Apostle Islands National Lakeshore opens applications for commercial uses

NPS Headquarters, with the Gaylord Nelson garden in full late summer bloom - Jon Okerstrom photo

September 11, 2023

Bayfield, WI – (National Park Service News Release) Apostle Islands National Lakeshore will soon open the application process for Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs) for the 2024-25 operating seasons. Beginning October 2, 2023, application forms and instructions may be downloaded from the park website at: https://go.nps.gov/APIS_CUA_2024 or an application packet may be requested by calling park headquarters at (715) 779-9103. The application period will run from October 2 through November 30, 2023. The deadline for submitting a completed CUA application with all supporting documentation is 4 pm CST, November 30, 2023. Applications delivered or postmarked after this deadline will not be accepted.

“The Commercial Use Authorization is a permitting tool used by the National Park Service (NPS) to authorize short-term business activities within park boundaries,” explains Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Superintendent Lynne Dominy. “Any business or non-profit (e.g., University program and camps) wanting to operate commercially within the park must obtain a CUA and have an operating plan that demonstrates their ability to meet NPS professional and safety standards for serving park visitors without damaging the park’s natural and cultural resources.”

Meyers Beach Kayakers

Paddlers take a guided tour of the mainland caves – Jon Okerstrom photo

The NPS’s commitment to visitor safety is reflected in the Guide Classification Criteria for Guided Kayak Tours in the park. The Guide Classification Criteria requires all kayaking guides to pass a skill assessment conducted and certified by a Senior Lead Guide/Instructor with extensive paddling and outdoor leadership experience and a Level 4 Open Water Coastal Kayaking Instructor or Level 3 Coastal Kayaking Instructor Trainer certification from the American Canoe Association (or equivalent certification from a reputable credentialing organization.)

All companies interested in applying for a CUA are encouraged to visit the park website at: https://go.nps.gov/APIS_CUA_2024. Additional questions may be directed to: apis_commercial_services@nps.gov.

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