Commercial Use Authorizations

A kayaker's view of mountains reflecting in a calm turquoise lake
Guided kayaking and boating trips are provided by Commercial Use Authorization holders

NPS Photo / J. Mills


Learn and Explore

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 conduct commercial activities and provide specific 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 Lake Clark;
  • will have minimal impact on Lake Clark’s resources and values; and
  • are consistent with Lake Clark'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 members, clients, or the public that:

  • take place at least in part in Lake Clark,
  • use park resources, and
  • result in compensation, monetary gain, benefit, or profit.

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

A small plane on a coastal mud flat
Commercial air taxis provide services throughout the park

NPS Photo / W. Hill

How do I apply for a Commercial Use Authorization?

With the exception of Denali, CUA applications in the Alaska Region are centrally managed. With one form, applicants may apply for all park units in the Region (except Denali). 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.

Lake Clark 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
  • 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, Lake Clark charges a management fee of $6.00 USD per person, per day (excluding guides). 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.


Last updated: December 6, 2017

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