Passes & Permits

The Forest Service manages the national forests for a number of 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 generations yet to come. 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

Features

Recreation Passes

Graphic: Image of bighorn sheep crossing a river on front of recreation pass.

Find out more about available day, annual and lifetime recreation passes - how much they are, who can purchase them and where to buy them. Also the place to find information on watercraft permits and Au Sable camping reservations and permits.

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