Ensuring High Quality Visitor Services

Concessioners fill a vital role with helping the National Park Service (NPS) carry out its mission. Private companies work with the NPS to offer necessary and appropriate services to park visitors that parks do not provide directly. By welcoming the private sector as a partner in park operations, the NPS broadens the economic base of the region and the communities surrounding parks. The Commercial Services Program administers nearly 500 concession contracts that, in total, gross over $1 billion annually. NPS concessioners employ more than 25,000 people in a variety of jobs during peak seasons, providing services ranging from food and lodging, to whitewater rafting adventures, motor coach tours and others.

Leasing/concession management/CUA management are part of the NPS Commercial Services Program.


Also visit the Commercial Service Program News Feed and Greenline News Update.

Environmental Achievement Awards

The Department of the Interior (DOI) is accepting nominations for the 2023 Environmental Achievement Awards (EAAs). The DOI EAAs offer an opportunity to recognize concessioners who demonstrate exceptional accomplishments toward preserving and protecting the resources under our stewardship. DOI EAA project information sheets must be submitted to the park in order for them to review the nomination and upload it to the NPS Commercial Services Office before May 7, 2024

The DOI EAAs offer an opportunity to recognize concessioners for their efforts during Fiscal Year 2023 in one of the following areas:

  • Environmental Justice
  • Environmental Remediation and Restoration
  • Environmental Conservation Stewardship
  • Climate Champion
  • Greening the Fleet
  • Sustainable Innovation

Concessioners may download the EAA Project Information Sheet to fill out and submit to their park Commercial Services point of contact. The park will review the project information for accuracy, obtain superintendent concurrence and submit the nomination to NPS Commercial Services who will do a final review before forwarding to the Bureau's Award Coordinator for submission to the DOI.

We look forward to concessioner nominations for all the great work they are doing.

2024 Concession Rate Administration Guide Addendum

The Department of the Interior (DOI) has revised the regulations at Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 51—Concession Contracts, pursuant to a final rule published in the Federal Register on December 29, 2023, that took effect on January 29, 2024. The NPS has issued the “NPS Concessions Management Rate Administration Guide Addendum,” which provides guidance regarding the changes to rate administration found at 36 CFR § 51.82. The Addendum can be viewed by clicking here. 

National Park Foundation Request for Proposals

The WASO Commercial Services Program, in collaboration with the National Park Foundation (NPF) and WASO Sustainable Operations and Maintenance Branch, is excited to share the NPF's Request for Proposals for a new Plastics Reduction and Circularity Grant to reduce plastic waste in national parks. The request seeks proposals that represent commitment and collaboration between a park, its concessioner(s) or commercial use authorization holder(s) and/or one or more organization(s) from the park’s gateway community to improve lifecycle management of products, with an emphasis on source reduction of plastics, used in and around National Parks and their gateway communities.

The goal is to foster innovative approaches to plastics reduction and recycling from within parks, communities, and commercial operations that will lead to enduring change in national parks and beyond.

Please see the Request for Proposals for more information about this opportunity and how to apply.

Applications are due no later than Thursday, May 2, 2024 at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time

Single Use Plastic Elimination Timeline and Goals

Department of the Interior Secretarial Order 3407, Department-Wide Approach to Reducing Plastic Pollution, sets the target of eliminating single use plastics from the Department by 2032. Concessioners can find the full text of SO 3407 here: https://www.doi.gov/reducing-single-use-plastic-pollution
Required Targets Source Year
Elimination of All Single Use Plastics Department of the Interior Secretarial Order 3047 2032
Diverting 50% of all non-hazardous solid waste, including construction/demolition, food, and other waste. SaveOur Seas 2.0 Act (Public Law116–224) 2025
Diverting 75% of all non-hazardous solid waste, including construction/demolition, food, and other waste. SaveOur Seas 2.0 Act (Public Law 116–224) 2030

