

The staging of special events - concerts, jamborees, fishing tournaments and the like - in our National Forests require special permits, as does commercial use of forest sites.

Special Uses

Pinecastle Bombing Range

Permits and agreements are required for special uses of Forest lands, such as requests for easements, maintenance of existing private camps, and military use.