A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) is a permit that authorizes appropriate commercial services to park area visitors in limited circumstances. The term of a CUA may not exceed two (2) years and no preferential right of renewal or similar provisions for renewal may be provided. The term of a CUA at Buffalo National River is for one year. Commercial Use Authorizations are NOT concessions contracts and are not transferrable. CUAs are intended to provide a simple means to authorize appropriate commercial services to visitors in Park areas. CUAs at Buffalo National River, as a general rule, (1) do not use fixed commercial facilities within a National Park unit, (2) the commercial activity originates and terminates outside the park area, (3) no money changes hands on park lands, and (4) no commercial solicitation occurs on park lands.
Laws, Regulations, and Policies
Important Note: Buffalo National River will be using the new NPS online CUA application and reporting system starting December 2024. The system is designed to standardize, modernize, and streamline the CUA application and reporting process. All National Parks will be using the system by the 2025 CUA season. This will change the CUA application process and CUA fees will be increasing starting December 2024. Check back later for more details.
Buffalo National River offers CUAs for the following activities:
Land based activities are: Firewood Sales, Guided Hiking, and Guided Photography.
Water based activities are: Guided Fishing and Guided Sightseeing via john-boat or drift boat.
CUA Application Procedure
For Water Based Services: Unlike CUAs for land based services, CUAs issued for water based services are valid for two years. However, applications are only accepted between October 1 and November 15 every other year. Please contact the Commercial Services office to inquire when applications will next be accepted.
Requests for a CUA application may be made through park headquarters via telephone, email or letter. The application form may be downloaded from the park website (see above). A completed application and the non-refundable application fee are required before an application can be processed. Park contact information is:
Pay Application Fee
You may pay the non-refundable application fee electronically by visiting Pay.gov. Use the Buffalo National River General Payment Fees Form. Click here to be taken directly to the form. Once there, follow these steps:
Last updated: February 11, 2024