Other Permits

A special use permit is permission for individuals or other entities to conduct an activity on National Forest System land that is beyond the normal day-to-day use of the forest. For example, you do not need a permit to drive on a Forest Road that is open to the public, but you would need a permit if you wanted to build a driveway to your privately owned inholding.


Non-Commercial Groups

Large groups of people congregating in the same place may have impacts on the land that can be prevented or minimized with certain mitigation measures.  If your group size may reach 75 people or above, a non-commercial group use permit may be required.  These permits have no fees associated, but require a permit and operating plan. 


All Land Uses

Land Use Permits can be required for any private use of public lands. This can include right-of-ways for driveways, utilities, logging access, maple tapping, or any other use that is beyond the normal day-to-day use of the forest. 

Land Use applications are subject to a one-time Cost Recovery fee to process your application.  That fee is based on our estimate of how many hours of staff time it will take to complete the environmental review and, if needed, to prepare the permit.  Occasionally the environmental review results in a determination the requested use cannot be approved.  In those rare cases, the Cost Recovery fee cannot be refunded.  Each use also has an annual land use rent that must be paid in advance, and is adjusted annually for inflation.


Application Process

The application procedures and requirements are slightly different for each use.  All proposals are screened through two levels of criteria. 

  • The first level is to determine, among other things, if the proposed use is legal, and will not create a serious risk to public health or safety. 
  • The second level is a review of the proponent’s financial and technical capability to follow through on their plan. 

Proposals that pass both levels of screening are accepted as applications.  Each application must be studied thoroughly for its effects on the environment. This process is conducted twice per year, once in the Spring and once in the Fall, with all applications brought before our resource specialists and decision makers so issues can be identified and a plan identified for each project.   


Submitting an Application

All applications must be submitted to Special Use Permit Administrator Jen Edmonds.





Mailing Address:

Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forest, attn.: Jen Edmonds
231 North Main St., Rutland, VT