Doing Business With The Park

A float plane on water headed to shore

Commercial visitor services, commercial filming, and commercial photography are authorized in Katmai National Park and Preserve when it is consistent with the protection and public enjoyment of park resources. NPS policy requires that primary consideration be given to safety, potential resource damage, and anticipated disruption of normal visitor use. Applicable regulations can be found on Katmai’s laws and policies page.

What is a Commercial Use Authorization?

A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) is a business permit with the National Park Service that authorizes an individual, group, company, or entity to provide commercial visitor services within a national park area. The National Park Service will only issue CUAs for commercial activities and visitor services that:

  • are determined to be an appropriate use of Katmai;
  • will have minimal impact on Katmai’s resources and values; and
  • are consistent with Katmai’s purpose, management plans, policies, and regulations.

A CUA is required if you, as an individual, organization, or company, provide any goods, activities, services, agreements, or other function for park visitors that:

  • take place at least in part in areas managed by Katmai,
  • use park resources, and
  • result in compensation, monetary gain, benefit, or profit to you.

Businesses and individuals may not conduct commercial activities in the park without a valid CUA or in a manner inconsistent with the stipulations of the CUA.

How do I apply for a Commercial Use Authorization?

With the exception of Denali and Glacier Bay National Parks and Preserves, CUA applications in the Alaska Region are centrally managed. With one form, applicants may apply for all park units in the Region (except Denali and Glacier Bay). Application materials and additional information are available on the NPS Alaska Region website.

Applications are accepted annually between November 1st and April 30th. A fully completed application package including insurance, fee payment, and other required documentation must be received or postmarked by the April 30th deadline.

Completed application packages should be submitted to for review.

Katmai only accepts CUA applications for the commercial activities listed below. Please note that some activities have additional requirements in addition to the National, Regional and Park-Specific Stipulations that apply to all activities within a park unit. Stipulations and conditions may be updated annually. Copies are available on the Region’s website.

  • air taxi
  • water taxi and charter boat
  • guided hiking, backpacking, and mountaineering
  • guided bear viewing
  • big game and incidental hunt transport
  • guided kayaking, paddleboarding, and boating
  • boat rentals: kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddleboards
  • guided photography
  • snorkeling and underwater wildlife photography
  • guided sport fishing
  • guided winter backcountry trips (guided skiing, sledding, snowshoeing)

How much does a Commercial Use Authorization cost?

In addition to the application fee outlined in the Application Instructions on the Regional website, Katmai charges a monitoring fee of $6.00 USD per person, per day (excluding guides) in all areas of the park except for the Brooks Camp Developed Area. At the Brooks Camp Developed Area, the monitoring fee is $14.00 USD per person, per day (excluding guides). If the same client visits both Brooks Camp Developed Area and any other locations in Katmai on the same day with the same CUA holder, only the Brooks Camp Developed Area fee will be collected for those clients. The fee is due November 15th each year.

What are the reporting requirements?

CUA holders must submit an Annual Report and Activity Reports each year by November 15th. Current reporting forms and reporting addresses are available on the Regional website.

Helpful links for commercial users:

  • Commercial Use Authorization Stipulations
    Read up on requirements for businesses that wish to provide commercial services in national parks in Alaska. Some stipulations are common to all parks across Alaska, and other stipulations are specific to certain parks.

Helpful links for visitors:

To assure protection of the parks’ cultural, historic, and natural resources, all commercial filming and commercial photography on NPS lands must be approved through a permitting process. Please visit the commercial filming and photography page for more information.

Last updated: June 8, 2022

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