Commercial Use Authorizations

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA)?
A Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) is an authorization/permit to provide appropriate commercial services to park visitors as provided in Public Law 105-391, Section 418 (54 USC 101925) and required by 36 CFR 5 Commercial Operations.

Why do we issue a Commercial Use Authorizations?
Any commercial service provided in a National Park area is required to have an authorization/permit.They provide a service or activity 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. The activities or services include liveries, guided river trips, guided fishing, and diving schools, but also include organized children's camps, outdoor clubs, non-profit institutions, and such other uses as the Secretary of the Interior deems appropriate

Are there restrictions on what type of businesses can be issued CUA's?
Yes, Commercial Use Authorizations may only be issued to authorize services that:

  • Are determined to be an appropriate use of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River (S&RR), such as: fishing guides, river trip guides, canoe/raft/tube liveries, diving schools, organized children's camps (that own their own canoes and make trips on the river);
  • Will have minimal impact on park resources and values, and on private land owners;
  • Are consistent with the purpose for which the Upper Delaware S&RR was established, as well as the River Management Plan and park policies and regulations.

What are the requirements of a Commercial Use Authorization and do they apply to all CUAs regardless of the type of activity?

  • All CUAs are required to carry Commercial General Liability insurance.The insurance must name the United States of America as additionally insured.
  • All CUAs must comply with all State and/or local laws and regulations, including any permits or licenses necessary to conduct the business activity.
  • All CUAs are required to pay the federal minimum wage in accordance with Executive Order 13658.
  • All CUAs are required to report revenue and visitation statistics annually.
  • Other conditions may vary according to the type of commercial activity or service they provide.They are clearly defined in the application process.Some examples are:
    • Boating activities require that visitors be issued a US Coast Guard approved personal flotation device/life jacket properly sized for each visitor;
    • All CUAs are required to provide a river safety orientation to all visitors before starting;
    • All CUAs must inform client that trespass on private land may result in arrest or fine;
    • All CUAs encourage an environmental awareness by informing their clients that litter bags must be tied into vessels (boats, canoes, kayaks, etc.) and only non-glass containers are permitted.

Does the CUA authorize activities on land or just on the river?
The CUA is issued to authorize activities only on the river, to the ordinary high water mark along the Delaware River within the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.

What is the maximum term/cycle of an authorization?
By law, the maximum term/cycle for this authorization is two years in length. No right of renewal is associated with Commercial Use Authorizations.Every cycle is a new authorization and application fees apply.

What are the current fees involved?
The National Park Service is required to charge an authorization fee to recover associated management and administrative costs. The overall fee structure is as follows:

Application Fee: (Non-refundable and Due with the Application $150.00
Administrative Fee $200.00

Monitoring fees based on customer counts:

Level I 0-500 $100.00
Level II 501-12,000 $300.00
Level III 12,001 and Up $900.00
Fishing Guide Boat Decals (5) Fishing Guides Only $25.00

How do I apply for a Commercial Use Authorization?
Please contact the CUA Coordinator listed below to apply. If you request an authorization via email please include your name, business name, address, phone number and website (if you have one).The coordinator will contact you and forward an application packet.If you have any other questions prior to applying, please contact the CUA coordinator.

For more information on Fishing Guides go to the
Frequently Asked Questions.

Bonnie K. Sheard
CUA Coordinator
570-729-8251, ext 2221
Email Address

National Park Service
Upper Delaware S&RR
274 River Road
Beach Lake, PA 18405-4046

Last updated: June 13, 2018

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274 River Road
Beach Lake, PA 18405


(570) 685-4871

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