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.


  • FPR will not be accepting permit applications for activities (with group sizes 26 or greater) scheduled to take place between now and July 15, 2020. 
  • Recognizing that some activities requiring a permit do not involve large group sizes (i.e. research), we will continue to consider permits for those activities even if they are scheduled to occur between now and July 15, 2020. 
  • We will continue accepting permit applications for activities involving group sizes of 26 or greater scheduled after July 15, 2020. If the situation continues to call for social distancing practices, we reserve the right to cancel the permit to protect the health and safety of our community.

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