TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Coronado National Forest has implemented an “Open Season” now through Sept. 30 to receive outfitter and guide special use permit applications to operate in 2020. This action will concentrate the review and approval of permit applications to a specific, predetermined time frame.
The policy will benefit outfitters and guides by improving permit processing efficiencies leading to more reliable customer service. The open season timeframe will apply to new outfitter and guide permit applications, permit renewals, and amendments to existing permits which require environmental review and compliance.
The purpose of using an open season (focused application period) for applications is to provide the most effective and efficient permit administrative process, which will improve Coronado National Forest’s customer service to existing permit holders and new permit applicants. This will increase the ability of Forest Service staff to review permit applications in a predictable and collective manner to ensure that Forest resources are protected and environmental compliance is consistently applied to each application.
For calendar year 2020 (January 1 through December 31, 2020), the Open Season for applications began June 1 and lasts through Sept. 30. The Forest will accept applications for outfitting and guiding permits for calendar year 2020 until the end of the regular business day on September 30, 2019. Applications sent by mail must be postmarked by that date. Applications received after September 30, 2019 will not be included in the review of applications submitted on time and will be subject to review based on other permit processing priorities.
This open season timeframe will also be utilized for all applications in the future. For example, applications for outfitter and guide permits to be issued for calendar year 2021 must be submitted by September 30, 2020. If application materials are not submitted during the open season (June 1 through Sept. 30) the probability is high that a permit to operate during the following calendar year may not be issued.
Each application must include the following:
- completed FS-2700-3f Special Uses Application
- copy of the applicant’s current Arizona Game and Fish Department Outfitters License (hunter outfitter/guides only)
- completed Operating Plan
- maps showing locations of proposed activities. The FS-2700-3f Special Uses Application and Operating Plan forms are available at the Coronado’s Supervisor’s Office and online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/coronado/passes-permits/event-commercial.
Other permit requirements, (such as insurance) will not be required until after a determination is made to process the application. Each proponent who submits an application for a special use permit to operate in 2020 will be contacted regarding their proposal no later than Oct. 30. Actual permit issuance may require more time.
- Open Season for Applications June 1 – September 30, 2019
- Deadline for Applications September 30, 2019
- Applications Approved October 30, 2019
- NEPA Completed November 30, 2019
- All permits ready for Issue December 30, 2019
The open season timeframe will be implemented for all future operating years.