Commercial Use Authorizations

The National Park Service must determine what types of commercial activities are necessary and appropriate at Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area. All commercial activities must operate in a manner that is consistent with the mission of the park and the National Park Service. That is to say, all commercial activities operating within the park should provide high quality visitor experiences while protecting important natural, cultural, and scenic resources.

Operating any type of commercial visitor service within Big South Fork without written authorization from the United States is a violation of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations. It is a citable offense. If you are in doubt, please contact the park, either by mail, telephone, or in person.


What is a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA)?

36 CFR Section 5.3 states, “Engaging in or soliciting any business in park areas, except in accordance with the provisions of a permit, contract, or other written agreement with the United States, except as specifically authorized under special regulations applicable to a park area, is prohibited.”

CUAs, a type of permit, fall under the authority of Section 418 of the National Park Service Concession Management Improvement Act of 1998 (16 U.S.C 5966 Public Law 105-81). The section authorizes the National Park Service to issue CUAs to individuals, corporations, and other entities to provide commercial services to park visitors in limited circumstances.

What commercial activities are authorized at Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area?

All commercial activity in the park must be permitted by the National Park Service. Learn which activities are currently authorized for a CUA at Big South Fork NRRA.

What are the general criteria for the issuance of a CUA?

The authorization is issued to a qualified operator to permit the provision of appropriate commercial services to park area visitors. A qualified operator is an organization that the superintendent determines has the ability to satisfactorily provide visitor services and carry out the terms of the CUA.

Authorized commercial services must:
  • Have minimal impact on park area’s resources and values;
  • Are consistent with the purpose for which the park area was established;
  • Are consistent with all applicable park area management plans, policies, and regulations.
The holder must agree to comply with all of the general and specific conditions described in the CUA conditions. You should familiarize yourself with these documents before applying for a CUA.

When can I Apply for a Commercial Use Authorization?

A commercial operation that plans to conduct business inside the park throughout the year must submit their application between January 1 and March 31, annually. Applications received outside this time period will not be considered.

This schedule may change at any time, if the number or complexity of applications calls for a different schedule, or if the park is not prepared to manage a particular type of commercial visitor service.

Applications for one-time business operations or special event vendors will be accepted year-round.


More Information

How to Apply for a Commercial Use Authorization
Frequently Asked Questions
Big South Fork NRRA Commercial Services Plan
NPS Commercial Services Website

If you have questions related to commercial visitor services within the park click here to email.

Last updated: February 19, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

4564 Leatherwood Road
Oneida, TN 37841


(423) 569-9778

Contact Us