Research, Collection, and Field-Course Permit Applications

OSMP issues three types of permits—research, collection and those for field courses—and each has their own unique application form.

Interested in conducting research on OSMP lands?

In an effort to minimize impacts to OSMP resources and to maximize the success of each proposed project, potential investigators must submit a proposal to OSMP staff before the initiation of a project. Proposals will be reviewed and approved projects will be issued permits. This process may take 4-6 weeks, depending on the nature of the proposal. PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY. Please allow extra time for proposal review during the field season (generally April thru September).

We issue three types of permits—research, collection and those for field courses—and each has their own unique application form. Collection requests that are not part of a research project or field course (i.e., native seed collection) need only to submit the collection permit application for staff review. However, in practice, we want nearly all people that are proposing collections to complete a research or field course permit application. The research and field course permit applications gives us much more information than the collection permits, allowing us to evaluate the context and justification for the collections. If you complete a research or field course permit, you do not need to complete a separate collections permit application. If you have any question on which permit to complete, please contact Alycia Alexander via email

OSMP uses a permitting process to help achieve the following goals: 1) to ensure that OSMP plants, animals, visitors, and sensitive habitats are not directly or indirectly impacted by research, 2) to ensure that data and results are made available to staff so that information can be incorporated into management of OSMP lands, and 3) to maximize the success of each project by working directly with researchers to ensure that ongoing management activities or other research projects do not adversely affect their study areas or data collection.

A permit must be obtained in order to collect any specimens or artifacts including cultural, historical, plant, animal, or mineral specimens or related materials on OSMP. Collection permits are typically issued for research purposes only. Collection without a permit is prohibited. Municipal statutes prohibit the collection or damage of natural resources on OSMP, and violations can result in ticketing and fines. The collection permit requirement enables staff to coordinate and track collection activity, and to minimize negative impacts on native plants, wildlife and other natural values. For example, over-collection of native plants or seeds threatens native populations by compromising the viability of local populations and depleting seed banks. Boulder has many rare and sensitive plant species that are protected on OSMP land from off-trail trampling, displacement by noxious weeds, collection and other threats.

Generally speaking, OSMP requires more information on new research than on continuing projects. For continuing research projects in which methods and timeline were approved during the previous year, please contact your staff sponsor before continuing any research activities on OSMP. For new research projects, please follow the guidelines in the application for your proposal format.

Applications are available under Related Links. Please contact the appropriate staff person below if you would like a Microsoft Word application instead of a PDF.

Please view the OSMP Trail Map to confirm if the area you are interested in is managed by OSMP and open to the public (note that Boulder County Parks and Open Space also manages a substantial amount of land and has a separate designation on the map, contact the County for permission to access their properties for research). Please check the Wildlife Closures Overview Map to see if there are any closures in the area.

Two hikes to the Weiser property of White Rocks are available upon request for individual groups each year. To apply for a reserved group hike, submit a request to Curry Rosato at by April 30. If more than two requests come in per year, the recipients will be randomly chosen (assuming none of the groups have already had a dedicated hike within the last 5 years). Confirmation notifications (or wait-listing) will occur in mid-May.

Applications must be submitted electronically. Electronic applications should be directed to:

Alycia Alexander via email at


Note: Researchers are responsible for acquiring all state and federal permits that apply to their work.

**All participants in approved research projects must sign a registration / waiver. A registration / waiver form will be provided along with the permit.