Concessioners should work toward 2032 as the finish line in full elimination of single use plastics from park operations. The following Department of Interior and NPS targets for reduction in specific types of plastics serve as a roadmap of incremental changes to enact full elimination of plastics by the 2032 deadline. While these targets are not mandatory at this time, the NPS is being asked to report on progress toward these targets (including concessioner progress).
Interim Progress Goals Target Year for  Implementation
All sites have water bottle filling stations 2027
All sites provide messaging promoting plastic reduction 2026
Eliminate Disposable Plastic Bags 2026
Eliminate Plastic Straws 2026
50% of Facilities Eliminate Plastic Beverage Containers 2025
50% of Facilities Eliminate Plastic Food Containers 2026
50% of Facilities Eliminate Plastic Cups 2026
50% of Facilities Eliminate Plastic Cutlery 2026

Changes to Annual Overall Rating Scoring Methodology

The NPS Commercial Services Program will be updating the AOR scoring methodology to incorporate the cumulative impact on the annual overall rating of multiple program areas that score less than satisfactory. The new scoring methodology will be used starting January 1, 2024, which means it will be reflected in the 2024 AORs but will not affect the 2023 AORs. Any 2023 winter season contracts that start after the issuance of this memo [Annual Overall Rating Scoring Methodology Changes] will be evaluated using the new methodology for the 2023-24 season.

NPS Plastics Elimination and Reduction Plan

The NPS Plastics Elimination and Reduction Plan was published September 28, 2023, and is available at Buy Green & Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Sustainability.

National Park Service Adoption of International Fire Code over the former adherence to National Fire Protection Association Codes

The NPS has adopted the International Fire Code (IFC), the International Wildland-Urban Interface Code (IWUIC), the complete International Code Council (ICC) family of codes (I-Codes), and the National Electrical Code (NEC, NFPA 70, published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). As such, these codes replace the NFPA codes as the “applicable law” that concessioners must adhere to. Please see the attached Technical Bulletin Memorandum from the Commercial Services Program for more information. The memo can be found under the Risk Management & Insurance section under the Commercial Services Program’s website Laws, Regulation, and Policy section.

Concessioner Solid Waste Data Collection

In conjunction with the Green Parks Plan, the recent focus on solid waste minimization, and efforts to reduce single-use plastics, DOI now requires the NPS to include concession solid waste amounts in its annual solid waste reporting.

In 2024, concessioners with Category I or II concession contracts will be required to use the Concessioner Waste Data Collection tool to report solid waste. Concessioners are requested to use the new NPS tool and provide feedback in 2023.

Details are provided in the attached memo and the draft solid waste data collection form, which can be found under the Other Environmental Management Tools section of the Environmental Management webpage.

Guidance on Labor Practices under National Park Service Concession Contracts

The NPS recently issued guidance and more recently an addendum affirming the importance of NPS concessioner compliance with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and laws enforced by the Department of Labor. NPS also provided a news item on recent updates to posters on employee rights under the NLRA that are available for download and printing.

Update on implementation of EO 14026

To ensure compliance with an applicable nationwide injunction pending appeal, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the NPS will take no action to implement or enforce the implementing regulations for Executive Order 14026 of April 27, 2021, (Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors), codified at 29 C.F.R. part 23, in the context of seasonal recreational services or seasonal recreational equipment rental for the general public on federal lands provided under NPS concession contracts, commercial use authorizations, and commercial leases. This includes those contracts, CUAs and leases that we issued following issuance of the EO and before the injunction or otherwise contain a clause regarding EO 14026 compliance.

Public Health Information for Park Partners

UPDATE: Click here for the latest commercial services-specific COVID-19 policies and procedures. (July 2023)


Here is information to get you started if you want to be a NPS concessioner and tools to help the authorized concessioner:

People rafting on a river

View current open opportunities

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Standards and Evaluations

Helpful information on annual overall ratings, service standards and evaluations.

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Authorized Concessioners

Find concessioners by park or service

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Annual Financial Reporting

Learn all you need to know about submitting annual financial reports

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GreenLine News Updates

Read articles about environmental issues and sound environmental management practices

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Laws, Regulations and Policy

Find laws, regulations and policy by topic

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Commercial Use Authorizations

Understand why you might need a commercial use authorization instead of concession contract.

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The National Park Service provides for leasing of historic as well as non-historic properties in park areas.

Last updated: April 9, 2024