Commercial Use Authorizations

What is a CUA?

A commercial use authorization (CUA) allows an individual, group, company, or other for-profit entity to conduct commercial activities and provide specific visitor services within a national park unit. Whiskeytown issues CUAs to manage commercial visitor services that can include:

  • Guided fishing or hunting trips

  • Watercraft rentals

  • Photography workshops

  • Kayak and stand-up paddle board trips

  • Instructional classes for activities such as scuba diving, swimming, yoga, etc.

Federal law mandates the NPS issue CUAs only for commercial activities and visitor services that:

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

Why does the National Park Service require CUAs?

The requirement is in 36 CFR 5.3 - It is illegal to conduct business in a park area without a permit, contract, or other written agreement. Additionally, Public Law 105-391 Section 418, passed in 1998, provides NPS the authority to issue CUAs to allow business operations and requires NPS to collect a reasonable fee for CUA administration and management.

Do I need a CUA?

You may not conduct commercial activities in Whiskeytown without a valid CUA!
You need to have a current CUA on file prior to your first trip to the park.
A CUA is required if you provide any goods, activities, services, agreements, or other function for members, clients, or the public that:

  • take place at least in part on lands managed by the National Park Service,
  • use park resources, and
  • result in compensation, monetary gain, benefit, or profit.

Where can I get an application for a CUA?

The administration office at park headquarters keeps paper copies of the application form.
The application is available for download here:
Commercial Use Authorization Application.

How much does a CUA cost?

Application Fee
The $150 application fee is non-refundable and payment is required when you submit the application packet.

Specialized Cost Recovery
Large or complex activities may require a set of cost recovery fees in lieu of a standard management fee. These fees would cover employee time (law enforcement staff, monitors, etc.) and other needs. A bond may also be required.

How long does it take to get a CUA?

CUA Applications are processed in the order in which they are received. In order to be reviewed, a complete application package must be received a minimum of four weeks prior to the start of commercial activities in the park. Applications received within the four-week time frame may be reviewed as time allows, but there is no guarantee that the CUA will be processed within this short time frame.

What am I responsible for after I get a CUA?

All CUA holders in the NPS are required to complete the annual CUA report (NPS Form 10-660) no later than January 31 of each year that your CUA is valid. The form includes questions about the number of visitors who used your services, reportable injuries, and the amount of money that you earned in gross receipts from operations.


Contact the Whiskeytown CUA Coordinator:
Dave Keltner
Phone: (530) 242-3413

Last updated: April 4, 2022

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 188
Whiskeytown , CA 96095


530 242-3400

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