Skip to main content

Use of State Land for Events

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 and Events

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.

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.

At a Shelter

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.

At a Park, Recreation Area, Boating Access Site, or Rail Trail

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.

Fishing Tournaments and Land Use Permits

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.  

On a Water Body

Fill out a marine event application. An event use permit may also be needed. Please contact the facility where the event will occur for more information.

On State Forest Land or State Game Area

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.

event permit icon

Motorized Events (ie. Group Rides)

Wheeled motorized activity notification

Groups whose activities take place on DNR-managed public lands and require a participation fee or donation, and/or involve 20 or more people, are required to notify the department using the wheeled motorized vehicle activity notification form. This notification is only required for groups with wheeled vehicles (i.e. NOT snowmobiles). The information provided in this form helps DNR staff determine if a land use permit is needed.

Land use permit

Some groups may also need a land use permit. Please review the criteria for when a land use permit may be needed. If you know that your event meets one of the criteria, you may fill out an event use permit application and submit it to the appropriate trails specialist in place of the wheeled motorized vehicle activity notification form.

The department retains the right to deny use of specific areas or sections of trail, or to modify any request, to reduce user conflicts or resource impacts including instances where a permit may not be required.

Additional information

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

Adding your event to the DNR calendar: If you would like us to add your event to our calendar, please complete an event calendar form.


Contact information:
If you have any questions about the information above, please contact:

Elissa Buck - Event Coordinator
989-313-0000


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.