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Forest Service Permitting Issues


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October 03, 2017H.R. 289 The Guides and Outfitters Act as passed by House of Representatives

The Go Act, H.R. 289, accomplishes important cost recovery reforms, reauthorizes permitting processes and accomplishes important permit streamlining to lower the cost of issuing permits on federal lands.

September 14, 2017AOA Whitepaper on Forest Service Permit Modernization 2017

America Outdoors Association is issuing this policy statement on the Forest Service’s special uses permit modernization in an effort to ensure that our general support and position on various aspects of modernization is known.  This policy statement will identify the aspects of the project that we think are valuable as well as those which we believe need adjustment in an effort to arrive at a successful outcome for the Special Uses Modernization effort.

March 30, 2017Accessibility Guidebook for Outfitters Operating on Public Lands - Member Only

The purpose of this guidebook is to provide support for outfitters/guides authorized, under a special-use permit from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, to provide 

recreation opportunities on public lands. By working together,the agency and the outfitter/guide can ensure equal opportunity for all people, including people with disabilities. This can

be accomplished while ensuring the participants safety and preserving the recreation experience provided by the outfitter/

guide.

 

Outfitters/guides operating under special-use authorization from USDA Forest Service are required to comply with both the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504

of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). The ADA applies because the outfitters/guides operate as “public accommodation,” that is they are open to the public. Section 504 applies because outfitters/guides operate under special-use permits authorized by a 

Federal agency—the USDA Forest Service. Implementation guidelines for Section 504, which apply to recreation special-use permit holders, are located in USDA 7 CFR 15b. By signing the special-use

authorization, the outfitter/guide agrees to abide by these and all other laws, regulations, and policies of the Federal Government.

March 30, 2017Shasta Trinity National Forest Operating Plan Requirements 2017 - Member Only

The holder shall prepare an operating plan in consultation with the Authorized Officer or the Authorized Officer’s Designated Representative and must cover all operations authorized by this permit.  The operating plan must outline steps the holder will take to protect public health, safety, and the environment.  The plan must include sufficient detail and standards to enable the Forest Service to monitor the holder’s operations for compliance with the terms and conditions of this permit.  

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CONTACT INFORMATION 3

OUTFITTER/GUIDE OPERATIONS 4

TRIP ITINERARIES/TRIP DESCRIPTION 4

RATES 5

GUIDES 6

 FIRST AID/CPR, NOTIFICATION, SAFETY PLAN 7

FOREST SERVICE PROTOCOL FOR OUTFITTER/GUIDE SERVICES 9

REPORTING CHILD ABUSE/BACKGROUND CHECKS 14

CIVIL RIGHTS REQUIREMENTS 18

ACCESSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS/ESSENTIAL ELIGIBILITY PLAN 20

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RISK FORM 22

APPENDIX A: Permit Administration and Forest Service Rules/Regulations 24

APPENDIX B: Sample of Child Reporting Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect 31

APPENDIX C: Business License/Fictitious Business Notice 34

APPENDIX D: Written Agreements 35

APPENDIX E: Guide Information 36

APPENDIX F: Sample Independent Contractor Agreements 37

APPENDIX H: First Aid and CPR Certificate(s) 39

APPENDIX I: Approved Acknowledgement of Risk Form 40

APPENDIX J: Essential Eligibility Criteria 41

 

September 13, 2016Forest Service Clarifies NEPA Permitting Requirements - Member Only

The Forest Service FAQ documents clarifies that NEPA is not always required when permits are renewed.  It provides guidance of the use of categorical exclusions for permits where use in not increased.

July 07, 2016Forest Service Permit Streamlining Announcement - Member Only

Chief Tidwell announces plan to enable more outfitter and guide permits through streamlining the process for issuing permits for recreation services in National Forests.

June 28, 2016Forest Service Update on Permitting, NEPA and Needs Assessments - Member Only

Provides guidance on when and how to conduct various analyses before issuing outfitter and guide permits in National Forest.

March 04, 2016Secretary of Interiors Order Directing Permit Streamlining for Youth Access

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today released a Secretary’s Order to decrease barriers for disadvantaged and under-resourced youth to access America’s public lands and waters through expediting the permit process.  March 4, 2016.

May 14, 2015Rep. Bishop Supports FLREA Extension through September 2017 - Member Only

The House Committee on Natural Resources recently marked up H.R. 1991, which extends the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) until September 30, 2017.  FLREA is the authority under which outfitter and guide permits are issued. Meanwhile, the Committee is supposed to rework the bill that was marked up last year, which AOA supported because it contained some very positive language streamlining permit processing.

November 22, 2014Comments on Forest Service Wilderness Film and Photo Rule - Member Only

The Forest Service has backed off some of its plans to require reporters to get a permit before filming and taking photos in designated wilderness.  The proposed rule will require anyone taking a photograph for commercial use to obtain a permit and prohibits use of photos in advertising.  America Outdoors Association comments propose allowing outfitters holding permits to operate in wilderness to be able to take photos incidental to their services and to authorize their use in advertising of the permit services.

September 25, 2014Alert on Forest Service Wilderness Photography Rule

The Forest Service would require the media and others taking photos in wilderness to pay up to $1,500 to obtain a permit.  Filming would also require a permit, which is status quo for major productions, but this rule seems aimed at permitting incidental photography and will prohibit outfitters from using photographs to advertise their services.  The proposed rule was issued September 4, 2014.

September 16, 2014TWS Permit Experiences Summary

The Wilderness Society has been collecting information on the access challenges faced by organizations that would like to take people out on National Forest lands.

September 26, 2008 Forest Service Special Uses Handbook revised - Member Only

Excerpt of FSH 2709.11, chapter 40 issued 09-17-2008. Forest Service Special Uses Handbook.

September 17, 2008Forest Service Special Uses Fee Handbook - Member Only

FSH 2709.11 - SPECIAL USES HANDBOOK  / CHAPTER 30 - FEE DETERMINATION

Amendment No.:  2709.11-2008-1

Effective Date:  September 17, 2008

Duration:  This amendment is effective until superseded or removed.

June 23, 2004Forest Service Appeals Excerpts from Rule - Member Only

In certain instances, those who apply for or hold written authorizations to occupy and use National Forest System lands (i.e., special use permit), may appeal a written decision by an authorized Forest Service line officer with regard to issuance, approval, or administration of the instrument.

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