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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, May 22, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsNational Park Service Holds Meeting on Permitting Process

National Park Service Holds Meeting on Permitting Process

National Park Service officials address a crowd Thursday night. (Source photo by Diana Dias)

The National Park Service (NPS) held a meeting on permitting processes and other updates to a crowd of about 50 people on Thursday at the UVI Research and Technology Park on St. Croix. 

Some of the processes may seem new, but have been in place since 2006, said Maggie Tyler, the Special Park Uses program manager. Due to new management of the national parks on St. Croix, NPS is enforcing the rules and regulations more stringently. The sites on St. Croix that NPS manages are the Christiansted National Historic Site, Buck Island Reef National Monument, and Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve. 

During the meeting, NPS provided detailed information on their “commercial use authorizations” and “special use permits” policies and guidance in navigating the application process. 

Commercial use authorizations are used when businesses are conducting operations in the national park. Some examples include charters who go to Buck Island and vendors who may sell merchandise during an activity at any of the national park locations. Businesses need to fill out a commercial use authorization if there will be some type of financial gain. Applications for commercial use authorization are available in the NPS office. An online application will not be available until 2025. 

“Understanding and navigating the National Park Service’s permitting process is critical to our community’s engagement with our national park,” said Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett in a press release. 

For more information on commercial use authorizations, visit the National Park Service website

The special use permits differ from commercial use authorizations because the park is not being used for financial gain. A special use permit is used for parklands or water for activities planned by an individual or group. Examples would be events, weddings, filming and photography. The Source asked if, in the future, boaters visiting the Buck Island site will need to fill a special use permit, and the National Park Service was unable to provide a definite answer at this time, said Tyler. 

“This meeting is a direct response to concerns raised over the past year regarding the NPS permitting process,” said Plaskett.

Other updates were provided during the meeting by Park Manager Superintendent Angie Alvino. Alvino said that the updates include the reopening of the bookstore at the scale house in Christiansted, updates to the observation deck at Buck Island, and the visitor center at Salt River Bay nearing its completion in May 2024, to name a few. 

The community must know if holding a large event such as a parade, march, wedding, etc., that NP must be contacted ahead of time for the proper guidelines.

For more information, please visit the National Park Service Facebook page

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  1. Would have been nice if the Source had let us know about this meeting BEFORE the meeting took place, so we could attend.

    There has always been a requirement for a permit for private boats going to Buck Island, and a special permit for staying overnight. Hard to imagine why NOS couldn’t answer a question about that.