Event/Commercial Permits

Special Use Permits

With very few exceptions, all uses of National Forest System lands involving extended occupancy, improvements, the use of resources and conducting any business or commercial activity are designated "special uses" and require written authorization. 

Recreation Events



Recreation events are commercial activities requiring temporary, authorized use of national forest land. Examples of recreation events include, but are not limited to: animal, bicycle, motocross, or triathlon races, jeep rallies, dog trials, fishing contests, rendezvous, rodeos, adventure games, youth treks, wagon trains, concerts, and other similar events. A permit is required for these type of events, regardless of the number of people involved in the activity.

Frequently Asked Questions - Recreation Events Permits

Application for a Permit:
Event Planning Form:


Commercial Use

A commercial use or activity on national forest land occurs when:
  • An applicant intends to charge an entry or participation fee, or
  • The primary purpose is the sale of a good or service, regardless of the intent to produce a profit. Money collected may cover expense categories, such as food, transportation, prizes, advertising, purchase replacement of equipment, or compensation for the leader of the activity.

Use is considered non-commercial if the fees charged are used only for the purpose of paying for actual expenses directly related to operating or staging the activity, with any excess funds returned to participants. The fees charged should not include costs for employees or personnel who stage or run the event.


Commercial Photography and Filming


The Forest Service permits commercial filming and still photography on public lands.  Like other commercial uses of National Forest lands and resources, commercial filming requires a special use permit issued by the District Ranger.

Frequently Asked Questions - Commercial Filming & Photography

Apply for a Permit:

Note: Due to administrative limitations caused by staffing vacancies the Aspen-Sopris Ranger District may require all applications to be submitted a minimum of 15 business days in advance of the planned shoot dates.


Outfitters and Guides

Operators offering outfitting and guiding services on National Forest Lands must have a permit.

Temporary Outfitter and Guide Permits:

Most guided recreational activities on the White River National Forest are available through existing permit holders. However, Temporary Outfitter/Guide Permits will be considered for applications that focus on youth, educational, underprivileged and religious groups for a limited number of activities in limited areas across the Forest.