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Yellowstone seeks comments on revised Commercial Use Authorization plans

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Commercial use

Commercial Use Authorization plans are being updated by Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park’s staff is taking comments on revisions to its Commercial Use Authorization and service-related operating plans that will guide commercial services in the park for the next five years.

The rules were last updated in 2013.

More than 400 Commercial Use Authorizations, held by approximately 270 CUA holders, currently operate in the park with annual gross receipts of approximately $10 million, the park noted. These authorizations are not concessions contracts.

These revisions would improve the CUA program's consistency with federal laws, policies and guidelines, and accommodate changing visitor needs and interests, the Park Service said in a news release. The park would begin operating under this new plan beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

The revised plans would affect existing and potential CUA holders, and includes the following updates:

• Activity-based CUAs: Bicycling Tours, Environmental Education Tours, Skiing/Snowshoeing, Motorized Boating, Non-Motorized Boating, Overnight Backcountry Trips, Painting and Photography Workshops, Stream and Shoreline Fishing, Road-Based Transportation (groups 1-25), Wedding and Portrait Photography and Single-session Wedding and Portrait Photography.

• Service-based CUAs: Towing and Automotive Services (RV and RV appliance repair, tire repair, locksmith) and Water Access (specific to the Yellowstone River in Gardiner).

• CUA applications are accepted year-round. Applications may be submitted any time during the current operating year of Jan. 1-Dec. 31 (the previous application period was Oct. 1-March 1). Applications for the following operating year will be accepted beginning Oct.1 of the current year.

• CUA permit application fees cost $300 annually for each activity-based CUA requested (remains unchanged), $150 every two years for a service-based CUA and $100 per single-session Wedding and Portrait Photography CUA.

• Management fees remain unchanged and include 3%, 4% or 5% of annual gross receipts. Additional fees are not required for service-based or single-session Wedding and Portrait Photography CUAs.

Comments must be received by Nov. 23. Comments may be submitted online at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/YELLCUA or by mail. Comments will not be accepted by fax, email or other means. Mail comments to: Compliance Office, Attention: CUA Plan Revisions, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.

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