News Release

Isle Royale National Park to begin using online commercial use application and management system

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Date: December 1, 2023
Contact: CUA Coordinator, 906-275-9617

HOUGHTON, MICH – As part of a larger effort to streamline and modernize the National Park Service (NPS) Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) Program, Isle Royale National Park is launching an online system to process CUA applications and collect required CUA reports. 

CUAs are a required permitting tool used by the NPS to allow private business to be conducted within a national park by companies in the United States as well as from around the world. The type of service provided by a CUA holder must be considered appropriate by the NPS, such as chartered fishing trips and various types of guiding services. Operators are held to specific standards to assure client safety and the protection of cultural and natural resources.

Isle Royale National Park is participating in the initial system roll-out for the 2024 CUA season and will accept CUA applications through the online system from February 1 – February 29, 2024. Future application periods will take place every two years between November 1 and December 1, with water-based operators renewing on even years and land-based operators renewing on odd years. 

As they become available, a link to the website and instructional video will be added to the park website, Commercial Use Authorizations - Isle Royale National Park

For the 2024 CUA season, Isle Royale National Park will only accept applications for seaplane and water-based CUAs. New land-based CUAs will be accepted during the 2025 thirty-day application period that begins on November 1, 2024. In 2024 only, existing land-based CUA holders will be eligible for one-year midcycle permits at a reduced rate of $350 to meet the updated renewal schedule. 

Other program changes that will begin for the 2024 season include:

  • The application fee for a two-year CUA will be reduced from $600 to $500. 
  • The application fee for a one-year Seaplane CUA will be $350.
  • Annual management fees will no longer include gross revenue deductions for in-park purchases (e.g., transportation and lodging). 
  • CUAs involving motorized vessels and sailboats will be required to obtain general liability insurance in the amount of at least two million dollars ($2,000,000 USD). 

For the 2025 CUA season, the standard CUA application fees will be consistent across all national parks. These fees will consist of a base rate for the first application and a moderately reduced rate for each subsequent application from the same applicant to the same park. Application fees will be collected through the system upon submitting the application.   

Email for questions concerning the CUA Program.


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Last updated: January 11, 2024

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