Public Land Permits (use & access) And How To Get Them

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Public Land Permits (use & access) And How To Get Them

Did you know that in order to “access and use” Public Land, even for recreation, it could land you in jail? That is because without the proper information (or should I say formal education) you will most likely break a lot of rules and regulations. Better ask yourself; Is there a permit even available for where I want to go and what I want to do?...How many permits must I apply for; access? hiking? camping? putting a boat in the river?, quad for transportation around the area where my truck won't make it? ....What is the waiting period before I get the permits...What is it going to cost me?

Just as one example of the mine-field involved; there are environmental laws that determine all things archaeological concerning your recreation plans on public land. Be sure not to pick up anything you find on the ground, it might have archaeological or cultural value and if you are caught, that may put you in jail. In more and more circumstances if you are not part of, or a member of an elite “save the earth” college or group, you are limited to the Public Land travel choices available to you.
If you are interested in checking out the ancient history of an area, here is the website for the archaeology laws, regulations, etc.
Laws, Regulations, Standards, Guidelines, Executive Orders, The National Park Service Code Books The National Park Service Code Book along with any Park Ranger, appear to be the final word on the law when it comes to Public Land. You see, all the previously mentioned laws, regulations, etc. have been incorporated into the Code Books. Just like any other law that could be fought out in a court of law, the code book reg's are always open to more than one interpretation depending on the agenda of whom you ask permission.

So far in my research, the best way to find the information (could change tomorrow) on permit availability is through this website. University of Nevada, Las Vegas Here you will find what is readily available to faculty, staff and students. Mind you, there is no mention here of you and me; the public, but that fact has been a huge motivation for my proposed legislation in the first place.

Why are Public Lands open to special groups and not open to the “public”?

“Public Land Permits

Purpose of Public Lands Permitting Program

The public lands permit program assists faculty, staff, and students with legally accessing and using public lands for research and educational purposes or for any other organized UNLV activity. UNLV works very closely with the four federal land management agencies to provide efficient permitting service while heightening awareness of the laws governing the uses of federal public lands and the personal liabilities associated with use. Read the official UNLV Public Lands Permits Policy.

Obtaining a Public Lands Permit for a UNLV-Sponsored Activity
A permit is required for all organized activities that occur on public lands. An organized activity includes but is not limited to research, educational observations/activities, and UNLV-coordinated recreational uses such as hiking, camping, touring, or picnicking on public land by faculty, staff, or students. Contact the UNLV Public Lands Program Officer well before accessing public lands for any UNLV-sponsored activity.

If you need to request a permit or have questions regarding access to public lands, please fill out the request form . The information you provide will be reviewed by the Public Lands Permit Officer. Jeff will be in contact with you within one business day. Our goal is to help you access the public lands while being mindful of the legal regulations.

Public Land Permit Information Request Form”

There ya’ go. Now you have access to the information; I'm not going to promise it’s really going to get you out there on public land where you want to go...... Let me know, ok?


While doing research on this website I found that U.S. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada is quite involved in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
That’s great!
Or it was till I found that The “Public Lands Institute is just another left-wing environmentalist, agenda driven, get taxpayer money, etc. group.

Then ...... looking at the University of Nevada website furter, I found a link to the Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies
“The principal mission of the Harry Reid Center is to support multi-disciplinary research teams, provide expertise to solve complex environmental problems, and develop innovative environmental monitoring technology.”

Sounds like environmental pork to me since billions of dollars a year are already spent doing the bidding of the environmental groups, just my humble opinion …….


From the reading I’ve done on these websites; “We The People” can’t use our public lands because we may soil it, and future generations of students, researchers, museum curators and University Scholars won’t have the same opportunities to “study” the public lands.

That is a poor reason for taking the rights guaranteed to us in the 5th Amendment to the Constitution away from us.

That doesn’t stop them from doing it anyway. “They” don’t have the means to oversee, regulate or enforce even a fraction of what they have accumulated in the way of “our land” as it is, but want to keep humans off of it anyway.

Check this out this is interesting; here is the Public Lands Institute organizational chart which clearly shows the "public land permits program officer position" is vacant. Surprise you? Not me. They have no intention of issuing public use permits to the public, (in my humble opinion.)

Public Lands Institute Organizational Chart
The below referenced position is on the right side of the chart.
Program Officer,
Public Lands Permits


Check out these websites for the details: Free "Public Lands of the United States" map I ordered this as soon as I saw it on the website. Can't wait for it to arrive so I can see exactly how much public land is out there. But in another website, I was reading that the government doesn't have a clue as to how much it actually regulates on our behalf, which is part of the problem.

Leave No Trace I had high hopes for this organization when I read these parts of “In Depth History of Leave No Trace”.

Further digging into the website revealed a few worrisome aspects; such as its list of Non-Profit Partners I’m going to keep an open mind for the time being because I believe the concept of “Leave No Trace” is the best hope for a happy marriage between the opposing sides of the public land rights groups.

“The goal of the U.S. Leave No Trace educational program is to avoid or minimize impacts to natural area resources and help ensure a positive recreational experience for all visitors.”

"Wilderness management is 80-90 percent education and information and 10 percent regulation." Max Peterson, former Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, 1985.”

" a preemptive teach the American people how to enjoy the wilderness without destroying it. All other methods merely try to repair the damage after it is done. Stronger wilderness education programs would dramatically decrease the need for law enforcement and cleanup." James Bradley, former staff member, Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands, U.S. House of Representatives.”

