A bill was recently introduced in Congress to improve and reduce the costs of issuing permits for guide and outfitter operations on the National Forests and BLM lands. Entitled “Guides and Outfitters Act” or the “GO Act,” among other things, the proposed legislation reduces the time and cost of issuing new permits by not requiring environmental analyses for activities which were considered under prior analyses, are similar to existing uses or are not inconsistent with approved uses. The bill would also allow for joint permits that would apply to both Forest Service and BLM lands. In addition, the bill would provide for deductions from fees by excluding revenues for related services provided outside of federal lands and fees paid to other federal agencies. The proposed legislation also states that no fee shall exceed 3% of gross revenues for activities on federal lands. In addition, the bill requires that, when agencies are adjusting priority use allocations, they allocate the amount of highest use over the reviewed period plus an additional 25%, not to exceed the original use amount.
The bill is making its way through the laborious legislative process, and at this point has been referred to the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry.