Gifford Pinchot National Forest seeks outfitter and guide proposals

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The U.S. Forest Service will begin accepting proposals for new priority outfitter and guide permits for the Gifford Pinchot National Forest beginning Jan. 1 and ending March 1.

Prospective outfitters and guides may submit permit proposals to operate guided tours and other experiences in the forest. Gifford Pinchot will accept up to 20 new outfitter and guide permits this year. There will be a lottery system to determine awards if more than 20 proposals are submitted.

Guided hikes, rides, fishing trips and backcountry camping with a knowledgeable leader are all excellent ways to explore the outdoors and try new activities.

Priority use permits authorize outfitter and guide activity for up to 10 years, based on the holder’s past use and performance and applicable programmatic or project decisions to allocate use. Priority use authorizations are, with some exceptions, subject to renewal. Permit holders are expected to follow established “Leave No Trace” practices.

“Outfitters and guides provide a critical service to the public and help the Forest Service in our mission to connect people to the outdoors,” said Eric Veach, Gifford Pinchot National Forest supervisor in a news release. “We are encouraging outfitters and guides to take part in this opportunity.”

Those interested should contact Gifford Pinchot National Forest staff to discuss potential proposals and allow sufficient time to coordinate with staff and to complete the application.

More information is available online at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/gp/guides.

Proposals for the following areas will not be considered:

• Guiding in Tatoosh, Glacier View, Mount Adams, Indian Heaven or Trapper Creek Wilderness areas

• Climbing Mount St. Helens or Mount Adams

• Any outfitting activities between Crab Creek and Middle Falls on the Lewis River (Forest Road 90)

• Any outfitting activities originating from Packwood Lake Trailhead, Snowgrass Trailhead, Walupt Lake Trailhead, Lily Basin and Lily Basin Stock Trailheads

• Caves besides Guler, Layser and Ape Caves with some possible limitations

For outfitter/guide proposal questions, contact:

• Mount St. Helens Recreation Program Manager Diane Bedell, diane.bedell@usda.gov, 360-869-8211

• Mount Adams Recreation Program Manager David Wickwire, david.wickwire@usda.gov, 509-395-3410;

• Cowlitz Valley Recreation Program Manager Andrea Durham, andrea.durham@usda.gov, 360-497-1173;

• Recreation Special Use Coordinator Brittany Zapata, brittany.zapata@usda.gov, 360-798-7848

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