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Outfitter & Guide Trail Stewardship Credit Pilot Program

A man on horseback leading two pack horses fording a mountain stream, mountains in the background.
Addressing the Backlog

The Outfitter & Guide Trail Stewardship Pilot Program, established by the National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act, strives to help address the Forest Service’s trail maintenance backlog. Commercial Outfitter & Guides are helping the Agency accomplish trail maintenance on National Forest trails and related facilities through this innovative public-private partnership.

One of the primary ways outfitter and guide companies serve the public and assist the Forest Service is by helping people access their public lands to hunt, fish, and enjoy nature. Outfitter and guides typically pay annual fees to utilize public land that is managed by the Forest Service. Local Forest Service officials on pilot forests work together with approved outfitter and guides to identify agreed-upon work, associated standards, and fee offset. This innovative Outfitter & Guide Trail Stewardship Credit Pilot Program is an opportunity for participating outfitter and guides on selected national forests to construct, improve, or maintain trails in exchange for paying all or part of their land use fee. Outfitter and guide companies are joining the Forest Service as part of a learning culture to find innovative ways to share in caring for trails and improving on-the-ground trail conditions.

Pilot Program Kick-off in 2020

The following 20 national pilot forests have been selected for participation in this program.

  1. R1 - Bitterroot National Forest
  2. R1 - Kootenai National Forest
  3. R1 - Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests
  4. R2 - Bighorn National Forest
  5. R2 - Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests &  Thunder Basin National Grassland
  6. R2 - San Juan National Forest
  7. R2 - Shoshone National Forest
  8. R3 - Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
  9. R3 - Gila National Forest
  10. R4 - Salmon-Challis National Forest
  11. R6 - Gifford Pinchot National Forest
  12. R6 - Siulslaw National Forest
  13. R6 - Umpqua National Forest
  14. R6 - Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
  15. R6 - Willamette National Forest
  16. R8 - National Forests of Mississippi
  17. R8 - Ouachita National Forest
  18. R9 - Mark Twain National Forest
  19. R9 - Wayne National Forest
  20. R10 - Tongass National Forest


As we learn through initial pilot program efforts, the Agency will potentially be looking to expand the program in future years.

On established pilot forests, contact your local Forest Service office if you are interested in participating in the program.