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Permits

  • Attention Commercial Permittees

    The Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge has established permit application periods for commercial special use permits, including recreational guiding, filming, photography, and air service operations on refuge lands and waters. The two application periods are October 1 – November 30 and January 1 – April 15.

     

    Businesses seeking to operate in winter and spring should apply October 1 to November 30. Businesses seeking to operate in summer and fall should apply January 1 to April 15.

     

    Permit applications postmarked by the end-date of each application period will be accepted.

  • Permits

    Do I need a Special Use Permit?

    The Yukon Flats Refuge is open to the public year-round. If you are visiting the Refuge on your own or as a member of a private recreational group, no permit is required. If, however, you conduct a commercial activity such as guiding, film-making, or providing commercial transportation, or if you propose to conduct scientific or geological research or other non-recreational activities, a Special Use Permit is required.

    Special Use Permits for Commercial Operations:    

    A Special Use Permit is required for all commercial operations on National Wildlife Refuges, including any activities for which participants pay a fee for any services rendered or goods delivered on Refuge lands, including:   

    • guided/outfitted trips for river floating, backpacking, and related activities. Currently there are no limits on the number of non-hunting guides permitted on the Yukon Flats Refuge, but there are group size and other limitations. A $100 administrative fee is required.  Client use day fees will also apply. 
    • instructor-led educational groups where students earn educational credits for an accredited course. Currently there are no limits on the number of such groups permitted on the Yukon Flats Refuge, but there are group size and other limitations. Because of this, an early teleconference or a meeting between Refuge staff and the project leader is recommended. A $100 administrative fee is required.  
    • all companies providing flights for which passengers pay a fee, or for any services rendered or goods delivered on Refuge lands or waters. Currently there are no limits on the number of air taxi operators or flights permitted on the Yukon Flats Refuge. A $100 administrative fee is required.  Client use day fees will also apply. 
    • all commercial still photography that uses models or props which are not part of the site’s natural or cultural resources; and all commercial videography, including filming of documentaries, travelogues, feature stories, and advertising. News gathering organizations are exempt from fee, insurance, and bonding requirements, but may require a Special Use Permit to ensure compatibility with Refuge purposes, public use, ongoing research, or to protect Refuge resources. An early teleconference or a meeting between Refuge staff and the project leader is recommended to determine if a permit is required. If a permit is needed, a $100 fee may be required.  

     

    Special Use Permits for Scientific or Geological Studies, and other activities:

    - Scientific or Geological Study Permits. A special use permit is required for all scientific studies or research activities occurring on National Wildlife Refuges where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is not an active participant in the activity. A Special Use Permit is required for all geological studies occurring on National Wildlife Refuges, and a $100 fee may be required. The permit application and a study or operational plan should give Refuge staff the information needed to determine whether or not to allow the activity and to decide what special conditions may be needed to safeguard Refuge resources and the experiences of visitors. An early teleconference or a meeting between Refuge staff and the project leader is recommended. 

    - Permits for other Activities. Permit requests which do not fit under any of the above categories may be allowed on the Yukon Flats Refuge if the activity is compatible with the purposes of the Refuge. A $100 fee may be required.  Client use day fees may also apply.

    For questions and application information regarding all aforementioned Special Use Permits, contact Refuge Specialist Heather Bartlett or Deputy Refuge Manager Nathan Hawkaluk.

    Heather Bartlett, Refuge Specialist 
    Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge 
    101 12th Avenue, Room 264
    Fairbanks, AK 99701 
    phone: 907/456-0322 (direct line) or 800/531-0676 
    fax: 907/456-0447
    Email:
    heather_bartlett@fws.gov

     

    Nathan Hawkaluk, Deputy Refuge Manager 
    Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge 
    101 12th Avenue, Room 264 
    Fairbanks, AK 99701 
    phone: 907/456-0408 (direct line) or 800/531-0676 
    fax: 907/456-0447 
    Email:
    nathan_hawkaluk@fws.gov

     

    Special Use Permits to Provide Guided Hunting Services: 

    Big game guide permits on the Yukon Flats Refuge, as well as on the other 15 National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska, are awarded through a competitive selection process. Permits for exclusive guide use areas are awarded for a five-year period with an option for one five-year extension contingent upon managerial review and satisfactory performance. Areas are offered periodically as permits expire or as incumbents choose to discontinue their operations. 

    For questions and application information regarding big game guide permits, contact Deputy Refuge Manager Nathan Hawkaluk. 

     

    Nathan Hawkaluk, Deputy Refuge Manager 
    Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge 
    101 12th Avenue, Room 264 
    Fairbanks, AK 99701 
    phone: 907/456-0408 (direct line) or 800/531-0676 
    fax: 907/456-0447 
    Email: nathan_hawkaluk@fws.gov

     

    When may I apply for a Special Use Permit?

    If you are interested in applying for a commercial permit, which includes recreational guiding, commercial filming/photography, and air service operations, you must apply during one of two application periods: January 1 to April 15, or October 1 to November 30. Complete applications received during these time periods will be processed within 45 days of receipt. Incomplete applications will be returned to you after the closing date. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application is complete and all fees are paid by the closing date. Applications received outside of these periods will be processed during the next open period. 

    Applications for other proposed Refuge activities (ex. scientific, geologic, other) may be submitted at any time.


    How long does the permit process take?

    Once we receive a completed permit application, the process can take up to 45 days.


    What special considerations do I need to be aware of?

    Refuge management plans and policies, as well as a number of federal and state laws, apply when evaluating each permit application. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), the Refuge Administration Act, the Refuge Improvement Act of 1997, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and the Yukon Flats Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan all factor into how permit applications are evaluated. These mandates and guidelines require particularly careful scrutiny of any Refuge use not allowed to the general public. Some issues given special attention are: 

    1) Motorized equipment - All requests for motorized access not specifically allowed by ANILCA (e.g., helicopters, all-terrain vehicles, airboats) are carefully scrutinized and may be prohibited. 

    2) Installations - Placement of installations (e.g., data collection stations, weather stations, remote video, and rock bolts) are carefully scrutinized and may be prohibited. 

    3) Impacts to subsistence users – The potential for the proposed activity to interfere with or detract from subsistence users and/or their activities will be carefully evaluated.

    4) Wildlife - The potential for the proposed activity to interfere with or attract wildlife, or its potential for causing dangerous interactions between wildlife and humans, will be carefully examined and may result in modification or denial of the proposed activity. 

    5) Group size - Total group size for permitted commercial recreational activities is limited to seven people for groups on foot and ten people for float trips. These numbers include guides. For float trips, each company is limited to one group on an individual river at a time. Other Special Use Permit holders such as scientific groups are limited to personnel directly involved in program activities.

     

  • Passes

    No passes are required to access the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge. 

     

Last Updated: Jul 28, 2016
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