Passes & Permits

Many recreation opportunities on your national forests are free of charge. However, some areas or activities require fees or permits to help maintain, manage and improve the forest amenities or services that you enjoy.

Event/Commercial/Special Use Permits

Interagency Pass GroupFind information on commercial use, outfitter guide, photography permit requirements and more. 

Business permittees, such as campground concessionaires & outfitter guides must have appropriate permits to provide services on National Forest Lands. Special Use Permits are a temporary authority.



Forest Product Permits

Stacked and cut firewood.Firewood and other forest products are not Special Use Permits and are covered under different authorities. Permits may be required for collecting firewood or other forest products for personal use, and are available at local Forest or Ranger District offices.

Remember, all commercial uses or removal of forest products from federal lands requires a permit.


Recreation Passes

Current Interagency Passes [left to right from bottom: Access Pass, Volunteer Pass, Senior Pass, and Annual Pass]To make the best choice on which pass to purchase, you should think about your recreation plans for the next year. You have options such as buying a single day pass, a multi-day pass, or even an annual pass that covers a forest or region. If you plan to recreate in many different spots across the nation, an Interagency Annual Pass may be your best value. You may also qualify for one of the Interagency Lifetime Passes (Interagency Senior Pass or Interagency Access Pass).


Recreation Permits

Recreation permits are issued when extra measures are required for natural and cultural resource protection, or the health and safety of visitors. They may also be used to disperse recreation use or help ensure that the number of visitors does not exceed the capacity of the land. Check with the specific forest you want to visit for information. 

Recreation permits can include:

  • Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area/Trail
  • River
  • Wilderness
  • Groomed Cross-Country Ski Trail
  • Group Activities*
  • Recreation Events*

* These activities have historically required a "Special Use Permit", which sometimes includes a fee and sometimes are free. The Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) allows funds from these fees to now remain where collected.