Let’s look at the GRAND CANYON as an example. Notice I didn’t say Grand Canyon National Park because the National park is miniscule in size compared to the entire Grand Canyon, and We The People are only allowed on a very small area of it. Here is what I found when searching for the Park Service regulations.


The following looks overwhelming; but it's just a list of what you can and can't do in the National Park System.

Table of Contents Sec. 7.4 Grand Canyon National Park.

(a) Commercial passenger-carrying motor vehicles. The prohibition against the commercial transportation of passengers by motor vehicles to Grand Canyon National Park contained in Sec. 5.4 of this chapter shall be subject to the following exception: Motor vehicles operated on a general, infrequent, and nonscheduled tour on which the visit to the park is an incident to such tour, carrying only round-trip passengers traveling from the point of origin of the tour, will be accorded admission to the park.

(b) Colorado whitewater boat trips. The following regulations shall apply to all persons using the waters of, or Federally owned land administered by the National Park Service, along the Colorado River within Grand Canyon National Park, upstream from Diamond Creek at approximately river mile 226:
(1) No person shall operate a vessel engaging in predominantly upstream travel or having a total horsepower in excess of 55.
(2) U.S. Coast Guard approved life preservers must be worn by every person while on the river or while lining or portaging near rough water. One extra preserver must be carried for each ten (10) persons.
(3) No person shall conduct, lead, or guide a river trip unless such person possesses a permit issued by the Superintendent, Grand Canyon National Park. The National Park Service reserves the right to limit the number of such permits issued, or the number of persons traveling on trips authorized by such permits when, in the opinion of the National Park Service, such limitations are necessary in the interest of public safety or protection of the ecological and environmental values of the area. (i) The Superintendent shall issue a permit upon a determination that the person leading, guiding, or conducting a river trip is experienced in running rivers in white water navigation of similar difficulty, and possesses appropriate equipment, which is identified in the terms and conditions of the permit. (ii) No person shall conduct, lead, guide, or outfit a commercial river trip without first securing the above permit and possessing an additional permit authorizing the conduct of a commercial or business activity in the park. (iii) An operation is commercial if any fee, charge or other compensation is collected for conducting, leading, guiding, or outfitting a river trip. A river trip is not commercial if there is a bona fide sharing of actual expenses.
(4) All human waste will be taken out of the Canyon and deposited in established receptacles, or will be disposed of by such means as is determined by the Superintendent.
(5) No person shall take a dog, cat, or other pet on a river trip.
(6) The kindling of a fire is permitted only on beaches. The fire must be completely extinguished only with water before abandoning the area.
(7) Picnicking is permitted on beach areas along the Colorado River.
(8) Swimming and bathing are permitted except in locations immediately above rapids, eddies and riffles or near rough water.
(9) Possession of a permit to conduct, guide, outfit, or lead a river trip also authorizes camping along the Colorado River by persons in the river trip party, except on lands within the Hualapai Indian Reservation which are administered by the Hualapai Tribal Council; Provided, however, That no person shall camp at Red Wall Cavern, Elves Chasm, the mouth of Havasu Creek, or along the Colorado River bank between the mouth of the Paria River and the Navajo Bridge.
(10) All persons issued a river trip permit shall comply with all the terms and conditions of the permit.

(c) Immobilized and legally inoperative vehicles.

(1) An immobilized vehicle is a motor vehicle which is not capable of moving under its own power due to equipment malfunction or deficiency. This term shall also include trailers whose wheels have been removed or which, for other reasons, cannot be immediately towed from their location, [[Page 57]] excluding trailers being used as residences which are occupying sites designated for this purpose by the Superintendent. A legally inoperative vehicle is a motor vehicle capable of movement under its own power, but not licensed to legally operate on roads.

(2) Leaving, storing, or placing upon federally owned lands within the park any immobilized or legally inoperative vehicle for a period exceeding 30 days is prohibited, except under the terms of a permit issued by the Superintendent.

(3) A revocable permit for an immobilized or legally inoperative vehicle may be issued without fee by the Superintendent for a specific period of time, upon a finding that the issuance of such a permit will not interfere with park management or impair park resources. (i) Any permit issued will be valid for the period stated on the permit, unless otherwise revoked or terminated by the Superintendent, and will state the name and address of the owner, the description of the vehicle, and the exact location where it may be left, stored or placed. (ii) The permittee will affix the permit securely and conspicuously to the vehicle. (iii) The permit shall be nontransferable. (iv) Any person issued a permit shall comply with all terms and conditions of the permit. Failure to do so will constitute cause for the Superintendent to terminate the permit at any time. (v) A permit may be revoked at any time for the convenience of the National Park Service or upon a finding that continued authorization under the permit would interfere with park management or impair park resources.

(4) An immobilized or legally inoperative vehicle left in excess of 30 days without a permit will be removed at the owner's expense.

(5) An immobilized or legally inoperative vehicle constituting a safety hazard, causing an obstruction to roads or trails, or interfering with maintenance operations will be removed immediately at the owner's expense. Such interference or impairment may include, but shall not be limited to, the creation of a safety hazard, traffic congestion, visual pollution, or fuel and lubricant drip pollution.

(6) The Superintendent shall have the right of inspection at all reasonable times to ensure compliance with the requirements of this paragraph.

[34 FR 14212, Sept. 10, 1969 as amended at 36 FR 23293, Dec. 8, 1971; 42 FR 25857, May 20, 1977; 43 FR 1793, Jan. 12, 1978; 52 FR 10685, Apr. 2, 1987]


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