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.

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.

Regional/Forest Accomplishments

Fee revenues make a difference.

The majority of proceeds from recreation fees and passes goes right back into maintaining and improving the things you use most like bridges, buildings, trails, boat ramps and visitor centers. 

Check out this quick snapshot showing the kinds of work done with your fees. For a more comprehensive understanding of how much was collected and how it was used, check out the national, regional and local accomplishment reports.

National Forests in Florida FY20 Fee Accomplishment Report. 

  • 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.