AORE Heading Up Recreational Permitting Project

The Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education recognizes how challenging it is for our members to obtain outfitter-guide permits for our National Forests, particularly for multi-day outdoor excursions in backcountry areas. We’ve heard from the membership that the permitting system is overly complicated and can be a barrier to accessing our commonly-owned public lands.

Together with the Coalition for Outdoor Access (COA) and the American Alpine Club (AAC), AORE is launching a grassroots effort to partner with regional Forest Service staff as they navigate these positive changes.

Our goal is to assemble a committed cadre of members from all these organizations who are willing to put in the time and effort to deeply engage with the Forest Service to improve the permitting system. We’d like you to join our team.

We will teach you about developments in the U.S. Forest Service’s permitting system—specifically the June 2016 guidance on recreational permitting—and the cultural changes underway within the agency. You will develop relationships with your regional Forest Service staff, understand how changes are being implemented and you will have the opportunity to share information with peers seeking access to our National Forests.

Sounds good right? If so, we ask you to carefully consider whether you can make the necessary commitments:

  1. Participate in a webinar training on the June 2016 guidance (March & April 2017).

  2. Develop a contact strategy for engaging with a National Forest in your region and set up a meeting with the target forest (April 2017).

  3. Meet with the target forest and write a report to Andy Nelson, AORE Access Committee Chair (May-June 2017). 

  4. Participate in a group discussion (by conference call) with our team about your experiences engaging with the forests (July-August 2017).

  5. Where appropriate, have follow up meetings with the target forest (remainder of 2017).

As former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “Our national forests and grasslands have provided inspiration and peace to millions of Americans.” This is an opportunity to work together to ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy our national forests. 

If you would like to participate in this effort, please click here and submit your information.  This information will be used by both AORE and the AAC and your participation is voluntary.  If you would like a synopsis of current activities and efforts related to the USFS Project on Recreational Permitting, please click here.
Andy Nelson
Access Committee Chair
Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education