Acknowledgement of Risk Policy

kayakers and white water rafting on a river
Canyon Expeditions on the Colorado River, Grand Canyon National Park

NPS Photo

National Park Service (NPS) policy allows concessioners and CUA holders providing required/authorized services to warn or advise visitors of the risks associated with a certain activity or event, but does not allow operators to have visitors sign a waiver of liability statement, insurance disclaimer and/or indemnification agreement. These forms are most often found in outfitter and guide type activities, or equipment rental operations, but are not limited to activity-based concession contracts.

The acknowledgement of risk, which is permitted, in effect allows visitors to assume responsibility for their own negligence which may result in bodily injury, death, or loss of personal property. In addition, it describes the inherent risks of the activity, and warns visitors of those risks. The waiver of liability, insurance disclaimer and/or indemnification agreement, which is not permitted, states that the visitor releases the operator from all responsibility in the event of visitor bodily injury, death, or loss of personal property, often regardless of whether the operator was negligent. NPS policy states that operators cannot require visitors to waive their right to hold concessioners, CUA holders or the government responsible for actions.

Last updated: August 10, 2018