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Rocky Mountain Region

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A permit is required for any commercial activity defined as: any use or activity on National Forest System lands (a) where an entry or participation fee is charged, or (b) where the primary purpose is the sale of a good or service, and in either case, regardless of whether the use or activity is intended to produce a profit .Special use permits are issued at the local Ranger District office (link). Basic requirements for holding a permit include technical and financial capability, payment of a fee, and insurance listing the US Government as additionally insured.

RECREATION EVENT – The Rocky Mountain Region receives hundreds, if not thousands, of requests for recreation event special use authorizations annually. Types of activities that require a recreation event special use permit include, but are not limited to, competitive races, contests, fund raisers, eco-challenges, dog trails, club activities, adventure games and endurance races. If you or your organization is considering holding such an event on the National Forest, you must contact your local Ranger District well in advance of the scheduled event to determine whether a permit is available.

COMMERCIAL FILMING AND PHOTOGRAPHY – Use of National Forest System land for commercial filming and still photography requires a special use authorization. For specific information related to the need for a permit go to http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/permits/film.htm.


How to Obtain a Permit

The first step in obtaining a permit is to contact the local district office. Submission of a proposal that meets the streamlining criteria in the 36 Code of Federal Regulations 251 [pdf 45k or doc 54k]is also required for most types of permits. For all permits, and outfitter guide permits in particular, contact the local district office to see if permits are available.

Outfitters and Guides

How to obtain an Outfitter Guide Permit.

How to sell your business.


Recreation Residences

Recreation residences, or summer homes, are private structures located on National Forest System land. The structures are authorized under a special use permit issued by the local Ranger District office. Recreation residences sell through reality offices. If you are interested in purchasing one, please contact a realtor in the area where you are interested. Prior to purchase of a recreation residence, you are required to meet with the local District Ranger to discuss requirements of holding a special use authorization. National Forest Homeowners Association

Campground Concessions

The majority of the developed recreation opportunities in the Rocky Mountain Region are provided by private campground concession companies. These companies operate Forest Service camping facilities. A portion of the revenue derived on the National Forest is returned the recreation facility in the form of maintenance and reconditioning work. This is an important contribution to the upkeep of Forest Service facilities.  National Forest Recreation Association




Business Plan Outline
- download 87.3kb pdf
- view as web page


General Information

Latest information on special use policy and direction.

Online Resources

American Camping Association
Association of camps serving youth

National Forest Homeowners Association
Association for recreation residence (summer home) permit holders.

National Forest Recreation Association
Association of campground concessionaires and lodge businesses.

Wyoming Board of Outfitters

Wyoming Outfitter and Guide Association

Colorado Outfitters Association

Colorado Office of Outfitters Registration



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USDA logo, which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo, which links to the agency's national site.