An event is defined as a single, structured, organized, consolidated, scheduled meeting or occurrence on DNR-managed public land where a fee or donation is required for participation and/or the number of people involved is 20 or more. Please see below for information on when you may need to obtain a permit to use DNR-managed public land for an event.
Alcohol at public events
The sale or furnishing of alcoholic beverages at public events is prohibited unless a special liquor license from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission has been secured, as well as the required event use permit for events on state park land or event use permit for events on state forest or game area land.
Alcohol at private events
For private events at a shelter on DNR-managed lands with a prohibition on alcohol, an alcohol permit for shelter rentals can be issued to the occupant of a reservable department shelter. If the event will expand beyond the shelter, an event use permit will be utilized in place of this form.
To reserve a shelter, visit www.midnrreservations.com. If the shelter is not reservable, please contact the facility where the shelter is located. If the shelter rental is part of a larger event, and goes beyond typical shelter use (such as a bounce house), a use permit from the facility may be necessary.
Fill out an event use permit application. DNR staff will review your application and give it a “level of use score” depending on the impact it will have on staff and the facility where the event will take place. Event fee schedule – depending on the nature of your event we may determine that there is a fee associated with the event.
In addition to registering a tournament on the Michigan Fishing Tournament Information System, a few tournaments may also be required to apply for an event use permit. Please review the criteria for when a fishing tournament may need an event or other use permit. Please contact the facility where the event will occur for questions about whether or not a permit is needed.
If you know your event meets one of the criteria and that it is being held at a DNR managed boating access site, please fill out an event use permit application and submit it to the unit manager.
If your event will take place somewhere other than a state park, boating access site or rail trail, please fill out an event use permit application for state forest land.
State surface land use fee schedule – depending on nature of your event, monitoring fees and use fees may apply. DNR staff will review your application and determine a “level of use score” depending on the impact it will have on staff and the facility.
Wheeled Motorized Activity Notification
Groups whose activities take place on DNR-managed public lands where a fee or donation is required for participation, and/or the number of people involved is 20 or more, are required to notify the department of their group’s activity using the wheeled motorized vehicle activity notification form. This notification is only required for groups with wheeled vehicles (i.e. NOT snowmobiles).
Land Use Permit for Motorized Events (i.e. Group Rides)
Groups whose activities meet the following criteria need to fill out an event use permit application:
- An activity is in contrast with an existing DNR administrative rule or land use order of the director (ie. riding in an area not designated for motorized use).
- An event fee is charged to participants. This does not apply to closed club opportunities or when donations are suggested, but not required to participate in the event.
- The event is not completely located on a designated motorized trail system. State forest roads are not considered designated motorized trails. Approval for events on public lands outside of the designated motorized trail system requires permission from the land administering division of those lands. If the event occurs beyond the boundaries of DNR lands, it is the event organizer’s responsibility to get approvals from other property owners or administrations.
- Non-licensed motorized vehicles are being used.
- DNR oversight is required.
- Natural resources or facilities would be impacted beyond normal recreation use.
- Directional signs and markers will be posted for event.
- The use is proposed for longer than 24 hours.
Note: If you meet the criteria, please feel free to submit an event application in place of the notification form.
Liability insurance: Depending on the nature of your event on any of the above lands, you may need liability insurance as described in this document. Pages 1-3 apply to forest land use permits and pages 2-3 apply to non- forest land use permits.
Performance bond: A performance bond may be required when the event has the potential for significant damage or disruption. The facility will notify you after reviewing your application if this is necessary.
Policies: May be obtained through DNR customer service centers
If you have any questions about the information above, please contact:
Elissa Buck - Event Coordinator
Executive Order 2019-04 prohibits the solicitation and receipt of political contributions in all state government buildings and grounds, including those managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Department of Natural Resources