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Permit FAQs#

  • Groups of 15 or more persons
  • Research projects
  • Commercial use
  • Organized school activities for groups of 15 or more not organized through the Natural Areas Department
  • Organized group athletic training exercises (15 or more persons)
  • Off-trail use at a natural area with an on-trail only designation
  • After hours visits
  • Removing, collecting, or depositing  anything from/in a natural area
  • Special Use
  • Research
  • Commercial

For all Natural Areas permit information, please go to

A special use permit is required for a variety of activities that would normally violate a natural areas regulation.  To adaptively manage natural areas, the Natural Areas Department monitors visitor use and provides opportunities that allow for a safe and enjoyable experience while minimizing impacts to resources and visitors. 

Fill out the online form at

  • Special Use permits are free.
  • Research permits are free.
  • Commercial Use permits have fees depending on level of use, check the permit webpage.

Research permits are for groups or individuals seeking to do long-term or short-term research in City of Fort Collins natural areas to obtain data or research information. Instructional courses or workshops that include a research component should apply for a Special Use Permit. Applications for Research Permits are accepted year-round and held until the next deadline (second Friday in February and second Friday in August). There is no charge for Research Permits.

You will need to apply for a Commercial Use permit. These permits require a fee.  For more information, visit:

If there is any cost or fees for the participants associated with your event/activity, you most likely will need a Commercial Use permit.  For questions please call (970) 416-2815.

The standards review period for Special Use, Research and Commercial Use permits is fifteen (15) business days.  If your permit is approved or denied you will receive an email confirmation.  

  • No concerts or amplified events
  • No organized competitive sporting events
  • No motorized vehicular access or use
  • No alcohol or smoking allowed in natural areas

If you have been issued a citation or summons for violation of a Natural Areas Department rules or regulation in the past you might be denied a permit.  If your activity is not conducive to the Natural Areas Department mission or vision your permit could be denied.  Should your permit be denied please feel free to call our office to inquire (970) 416-2815

Depending on the specifics of the filming, you may need a Special Use permit or Commercial Use permit. 

You will be required to park in an established parking area unless there are specific notations in your permit allows a variation. Permits do not guarantee parking availability.

No. Your permit allows you certain activities not otherwise allowed.  Natural areas will always be open to the public.