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Commercial Use Authorizations
What is a Commercial Use Authorization?
A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) is a business permit with the National Park Service. It authorizes you to conduct commercial activities and to provide specific visitor services within a national park. We will only issue CUAs for activities that:
You must have a CUA if you or your organization provide services that:
You may not conduct commercial activities in the park without a valid CUA or in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the CUA. You must carry a complete copy of your Commercial Use Authorization with you at all times while operating in the park. Show the CUA at the entrance station fee booth.
Arches and Canyonlands national parks authorize the following commercial services with an approved Commercial Use Authorization (CUA). CUAs are issued for both parks. You must have a separate CUA for each individual service:
Road-based Commercial Tours
Non-road-based Commercial Activities
How much does a CUA cost?
The annual processing fee is $300 per CUA. For example, if you apply for a Tours & Transportation CUA and a Still Photography Instruction CUA, you will submit $600 with your application. The fee is non-refundable, so please read the conditions (use links above) for the commercial service(s) you intend to offer before submitting your application package.
This fee covers the processing and administering of your CUA. It includes costs for overseeing the operational, safety, and environmental requirements stipulated in the permit. Up to two hours of incidental monitoring by field rangers is included in this fee. If problems should arise during your time in the park, which requires additional monitoring by ranger staff, you will be billed for those costs.
The CUA fees are determined by a cost analysis in compliance with the 2005 Interim Guidelines for CUAs. This guidance authorizes the National Park Service to recover, at a minimum, associated management and administrative costs associated with CUAs.
Do CUA holders have to pay an entrance fee?
Yes. Fees depend on the type of service you offer.
Tours & Transportation CUA holders:
Entrance fees (per vehicle):
Guided Interpretive Day Hike CUA holders
How do I apply for a CUA?
Applications must be received by March 15, 2017.
Incomplete packages cannot be processed.
How long does it take to get a CUA?
Please allow 15 working days to process a CUA application. We review applications in the order they are received.
What are the reporting requirements?
CUA holders must submit an annual report each year. This report is due at the end of season. This report provides the park with visitation statistics, reportable injury data, and a record of annual gross receipts.
Changes for the 2018 Season
To standardize the CUA permitting and fee process in the 2018 operating season (beginning January 1, 2018), all CUAs will be park specific. For example, if you want to conduct still photography instruction in 2018 at Canyonlands and Arches national parks, you must submit an application for each park.
You will be able to send in one application for multiple activities in any one of the four parks in the Southeast Utah Group (Arches, Canyonlands, Hovenweep, and Natural Bridges). For example, if you want to conduct both tours and transportation and still photography instruction at Arches National Park, you only need to submit one CUA application for that park.
To standardize the CUA permitting and fee process in the 2018 operating season, all CUAs for Commercial Tours and Transportation will have a fee increase. Based on servicewide analysis of required cost recovery, the appropriate annual application fee is $700 per Commercial Tours and Transportation CUA. This is a servicewide change.
Still Photography Instruction, Guided Interpretive Day Hiking, and Backpacking CUAs will remain $300 for the 2018 operating season.
Last updated: June 19, 2017