Special use permits are required to use national forest land for certain purposes. The majority of special use permits are issued to guides for hunting, fishing, and sightseeing tours. A special use permit may also be required for recreation, mineral exploration, and other commercial and private enterprises on national forest land.
- Alaska Wilderness Charters operates trips in the Tongass National Forest and Ford's Terror Wilderness under special use permit from the US Forest Service, Juneau Ranger District, 8510 Mendenhall Loop Road, Juneau, AK 99801.
- Alaska Wilderness Charters is a participant in the Wilderness Best Management Practices (TBMP) for Tracy Arm - Ford's Terror. This program is a cooperative effort to minimize the impacts of tourism and vessel operations in the Tracy Arm-Ford's Terror Wilderness (which includes Endicott Arm) in a manner that addresses both concerns for our natural resources and concerns for safety and passenger service. By actively participating in this voluntary program, Alaska Wilderness Charters demonstrates our commitment to a sustainable use of wilderness resources.
Wilderness Outfitter and Guide Expectations
- Activities of outfitters and guides affect the areas they operate. Those who operate in designated Wilderness areas have an additional mandate to preserve and protect wilderness values and to maintain the wilderness character. It is our shared duty to build an understanding of the need for perpetuation of unimpaired conditions of the federally designated wilderness areas entrusted to our care. It is our shared responsibility to promote an awareness of ecological, geological and other features of scientific, educational, scenic and historical value. As an outfitter and guide operating under permit on the Tongass National Forest, you play a key role in conveying this understanding to your clients. While the following characteristics may apply outside wilderness in many cases, they are especially essential for the wilderness outfitter guide.
The Wilderness Outfitter and Guide:
- Has an understanding of and a personal appreciation for the Wilderness resource.
- Places the Wilderness resource above the ease and convenience of themselves and their clients.
- Holds the view that economic gain is subordinate to protection of Wilderness values.
- Is a keen observer and interpreter of natural processes.
- Passes on to client's wilderness history, ethics and values.
- Continually seeks to improve “Leave No Trace” techniques.
- Recognizes the value for opportunities for solitude in the Wilderness experience.
- In their advertising, represents the experience as a primitive and unconfined recreation and prepares clients in advance for a Wilderness experience that is in contrast with their daily life.
- Avoids the competitive urge to provide luxurious amenities that negate the qualities of a Wilderness experience.
- Takes pride in keeping primitive skills alive and sharing them with their clients.
- Seeks agency advice on specific operations such as selecting campsites, layout and food storage recognizing these have impacts on the Wilderness.
- Respects the rights of non-guided visitors to enjoy the Wilderness experience and works to minimize user conflicts.