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What type of Permit do I need?

Special Recreation Permits are authorizations which allow recreational uses on public land and related waters. They are issued as a means to manage visitor use, protect natural and cultural resources, and provide a mechanism to accommodate commercial recreation uses. Authorized by the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, there are five types of uses for which these permits are required: commercial; competitive; vending; individual or group use in special areas; and organized group activity and event use.

Wilderness Permits:

Special Regulations on party size apply to travel in designated Wilderness. Contact the local BLM District for more detailed information. more>>>

River Permits:

Deschutes River

Use this system to obtain information about recreation opportunities along the Lower Deschutes River and to reserve, purchase, or cancel a Lower Deschutes River Boater Pass. more>>>

John Day River

Learn how to obtain a permit to float the John Day River. more>>>

Rogue River

Learn how to obtain a permit to float the Rogue River. more>>>

Special Event and Commercial Use Permits:

Commercial Use

Commercial Use is defined as recreational use of public land and related waters for business or financial gain. When any person, group, or organization makes or attempts to make a profit, receive money, amortize equipment, or obtain goods or services, as compensation from participants in recreational activities occurring on public land, the use is considered commercial.

Examples: Outfitters and guides, jeep tours, horse-trail and wagon-train rides, cattle drives, educational tours or uses, and photography associated with a recreational activity.

Competitive Use

Competitive Use means any organized, sanctioned, or structured use, event, or activity on public land in which two or more contestants compete and either: 1) participants register, enter, or complete an application for the event; or 2) a predetermined course or area is designated.

Examples: OHV races, horse-endurance rides, mountain-bike races, rodeos.

Special-Area Use

Special Areas are areas officially designated by statute (law) or Secretarial Order.

Examples: Camping in Oregon and Washington, floating many BLM-managed rivers, backpacking in primitive areas, hiking in wilderness areas in Oregon and Washington.

Organized-Group Activity

Organized-group/event permits are for noncommercial and noncompetitive group activities and recreation events.

Examples: A large scout camp out, a fraternity activity, a large family reunion, an educational tour or use, or a dual-sport event.


Vendor permits are temporary, short-term, nonexclusive, revocable authorizations to sell goods or services on public land, in conjunction with a recreation activity.

Examples: T-shirt sales in conjunction with a raft race, a hot-dog stand at a motorcross event, firewood sales in a BLM campground, and shuttle services.

How do I apply?

Applying for a special recreation permit is easy; just print and fill out a Special Recreation Permit Application and either send or hand deliver it to the appropriate district office. If you need help filling out the application, we have provided instructions below.

A. Click this link to obtain and print a PDF fillable version of the Special Recreation Permit Application.

B. To complete the application, Follow these Instructions >>>

C. Take completed application in person to the appropriate District Office.