Recreational and Educational Guiding Permits

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 Recreational Guides:

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. This includes 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 Arctic Refuge, but there are group size and other limitations. A $100 administrative fee is required.

Educational Guides: 

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. This includes 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 Arctic 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.

Businesses seeking to operate in winter and spring should apply in the October 1 to November 30 application period in the year prior to operation. Businesses seeking to operate in summer and fall should apply January 1 to April 15 in the current year. If sending by mail, permit applications postmarked by the end-date of each application period will be accepted.

Steps to apply for a permit:

1) Read the Application Guidance completely. (325 kb PDF file)

2) Fill out the commercial permit application (either electronically or printed out) and sign the document (either electronically or printed out.) (275 kb PDF file)

3) In addition to your permit application, you will need to include the following:

State of Alaska Business License

Liability Insurance Requirement (look up minimum in Application Guidance) (325 kb PDF file)

Accreditation and Curriculum (if applying as an Educational Guide)

4) Submit the application with the $100 administrative fee. You may call 907-456-0322 with a credit card or mail to 101 12th Avenue Room 236, Fairbanks, AK 99701.

a) Submit application via email to arctic_permits@fws.gov OR 

b) Submit application via post to 101 12th Avenue Room 236, Fairbanks, AK 99701

If you have any questions, call (907) 456-0512.

Guides currently permitted to operate on the Refuge.