Event/Commercial Permits

 Special Use Authorizations

Provides the use of, and access to, National Forest System lands for a wide variety of activities to both commercial and noncommercial operations. Permits are also issued for private, non-exclusive use. Depending on the complexity of the proposal, obtaining a Special Use Authorization can sometimes be a lengthy process.  The Sequoia National Forest is asking for all proposals to be submitted 180 days in advance, in order to facilitate this process.  Please coordinate early with the District where you would like to operate.

It is important to note all proponents will not receive a permit, therefore any action taken before receiving a Special Use authorization, such as occupying National Forest System Lands and advertising or expending funds, is premature and at the proponent's risk--and is against the law.


This type of special use includes organized events of a temporary nature, such as animal, vehicle, or boat races; fishing contests; rodeos; adventure games; and fairs.  If you are interested in learning more about submitting a proposal for a recreation event, please contact your local special uses permit administrator and submit a

SF-2700-3c application form


National forests are a popular location for the commercial filming and still photography industries.  Many motion pictures and commercials have been filmed on the Sequoia National Forest.

Anyone wishing to film on National Forest System lands must obtain a special use permit from the Forest Service. A "Filming on Public Lands" webpage addresses many common questions concerning the permitting process.  To request a filming permit on the Sequoia National Forest please fill out a Request for Filming Form and submit to the local permit administrator on the Ranger District you wish to film.


There are many diverse research projects on the Sequoia NF.  Research includes experimental forest demonstration areas, observatories, laboratories, stream gauges, weather stations, educational research study, and similar uses not intended to result in further development.  If you would like to submit a new proposal to conduct research or to renew or modify an existing research permit on the Sequoia National Forest please contact usto fill out a Scientific Research Request Form.

Our goal is to provide a high level of customer service for research activities on the Sequoia National Forest.  Please understand however, that depending on the complexity of the proposal, and any environmental compliance that may be required, it may take up to 180 days to process a research permit. It is your responsibility to provide the Agency with all the information needed to review, evaluate, and make a decision on a submitted proposal and an application. All proposals are subject to initial screening. If a proposal passes initial screening it is formally accepted as an application and will enter a second screening for environmental analysis (cost recovery fees are applicable). Lastly, the environmental analysis process will determine if the proposed use will be authorized with a Special Use Permit. Thank you for your assistance in making the permit process proceed smoothly.   

[photo]: Resting pack train in the John Muir WildernessOUTFITTING AND GUIDING

This area of Special Uses includes all commercial outfitting operations involving services for accommodating guests, transporting persons, and providing equipment, supplies, and materials.  It also includes commercial guiding activities wherein the guide furnishes personal services or serves as a leader or teacher.  Here is a list of current outfitting and guiding operations on the SequioaNational Forest. Please use form FS-2700-3f for this permit.


Back in the early 1900's the Forest Service Recreation Residence program started to give private citizens the opportunity to own a single-family cabin in designated areas on the National Forests. They are commonly called "summer homes" or "recreation cabins". These privately owned cabins (improvements) are located within formally established "tracts" on individual "lots" designated for that purpose.  The last formally established tract in the Region was in 1959 and no new tracts or cabins are allowed to be built.  These recreation residence permits are authorized and administered under the terms and conditions of a special use authorization (SUA) called a permit. more>>

Revocation of Existing Authorization and Request for a New Permit

Under the regulation, a "group use" is an activity that involves a group of 75 or more people, either as participants or spectators. "Noncommercial" is any use or activity where an entry or participation fee is not charged, and the primary purpose is not the sale of a goods or service.  Some examples of noncommercial group uses are weddings, church services, endurance rides, regattas, camping trips, hikes, music festivals, rallies and graduations.  To obtain a Noncommercial Group Use Permit please fill out a SF2700 3b form and submit this form to your to the local permit administrator on the Ranger District where you would like to hold your event. See additional Q&A's here.


SF-299 For all other special uses not mentioned above, including roads and powerlines, please use this form. >>>


Permits may be required for certain special activities, such as large groups, educational activities, or film-making. In general, permits are necessary for any activity that requires the forest to be altered in any way. Please contact one of our Forest Service offices for more information.

Cost Recovery: The Forest Service has modified the fee structure for processing special use permits.  The modification is based on Congressional direction to develop a program to improve administration of the agency's special use program.  Under the new rule, the Forest Service will collect fees from some permit applicants to recover the costs of processing and administering special use authorizations consistent with recommendations made by the General Accountability Office.

CR Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) >>