October 21, 2010
Contact: Paula Homan
, (907) 683-6223
Contact: Martha Armington
, (907) 683-9529
Denali National Park and Preserve intends to prepare an Environmental Assessment regarding the allocation of climbing permits between commercial guided climbing operators and independent climbers on Mount McKinley. The 2006 Backcountry Management Plan established a seasonal (April 1- August 1) limit of 1500 permitted climbers for Mount McKinley. The Backcountry Management Plan allocated 25% of the permits for commercially guided groups. This planning effort will review the current allocation to determine its relevance to the current demand. The limit of 1500 permits will not be reviewed during this planning effort.
Concessioner guided climbs are a longstanding tradition in Denali. Interest in guided climbing is increasing and the National Park Service (NPS) is working to determine how to accommodate this demand, while assuring that wilderness resource values, visitor experience, and other park resources are protected. A reasonable range of alternatives will be developed for consideration that will be responsive to the issues identified through agency and public involvement.
The NPS is currently in the scoping phase of this project and invites the public to submit written comments by December 6, 2010. Comments may be submitted online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/dena, faxed to (907) 683-9612, or mailed to the address below.
Denali National Park and Preserve
ATTN: Climbing EA
P.O. Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755
The NPS encourages public participation through the National Environmental Policy Act (commonly known as NEPA) process during which the public has two opportunities to formally comment on the project – once during initial project scoping and again following release of the EA which is expected in spring 2011.
If you have questions about the project please contact Paula Homan, Project Planning Lead, at (907) 683-6223 or Martha Armington, Project Lead, at (907) 683-9529.