Leases, Licenses and Special Use Permits

ANR lands are generally open to the public without fee or formal authorization for a wide variety of educational, recreational, and other outdoor activities for individuals or small groups.  However, such activities and events, while legally and environmentally permissible, may alter a site or natural resources or may exclude other public uses, for varying periods of time.  For such activities and events, formal written authorization is required so that the Agency may better monitor, control and manage their impact and duration on ANR lands, natural resources, and the public.  Formal written authorization is typically given by either Special Use Permit (SUP) or License.

There are common management principles that generally apply to all Agency lands regardless of the specific Department responsible for management. At the same time there are also some important differences in land management goals between the departments in the Agency based on statutory and other legal requirements. Additionally, there are instances where regulations or other legal requirements might apply to specific areas or activities on department lands, but will not apply to all Agency lands. Please contact a license coordinator in the appropriate District Office if you have questions about an area or an activity you have planned.

Issuance of Permits and Licenses for Use of State Lands during the Coronavirus Pandemic:

  • ANR will continue to accept special-use permit and license applications for use of state lands and will review/approve permits on a case-by-case basis. Permittees should demonstrate in their application an ability to comply with the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order and Addenda, as well as with the related sector-specific guidance.
  • Land Managers shall review permit applications for compliance with these guidelines and may deny any permit or license at their discretion if the activity is deemed incompatible with the Executive Order, Addenda, and the sector-specific guidance.
  • Permit start dates and termination dates are subject to change, and the State may suspend this license at any time, without notice, if necessary to comply with relevant Executive Orders and Addenda and sector-specific guidance.
  • Due to the uncertainty about how COVID-19 may affect future operations, ANR is not obligated to respond to a permit or license application within a specific timeframe, as guidance may change.
  • If a permit is issued, it is the Permittee’s responsibility to ensure that any activity undertaken by Permittee or its employees or agents complies with State of Vermont Executive Orders and Addenda, even if that guidance changes between the time when the permit or license is issued and when the activity takes place.


When a License or Permit is Needed

Generally a SUP or License is needed for any use of ANR land when the activity:

  1. is organized or publicized;
  2. involves a fee (charged to participants);
  3. alters a site or alters/removes natural resources; or
  4. may conflict with other established uses such as hiking, cross country skiing, scientific research, hunting, etc.
  5. when group size exceeds 10 people, including guides.

For definitions of the different types of permits and specific activities requiring a license or permit, please refer to the Uses of State Lands policy.

Process for Obtaining a License or Permit

The process for obtaining permission to use ANR lands begins with reviewing and completing the New Online Application. There are additional instructions avalible to help you through the process. In addition, each District Office of the Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation has a License Coordinator who can assist you.

If there are any issues with the Online Application please contact the Lands Administrative and Records Coordinator who's contact information may be found at the bottom of this page.

Allowed Individual Recreational Uses: When a License or Permit is Not Required

There are a number of recreational activities by individuals that do not require an SUP or License.  Please refer to Appendix A of the Uses of State Lands policy for a list and an explanation of those activities.


If you have any questions about whether or not a permit is needed for an activity you are planning on ANR lands, you may contact the District Office in your region of the state.

Becca Washburn
Director of Lands Administration and Recreation
1 National Life Dr, Davis 2
Montpelier, VT 05620
(802) 793-3432