Parkwide Guiding Commercial Use Authorization/Special Use Permit (Programmatic CE)
The Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) is a tool required by the National Park Service to regulate and oversee the commercial use of National Park Service lands, not regulated under a Concessions Management contract. This CUA, also known as a permit, is issued to companies or individuals conducting commercial guiding services in Yosemite National Park. A Special Use Permit (SUP) is used for groups that qualify for an Educational Fee Waiver. Conditions for both types of permits are the same; however a fee waiver cannot be authorized under a Commercial Use Authorization; therefore a Special Use Permit is issued instead. (A wilderness use permit is required for any activity occurring overnight in wilderness.
Permit holders must comply with all wilderness regulations. Activities authorized under the Guiding CUA or SUP include the following:
1. Hiking/Backpacking - Guided day hikes may be conducted along front country and wilderness trails with a maximum group size of 15 people including the guides. Overnight backpacking requires a wilderness use permit and group size may not exceed 15 people including the guide. (May also be issued as an SUP)
2. Winter Nordic activities - These activities include cross country skiing, snow shoeing and snow camping. Snow camping in wilderness is limited to a maximum of 15 people including the guides. Overnight camping at Dewey Point is limited to a group size of 8 people, due to the popular use of the area. (May also be issued as an SUP)
3. Fishing - Guides must have in their possession a California State Guide License and follow all State and Yosemite fishing regulations. Group size is limited to 8 people including the guide as this activity is considered off trail travel.
4. Art/Photography Workshop - Instructor/guides are authorized to offer photography instruction to individuals in areas open to the general public. (May also be issued as an SUP)
5. Step-On guide service - Guides are authorized to provide interpretive guide services for road-based bus tours and private parties tours.
These permits require that the permit holder conduct all advertising, bookings and financial transactions, outside of the park. Guiding service companies/groups are required to obtain a new permit each year prior to conducting trips in Yosemite National Park. The permit will only be issued for a period of one year. In addition permit holders are required to submit an annual report to the Commercial Use Office listing the number of trips made and number of clients guided in the park during the year.
Permit holders are regulated by the terms and conditions of the permit which is administered and managed by the Yosemite National Park Commercial Use Office in conjunction with the Yosemite Wilderness Branch.