Special Use Permits

All commercial users or operations conducted on Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge are required by Federal law to obtain a special use permit from the refuge.

Permit Information

Commercial operations include the following activities: big game guiding, sport fish guiding, commercial fishing, guided wildlife viewing and sightseeing, professional filming and photography, and air transporter services. To obtain a permit for commercial activity on the refuge, a business must submit an application and operational plan to the refuge, and agree to comply with special conditions stipulated on a permit. Some special conditions differ among permit types. Early permit application is encouraged to facilitate timely processing. There is a $100 administrative fee for issuance of the permit and a daily client use fee based on the type of activity in which the commercial user is engaged.

Contact the Kodiak Permitting Team at Kodiak_Permitting@fws.gov

More Information & Permit Applications

 

Big Game Guiding

Kodiak Refuge has “sole use” big game hunt guide areas. The refuge is divided into 24 areas and only one guide - competitively selected through a prospectus process - is allowed to provide guided hunt services in each area. A guide may hold up to three areas. Big game guide permits are generally offered once every ten years.  Nonresident brown bear and mountain goat hunters must be accompanied in the field by a big game guide authorized to operate in the area.

Kodiak Refuge is now accepting permit applications for commercial big game guiding through April 11th, 2022. Permits for 24 Guide Use Areas will be available on the Refuge. Selected guides will receive an exclusive special use permit authorizing operation for a 5-year period (beginning in 2024), with the possibility of non-competitive renewal for another five years. To learn more or receive a copy of the full prospectus please contact kodiak_permitting@fws.gov or 907-487-0221.

 

Small Game & Waterfowl Hunting

Commercial small game and waterfowl hunting permits are issued non-competitively as part of a Big Game guiding hunt for brown bear, deer or mountain goat. 

Apply by submitting the Commercial Activities Special Use Permit Application (FWS Form 3-1383-C) and the required documents below:

  • Proof of liability insurance policy listing Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge as additionally insured for $300,000 each occurrence and $500,000 aggregate. 
  • State of Alaska Business License 
  • Names of Assistant Guides 
  • Copies of current CPR and First Aid cards and for All field personnel involved in the operation. Certification must remain current through the entire permit period. 

 

Sport Fish Guiding

Kodiak Refuge is a fisherman’s paradise. All species of pacific salmon and steelhead occur within the refuge. As with other commercial operations, sport fishing guides must have a special use permit. Most areas are open to all fishing guides. However, a prospectus process is used to select guides and manage guided use on portions of four river drainages (Ayakulik, Dog Salmon, Little River, and Uganik). A commercial sport fish guide is anyone who provides, for compensation or with the intent or agreement to receive compensation, assistance, services, equipment or facilities to an angler engaged in fishing in the taking or attempt to take fish or shellfish, either personally or through an assistant, during any portion of the angler’s fishing trip. 

Apply by submitting the Commercial Activities Special Use Permit Application (FWS Form 3-1383-C) and the required documents below:

  • Proof of liability insurance policy listing Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge as additionally insured for $300,000 each occurrence and $500,000 aggregate. 
  • State of Alaska Business License 
  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game Registration Card 
  • A current completed and signed Alaska Department of Fish and Game Sport Fish Guide form. 
  • Names of Assistant Guides 
  • Copies of current CPR and First Aid cards and for All field personnel involved in the operation. Certification must remain current through the entire permit period. 

 

Guided Wildlife Viewing, Photography & Sightseeing

The number of guided wildlife viewing permits is not limited, except near the O’Malley River where a single, sole-use permit is issued via a prospectus processes. Like other commercial guides, viewing guides are required to obtain a special use permit, submit an operations plan, and comply with special conditions stipulated on the permit. Anyone who provides, for compensation or with the intent or agreement to receive compensation, assistance services, equipment or facilities to a person engaged in any outdoor recreational activity, except for hunting and fishing, by accompanying or personally directing the visitor in outdoor recreational activities during any portion of their trip must hold this permit. 

Apply by submitting the Commercial Activities Special Use Permit Application (FWS Form 3-1383-C) and the required documents below:

  • Proof of liability insurance policy listing Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge as additionally insured for $300,000 each occurrence and $500,000 aggregate. 
  • State of Alaska Business License 
  • Names of Assistant Guides 
  • Copies of current CPR and First Aid cards and for All field personnel involved in the operation. Certification must remain current through the entire permit period. 

 

Air Transporter/Air Taxi Operator

Anyone who transports people, equipment, supplies, fish and wildlife harvested products, or other personal property to or from Refuge lands by aircraft for compensation or with the intent to receive compensation is required to have a permit.

 Apply by submitting the Commercial Activities Special Use Permit Application (FWS Form 3-1383-C) and the required documents below:

  • Proof of liability insurance policy listing Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge as additionally insured for $300,000 each occurrence and $500,000 aggregate. 
  • FAA Air Carrier Certificate 
  • State of Alaska Current Business License 
  • State of Alaska Air Carrier Certificate of Compliance 
  • State of Alaska Air Transporter Certificate (if plan to be a transporter on the Refuge) 
  • Names of all Pilots 
  • Copies of current CPR and First Aid cards and for All field personnel involved in the operation. Certification must remain current through the entire permit period. 
  • Identification information for any aircraft to be used in an operation including aircraft type, tail number and color. 

 

Research and Monitoring

Most scientific research and monitoring activities on the Refuge require a permit.

Apply by submitting the Research and Monitoring Special Use Permit Application (FWS Form 3-1383-R).

 

Trapping

Commercial and non-commercial trapping requires a permit on Refuge lands.

Apply to trap commercially using the Commercial Activities Special Use Permit Application (FWS Form 3-1383-C). Apply for non-commercial trapping using the General Activity Special Use Permit Application (FWS Form 3-1383-G).

 

Commercial Audio-Visual Productions

Private individuals who wish to photograph or film their refuge visits for personal use do not need a refuge permit. However, professional filming activities, where film or video footage is gathered with the intention of using it for commercial purposes, do need a permit. Professional photographers who wish to receive special access or other accommodations not typically available to the general public will also need a permit.

Apply by submitting the Commercial Activities Special Use Permit Application (FWS Form 3-1383-C) and the required documents below:

 

Private Lands Permits

Know before you go! Kodiak Refuge shares boundaries with private and state land owners, and privately owned parcels can be found within the Refuge. Please respect private land and obtain any necessary permits in advance of your trip. Find out more about land ownership status on our maps page, and contact Alaska Native Corporations for land use permits and more information:

Afognak Native Corporation

Akhiok-Kaguyak Native Corporation

Koniag Native Corporation

Old Harbor Native Corporation