Facilitated Access Permitting: What Mountaineers Leaders Need to Know

For Mountaineers trips, courses, and clinics, permitting needs vary by land manager. As a Mountaineers leader, learn about your role in making sure we're in compliance with each land manager's rules and regulations.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
April 29, 2019

The complex landscape of permitting rules and regulations can be difficult to navigate as a Mountaineers leader. To help make things clearer, we've created a series of pages describing the various permit processes pertaining to Mountaineers activities, all organized by land manager.

What are Facilitated Access Permits?

Facilitated access permits are a class of permits allowing organizations like The Mountaineers to offer group activities on public and private lands. These permits have different names depending on the land manager – Special Use Permits, Outfitter-Guide Permits, Commercial Use Agreements but for the sake of simplicity, we refer to them internally as facilitated access permits.

Many trips with The Mountaineers require facilitated access permits. Even though we obtain these permits, we are still responsible for getting additional general use permits for things like wilderness camping/backpacking and climbing.

Isn’t The Mountaineers exempt from permits because we’re a volunteer run nonprofit?

Generally speaking, The Mountaineers is not exempt from facilitated access permits, even though we're a nonprofit led by volunteers. Each land manager has a different set of rules and regulations for permits. Please check your route/place and the Facilitated Access Permitting pages for additional information (particularly if you plan on running your activity with a larger group or if your activity is part of a paid course).

How do I know if my activity needs A facilitated access permit?

When you schedule an activity, take note of any information under the "Information For Leaders" section on the route/place page. You will find information for each route/place's land manager on the bottom of the page, listed below "length and elevation":

Find the land manager for the route/place near the recommended and maximum party size information for that route/place

Then, find the corresponding facilitated access permit requirements in the list of land managers on the Facilitated Access Permitting page. Follow the instructions provided to apply for the permit, if applicable.

If the land manager for your activity's route/place is not listed on the Facilitated Access Permitting page as is the case for many city/county parks and land managers located outside of Washington  that means we do not have a formal process in place for facilitated access permits with that land manager.

Please do your due diligence in researching land manager regulations, particularly if you plan on running your activity with a larger group, or if your activity is part of a paid course.

How will I get updates or reminders about permit deadlines?

As part of this new Facilitated Access Permitting resource, we've put together a series of calendars with important dates and deadlines for several of The Mountaineers most popular teaching areas. The goal of these calendars is to help leaders understand the timelines for our annual facilitated access permits. Learn more about the Permitting Calendars.

Additionally, we've added a recurring "Permits & Access" section to the monthly LeaderLines newsletter as a way to highlight upcoming permit deadlines and share important permit-related updates with our leaders.

Where can I find information about parking passes, wilderness restrictions, and group size norms?

As a part of our Land Manager Resources, we've updated two additional pages with information about Parking Passes & Wilderness Restrictions and Group Size Norms.

You can also find information about which parking passes are required at the trailhead on the corresponding route/place page.

Who do I talk with if I have questions?

If you have feedback about or questions about Facilitated Access Permitting, please contact Amanda Virbitsky, Volunteer Services Representative, at amandav@mountaineers.org. She is supporting volunteers collaboratively across branches in permitting-related work.

Facilitated Access PERMITTING Pages