Moab Field Office adjusts special recreation permit application and review process
MOAB, Utah – To improve the management of permitted activities and events, the Moab Field Office is streamlining its application and review process for special recreation permits. The BLM uses special recreation permits to manage commercial recreation and organized group activities on public lands, including competitive events. Special recreation permits facilitate responsible recreation, provide economic opportunities in neighboring communities and minimize potential user conflicts.
The Moab Field Office manages one of the BLM’s largest special recreation programs. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Moab Field Office welcomes more than three million visitors each year to public lands in Grand and San Juan counties. Local outfitters, guides, event hosts and other businesses play a significant role in helping the BLM serve local communities and visitors.
“Landscapes of the Moab Field Office range from backyard to backcountry,” said Moab Field Office Field Manager Dave Pals. “Similarly, special recreation permits provide economic opportunities in local communities while promoting responsible recreation among visitors.”
To effectively manage this large program, the Moab Field Office will establish quarterly review periods for submitting and processing special recreation permit applications, including applications to renew expiring permits. Applicants should submit proposals well in advance as processing special recreation permit applications may take up to 180 days. The BLM will review all applications received by Dec. 1, 2023 for the 2024 spring-summer season. In the future, the BLM will review applications Dec. 15, April 15, July 15, and Sept. 15 annually; however, applicants may submit proposals at any time. In the past, the Moab Field Office, accepted applications only twice a year on June 1 and Dec. 1.
These new application windows will:
- Improve the BLM’s ability to complete environmental reviews promptly by grouping application reviews for similar activities and areas;
- Ensure fair and consistent treatment of all applicants, given increasing demands for similar services and areas of operation; and
- Enable the BLM to continue effective management of commercial recreation, competitive events, and organized group activities.
It is beneficial to email or call to set up an appointment with the Moab Field Office to discuss your application; however, a new electronic database for Special Recreation Permit applications called Recreation and Permit Tracking Online Reporting (RAPTOR) is also available at https://permits.blm.gov/ and may be used in lieu of calling or emailing the office to request a pre-application meeting. As the BLM implements this modified schedule, requests for extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For more information, visit or contact the Moab Field Office at 82 East Dogwood, Moab, UT 84532, or call 435-259-2100. Applications for competitive and large-scale events must be submitted a minimum of one year in advance and must adhere to other county, state and federal permitting requirements and timelines.
Additional information on special recreation permits is available at https://ow.ly/Xv4850PU4ls. Special Recreation Permit application forms are available at https://ow.ly/8lQ250PU4ns. Requests for a pre-application meeting may be submitted through the RAPTOR system at https://permits.blm.gov/.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.