U.S. Forest Service aims to ease special-use permitting process

If you’ve ever tried to obtain a special-use permit for a troop activity on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service, you understand that the process can be frustrating.

The agency admits the sometimes-clunky operations have, in some cases, thwarted visitors from getting out and enjoying our country’s lands.

Now the U.S. Forest Service says upcoming changes will streamline the permitting process for outfitters, guides, schools and nonprofits like the Boy Scouts of America — all while keeping these lands wild and clean.

These changes will simplify the special-use application process using an electronic permit application; increase the number of staff available to help process requests, particularly during high-demand seasons; and encourage land managers to allow special-use waivers when a permit is not required, such as when an activity would have only nominal impact on land.

Altogether, this means easier access for Scouting units to explore federal lands and waters. And that’s something we can all look forward to in the near future.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service Flickr page.