Access and Permitting
AORE is dedicated to ensuring that we continue to have reasonable access to public lands and waterways in order to provide the "outdoor" component that our programs rely upon for educational and recreational missions.
The AORE Access and Permitting Committee has created a Member Toolkit to aid both new and experienced members in the area of access to federal lands, which almost always requires a permit. Several resources are available here for public viewing and use, while some are restricted for Member viewing only in the member's only File Library.
Public Resources:NPS Waiver Language June 2020 added 6.26.20
Best Practices for Responsible Access: We practice Leave No Trace, why not responsible access to public lands as well? These best practices outline how your program can utilize public lands responsibly.
Asking for Access: First-time permit seeker or confused by what you’re supposed to do? This document provides some tips for how to approach land management agencies.
Why Do I Need Permits?: This document outlines some criteria that designates most university outdoor programs as ‘commercial outfitters’ in the eyes of federal agencies, and the potential consequences of operating without a permit.
Protected Areas Data – US Land Management Map: This interactive map contains a national inventory of protected areas in a user-friendly interface. It allows you to click on any protected land in the United States to see what agency and office manages that particular area, along with several other useful pieces of information.
Coalition for Outdoor Access (formerly known as the Outdoor Access Working Group) Info and Resources: The COA, of which AORE is a member, is a group formed in 2014 to address recreation industry-wide issues surrounding facilitated access on federal public lands. Read their White Paper to learn more about their members, goals, and focus
Department of the Interior, Secretarial Order No. 3366: This signed secretarial order issues guidance for land managers within the Department of the Interior to create a plan that “develops new, or increases and expands existing, recreational opportunities that are consistent and comply with all applicable laws and regulations”. The order was signed on April 18, 2018.
- OAWG Whitepaper: Read the White Paper to learn more about OAWG’s (Now COA) members, goals, and focus (caveat: this paper is out of date, but does a great job outlining the ideas that the organization was founded on).
- COA Policy Recommendations: This is a more recent document published by COA that outlines their specific policy recommendations.
Public Lands in the United States | Examining the past to build a more equitable future: A Curriculum by The Wilderness Society and The Avarna Group
Link to National Park Service Commercial Use Authorization webpage.
This page includes:
- What is a commercial use authorization (CUA)?
- Why do I need a CUA?
- How to apply for a CUA
- Fees associated with CUA’s
Members Only Resources:Permitting Glossary: This document provides a list of terms and definitions commonly used in content related to access, permitting, and public land management. >> Join or login to view.
Permitting Database: This crowd-sourced database provides information regarding specific permits (not the permits themselves), as submitted by AORE members. >> Click here to submit permit information.
To access these resources, become a member and download this guide or follow these steps:
1. Login to the Members area
2. Navigate to Resources section (far right)
3. Click on the Access and Permitting Member Toolkit