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Commercial Use Authorizations

A commercial use authorization (CUA) is a permit that authorizes suitable commercial services to park area visitors in limited circumstances as stated in Public Law 105-391, Section 418 (54 USC 101925) and 36 CFR 5 Commercial Operations.

Commercial operations are allowed within Kathadin Woods and Waters National Monument (KAWW) so long as they provide an appropriate visitor service and are authorized by the park through a CUA.

Download a copy of the CUA Application.
Learn more about CUAs below.

Frequntly Asked Questions

What is the reason for issuing an authorization for commercial entities to operate within the boundaries of a unit of the National Park System?
They provide a business service to our visitors in a manner consistent to the highest practicable degree with the mission of the National Park Service; including the preservation and conservation of park resources and values as set forth by the conditions that are attached to the permit.

What authority does the National Park Service have to issue authorizations to commercial entities operating on the river and to charge associated fees?
Public Law 105-391 Sec. 418 provides the authority for units of the National Park System to issue commercial use authorizations to a private person, corporation, or other entity to provide services to visitors. Under Public Law 105-391, the NPS shall:
  • Require payment of a reasonable fee for issuance of an authorization under this section, such fees to remain available without further appropriation to be used, at a minimum, to recover associated management and administrative costs;
  • Require that the provision of services under such an authorization be accomplished in a manner consistent to the highest practicable degree with the preservation and conservation of park resources and values;
  • Take appropriate steps to limit the liability of the United States arising from the provision of services under such an authorization; and
  • Have no authority under this section to issue more authorizations than are consistent with the preservation and proper management of park resources and values, and shall establish such other conditions for issuance of such an authorization as the Secretary determines appropriate for the protection of visitors, provision of adequate and appropriate visitor services, and protection and proper management of the resources and values of the park.
Does the CUA authorize activities on land or just on the river?
The CUA is issued to authorize activities on both land and waters within the jurisdiction of KAWW.

What is the maximum term/cycle of a commercial use authorization?
By law, the maximum term/cycle for this authorization is two years in length and then CUA holders must submit a new application. There is no preferential right of renewal.

What types of fees are charged to businesses that hold a commercial use authorization?
Three fees are charged as part of the issuance of a commercial use authorization at KAWW. Administrative and management costs are recovered through application fees, administrative fees, and monitoring fees. Application and administrative fees cover costs associated with staff time and supplies to process applications and checks, conduct mailings, address inquiries, process permits, provide regular communications (e.g. meetings, email, phone calls, etc.) with CUA holders and other administrative activities. Monitoring fees cover staff time and supplies required to track and monitor compliance of CUA holders with the requirements and conditions of their permits.

What are the conditions of a permit to provide commercial services to park visitors?
Beyond paying a fee, CUA holder must provide proof of general liability insurance at least in the amount of $500,000 naming the United States of America as additional insured, provide annually visitor statistics and gross income while doing business in the park, along with other conditions of a permit will be included that best manage the activity and protect park resources.

May holders of a valid CUA collect money from park visitors within the park?
Yes, however, per Public Law 105-391 Sec. 418, a holder of a CUA that collects money within the park may not gross over $25,000 annually. Therefore, it is encouraged that all financial transactions between CUA holder and park visitor take place before entering the park.

Last updated: June 19, 2017

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