Forests are great places for special events. From competitive runs to fishing tournaments, from family reunions to weddings, the natural backdrop of a national forest can’t be beat. But organizing for those events, and setting up permitting, is a time-consuming process. Add to it tighter staffing with limited time to process requests, and there’s trouble.
In USDA Forest Service Region 4, there’s a different approach for 2018. The Carson Ranger District has declared “open season” for processing new recreational event and noncommercial group use proposals.
The recreational events include those competitive runs and fishing tournaments, among others. The noncommercial events include family reunions, weddings and group camping excursions.
Under the new open-season policy — which runs from Jan. 1 to March 1 — and annually going forward, the district will take new proposals for summer recreation events and noncommercial group gatherings that are to take place May 1 to Oct. 31.
Here’s how it works. Proposals submitted during the season will be date-stamped, and the rangers will review them in the order received. Once the review process is completed, those making proposals will be notified of the outcome and additional requirements, if any, for processing accepted applications. It will take six to eight weeks for the initial review.
Submission of a proposal doesn’t grant any rights for use of National Forest Service land, nor is there a guarantee that the proposal or subsequent application will be accepted, or that a special use authorization will be issued.
And if you send your request for summer use outside this open season, it will be returned with a notice to resubmit during the next open-season (2019) period. A separate open season for new wintertime recreation (Nov. 1 to April 30) recreation event and noncommercial groups will be offered next year in a separate announcement.
In commenting on this new approach, Irene Davidson, district ranger, says there may be inconvenience and frustration with this new process. “It is, however, our mission to maintain a level of administration and customer service that is commensurate with existing authorizations, staffing and funding levels before issuing new special use permits.”
For information, contact Sheryl O’Brien, recreation special uses permit administrator, at [email protected].
Source: U.S. Forest Service