Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs)

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The National Park Service requires specific authorizations for commercial businesses to operate in national parks, usually in the form of a Commercial Use Authorization.

What is a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA)?

Public Law 105-391, Section 418, which was signed in 1998, provides for the issuance of Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs) to a private person, corporation, or other entity to provide suitable commercial services for park area visitors. Commercial activities are generally prohibited in National Parks unless authorized by a CUA or concessions contract.

What Activities are Authorized in Yellowstone Through a CUA?

 
Two people take photographs of a bear using zoom lenses.

Activity-based CUAs

These include biking, environmental education, boating, skiing and snowshoeing, overnight backcountry, art workshops, and fishing.

A group of people walk across a parking lot in front of a bus.

Road-based Commercial Tours

Traveling by vehicle on an itinerary that someone has packaged and sold for leisure purposes and provide no other services.

Cars and trucks line both sides of the road, created congestion on the road.

Service-based CUAs

These include towing, RV repair, locksmith, water access, and wedding and portrait photography.

 

Remember, effective April 1, 2020, a Commercial Use Authorization is required for all Road-based Commercial Tours entering Yellowstone National Park. Conditions and fees are subject to change prior to January 1, 2020.

Application Process, Insurance, and Forms

 
A lone angler casts a line into a flowing stream.

Application Process and Insurance Needs

Here is everything you need to know about submitting a CUA application, including insurance requirements.

 

Resources

 
A group of visitors wearing helmets and riding horses across a field.

Resources for Commercial Guides

Download or review resources for anyone who may routinely work with visitors to Yellowstone National Park.

Sign stating that people in the area and expressing their own opinions.

Assembly and First Amendment Activities

Certain types of activities require a special use permit.

A videographer looks through his viewfinder of the video camera to frame a scene.

Film, Photography, and Sound Recording

A permit is required for commercial filming, photography, and audio recording.

Last updated: October 8, 2019

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

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