Originally Posted by District Ranger
I pulled this from the United Four Wheel Drive web page. This may or may not help but here it is:
U.S. FOREST SERVICE SPECIAL USE PERMIT RULE
Effective August 12, 2004, your club or organization may be required to obtain a special use permit if you have 75 people traveling Forest Service roads or if you have less than 75 people and charge a fee for your event.
WHAT WAS THE RULE BEFORE?
Prior to August 12, 2004 your club could hold a trail ride by using roads in your National Forest without having to obtain a special use permit, even if you charged a fee for your event, if your event was limited to the use of roads and you didn’t use any other forest lands such as campgrounds or other areas for “staging”.
WHAT IS THE RULE NOW?
As of August 12, 2004 your club will be REQUIRED to obtain a special use permit (SUP) if you have more than 75 PEOPLE in attendance at your event (either as spectators or as participants):
Even if you limit the use of the forest to Forest Service roads
Even if you do NOT charge an event fee
Even if you DO charge an event fee
BASIC THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Commerical use: any use or activity where a participation fee is charged OR where the primary purpose is the sale of goods or services.
Noncommercial use: any use or activity that does not involve a commercial use as defined above.
Group Use: an activity conducted on National Forest System lands that involves a group of 75 or more people, either as participants or spectators.
Guiding: providing services or assistance for pecuniary remuneration or other gain to individuals or groups on National Forest System lands.
Recreation event: a recreational activity conducted on National Forest System lands for which an entry or participation fee is charged, such as animal, vehicle or boat races; dog trials; fishing contents; rodeos; adventure games; and fairsl.
WHEN DOES MY CLUB ACTIVITY OR EVENT NEED A SPECIAL USE PERMIT?
Under this new rule your club is required to obtain a special use permit if:
You use roads, campgrounds, or other lands in your National Forest;
You have more than 75 people attending or participating in your event, even if you do NOT charge a fee.
Note: This includes passengers and children. For example if you have 25 vehicles attending a club ride using roads in your National Forest and those 25 vehicles have 75 people when you count the drivers and all their passengers, then you have “more than 75 people”.
You have less than 75 people if you charge a fee (engage in a recreation event).
You are not required to obtain a permit if you have less than 75 people and you do NOT charge a fee
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A SPECIAL USE PERMIT?
You must apply to the District Ranger or Forest Supervisor having authority over the area you will be using.
You must provide your club name, address, and the name and address of the club contact handling the application.
If you have more than 75 people attending or participating in your event and you do NOT charge a fee you are engaging in a NONCOMMERCIAL GROUP USE.
For Noncommerical Group Use you must do the two items listed above AND
Describe your activity or event
Indicate the location of the event (which roads, areas, or other places within the Forest)
Indicate the number of participants and spectators expected at your event
Include the date, and starting time and ending time of your event
The name of the person in your club who will sign a special use authorization (that person must be 21 years old or older)
If you are charging a fee, regardless of the number of people attending, you are engaging in a RECREATION EVENT.
For Recreation Events you must do the first two items listed above AND
Provide a certificate in good standing if your club is incorporated (if specificially requested by the Forest Service)
Provide eveidence that your club has the financial capability to conduct and end the event
Describe the event, including maps, so the Forest Service can determine the feasibility of the activity, any benefits to be provided to the public, the safety of the event, the lands used, and compliance with laws, regulations, and other orders
Provide any other additional information requested by you in writing from the Forest Service
HOW DO I RECEIVE A SPECIAL USE PERMIT?
NONCOMMERCIAL GROUP USE: If your event is categorized as a noncommercial group use your application for a permit is approved unless you receive a denial within 48 hours of applying for the permit.
A noncommercial group use application must be approved if:
Authorization is not prohibited by Forest Service order or by Federal, State, or local law.
Authorization is consistent with the Forest Plan
The event does not materially impact the resources of the forest
The event will not delay or prohibit use of the area by the Forest Service or other existing uses
The event does not violate State and local public health laws such as sanitation, availability of drinking water, etc.
The event will not post a substantial danger to public safety
The event does not include military training exercises by private individuals or entities; and
A person 21 years old or older has signed, or will sign, the authorization within 60 days of receipt
RECREATION EVENT: If your event is categorized as a recreation event your application permit must be specifically approved or denied by the Forest Service and only becomes effective if signed by both the Forest Service and your club representative within 60 days of receipt.