Hiking Permits for State Forest Lands

Last May the DEC adopted new land use regulations, including section 190.8(cc) which prohibits participation in any organized event of more than 20 people without a DEC permit. “Sponsored hikes” are in the list of examples of “organized events.”

Unfortunately, the DEC did not enact a permit process for the new regulation, and thus it imposed the existing Temporary Revocable Permit process on requests for such permits, using [URL=”http://practicaloutdoors.com/files/DECPermit.pdf”]form 81-19-5 (2/04)[/URL].

That process has several road blocks for groups seeking such permits. First, it requires proof of insurance with general liability limits of 100,000/300,000. Second, it has to be approved by the local forester, then the region, and then Albany.

However, in the works is a change to the permit process that will eliminate the insurance requirement and allow approval at the local level for activities of less than 50 people.

The anticipated draft of the new regs is under review in Albany, and a proposed regulation should be out in a couple months for a public comment period.