Commercial Use Authorizations

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
CUA Law and Policy
Laws, Policies & Regulations
Buffalo National River Superintendent's Compendium
RM83A Public Health and Prevention, Ch. 5 Backcountry Operations
(The Backcountry Operations manual is located on Page 104 of the linked PDF document)

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:
CUAs at Buffalo National River fall into one of two categories: Land Based Activities and Water Based 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 Conditions:
The National Park Service has terms and conditions on all commercial service agreements.The standard conditions found in all CUAs are located on pages 2 & 3 of the application instructions. Buffalo National River also has park specific operating conditions attached as an Appendix to the CUA. The Appendix is the park specific conditions for the specific activity ie: guided photography. For a copy of the park specific conditions for the activity you are interested in applying for a Commercial Use Authorization please contact the Commercial Services Office at 870-365-2702 or 870-365-2724.


CUA Reports
As a condition of the CUA, the permittee is required to submit monthly activity reports and an annual gross receipt report. A copy of these reports can be requested from the Commercial Services Office.


CUA Application Procedure
For Land Based Services: CUAs issued for land based services are valid for one year. Applications are accepted at any time during the year. Please allow at least 30 days for processing.

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:

Commercial Services

Telephone: 870-365-2724

Buffalo National River

402 N. Walnut St., Suite 136


Harrison, AR 72601

Email: e-mail us

Pay Application Fee

You may pay the non-refundable application fee electronically by visiting Use the Buffalo National River General Payment Fees Form. Click here to be taken directly to the form. Once there, follow these steps:

  • Click Continue to the Form
  • Fill out all the fields in the Permittee Information section.
  • Check the box for Commercial Use Authorization.
  • Check the box for Application Fee and enter $100 in the Application Fee Amount field that pops up.
  • Click the Continue text to enter your payment information and finalize the transaction.
  • You will receive a confirmation email form retain this for your records.

Applications will be returned to the applicant if submitted incomplete.

Last updated: February 11, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

402 N. Walnut Street
Suite 136

Harrison, AR 72601


870 439-2502

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