Refuge Specific Permits

A special use permit is required for all commercial visitor services and most other non-visitor use activities on Refuge lands. A permit is not required for the general public to visit a national wildlife refuge to engage in wildlife-dependent recreational activities such as wildlife watching, hunting, fishing, photography, environmental education, interpretation, hiking, and camping. Visitors must comply with all pertinent refuge regulations, State and Federal laws, and State hunting and fishing regulations.

 Special use permits are required for, but not limited to, the following types of activities:  

 Commercial Operations  

Guiding and outfitting (hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, river trips, etc.) 
Big game transporting
Air and water taxi
Sand and gravel removal
Commercial filming and videographers 

Scientific Research and Monitoring  

Biological research
Archeological research
Geological research
Research and Monitoring Installations* (i.e., weather, climate, seismic, etc.)

Use and Occupancy of Refuge Lands*    

Woodcutting and removal 
Tent platforms and long term tent camps  
Bear baiting  

 * Transportation and utility systems, and other long-term installations, require a right-of-way permit from our Regional Division of Realty. Special use permits for operations and activities on established rights-of-way are obtained from the Refuge Manager. 

Permits issued for commercial visitor uses are subject to a $100 administrative fee which must accompany the application, and following permit issuance, an annual use fee based on activity type and reported client use days, and a fee for any approved reserved land sites.  

Special use permits are obtained by submitting a permit application and other required information to the appropriate refuge. Please contact our office before completing the permit application and the submission of other required information.  

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge accepts permit applications for non-visitor services activities throughout the year; however, commercial visitor services applications are only accepted from February 15 through April 1, annually.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Visit our Special Use Contact Page to determine who can best help you navigate our permit process.