Special Use Permits are required for commercial operations, scientific
research and some other uses of refuge lands and waters. Examples of uses
requiring special use permits are commercial filming, salvage operations, sand
and gravel removal, guiding and transporting, archeological and biological
studies, and set net sites. Specific uses are discussed below with links to
download special use permit applications and special instructions.
- Commercial Services such as Guiding/Outfitting and
Hunting, fishing, birding, kayaking and other types of commercial
guides/outfitters require special use permits for operating on refuge
lands or waters. Big game guides
have a different application process than other commercial users. See Big Game
Transporters such as water taxis and air
charters must obtain permits if they transport goods or clients onto refuge
lands or waters.
Cruise ships and tour boats that put visitors ashore on
refuge islands or use refuge waters also need special use permits. Permits from
the refuge are NOT required for tour boats or ships that only use State waters
to view wildlife on refuge islands such as the Chiswells.
The application process is different for Big Game Guides.
These permits are awarded through a competitive selection process, and are valid
for a five-year period with an option for a five-year extension contingent on
satisfactory performance. Areas are offered periodically as permits expire or as
incumbents choose to discontinue their operations. Alaska Maritime Refuge has
three big game guide use areas: AKM-01, Ann-Stevens Cape Lisburne and Cape
Thompson Subunits of the Refuge, AKM-02, Sutwik Island, and AKM-03, refuge lands
on Adak Island. AKM-01 and AKM-02 were last offered in 2003, and AKM-03 in 2006.
Qualified Alaska big game guides may apply when these areas are open.
Commercial filming, television filming and soundtrack recording on the refuge
will require special use permits.
- Use and Occupancy of Refuge Lands
Special Use Permits are required for use of cabins, long-term tent camps, and
sites used in commercial fisheries operations. Other land uses involving
structures, facilities or equipment may require a Right-of-Way Permit issued by
the Division of Realty of the Fish and Wildlife Service instead of a Special Use
Permit. Please contact the refuge for further information about permits for land
- Scientific Research-Related Investigations
All scientific research activities such as biological, seismic,
archaeological, and geologic surveys and studies require a
Activities Allowed Without a Permit
The general public does not need special use permits to visit the refuge and
engage in wildlife-dependent recreational activities such as hunting, fishing,
wildlife watching, photography, environmental education, interpretation, hiking
and camping. While enjoying the refuge, visitors must adhere to all pertinent
refuge regulations, State and federal laws, and State hunting regulations.