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Natural Areas

 Contact Information

  •   8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (M-F, except for holidays)

Natural Areas Permits

By applying for a permit you help the Natural Areas Department track activities in natural areas to manage impacts, increase safety and avoid conflicts. Permit applications are reviewed and considered based on impacts to the natural area, agricultural and cultural resources, habitat and visitor experience. Please take the time to read the information below carefully to determine the type of permit you will need.


Special Use Permits

A Special Use Permit is required for a variety of activities that would normally violate a natural area, county or state regulation. The Natural Areas Department may permit activities that allow for a safe and enjoyable experience while minimizing impacts to natural resources and visitors.

The following types of activities are not allowed without a special use permit:

  • Any event or activity that violates a municipal, county or state law
  • Groups of 15 or more persons
  • Organized educational activities for groups of 15 or more, not organized through Natural Areas' Education Program
  • Off-trail use at natural areas where on-trail use is required
  • Organized group athletic training exercises
  • Research, data collection, and field work (these types of special use permits are reviewed twice a year, deadlines are February 4, and September 3, 2019).

Important Permit Requirements

Permit applicants must include specific access points, specific trail usage details, specific location of activity and full description (including dates and times) of activity. Applications will not be reviewed until above information is submitted. Omission of required info may result in longer review time.

It is your responsibility to know and obey the regulations of the areas you visit.

Please allow fifteen (15) business days for application review and processing.

Special Use Permit applications for research are reviewed twice a year, deadlines are February 4 and September 3.

Apply for a Special Use Permit


Commercial Use Permits

A Commercial Use Permit is required for commercial use activities on City of Fort Collins Natural Areas or facilities for which fees or donations are charged to a third party by an entity other than the City, such as:

  • Guided activities
  • Events
  • Commercial filming

Once we receive your application we may contact you to review the application, conditions and arrange payment. A non-refundable $50 processing fee is required for all approved Commercial Use Permits.

Please allow fifteen (15) business days for application review and processing (pending code change).

Apply for Commercial Permit