Commercial Use Authorizations (CUA) are issued for all appropriate commercial services conducted by a private person, corporation, or other private entity. Non-profit and educational institutions may also require a permit under this category, depending on the type of service offered. If you'd like to operate a business here, it's likely that you'll need a commercial use authorization. These authorizations establish guidelines for protection of park landscapes and resources.
Changes to the CUA Program
Effective January 2nd, 2021, the following changes will be implemented:
The general CUA application period is January 2nd through May 15th, annually. CUA applications received outside of this timeframe will not be considered for approval.
CUA application packages can be submitted by mail or email.
Application packages can be mailed to:
Isle Royale National Park
Attn: CUA Administrator
800 E Lakeshore Drive
Houghton, MI 49931
Application packages can be emailed to:
Preparing for a CUA Trip
When visiting Isle Royale with a CUA, the following preparations must be made in advance, as soon as possible.
Ranger III Tickets
Make Ranger III reservations as soon as possible every year. Space may not available for last minute reservations. Ranger III availability is not updated in real time, and is subject to change.
When staying overnight in the park, CUA holders are required to have camping permits for parties of 1-6 people, and group camping permits for parties of 7 or more people. Group camping permits must be acquired in advance.
A CUA Annual Report (10-660) must be submitted at the end of each operating season, but no later than January 1st.
Management fees are factored into application fees unless gross receipts indicated on a CUA holder's annual report are greater than $25,000. If so, than management fees are determined using Market Price Method and are billed to the CUA holder annually.
The National Park Service has terms and conditions on all commercial service agreements.The standard and park specific permit conditions are located on pages 4-7 of the application form. Isle Royale National Park has additional park specific operating conditions attached to an issued CUA for each specific activity i.e.: guided photography or guided backpacking/hiking, etc. For a copy of these activity specific conditions prior to applying, please contact the CUA Administrator.
Laws, Regulations, and Policies
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."
Last updated: January 18, 2023