Guided Alsek River Rafting Stipulations

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Commercial Use Authorization Activity-Specific Stipulations

Attachment XX - 2019 Guided Alsek River Rafting Stipulations

Guided Alsek River Rafting Fees

The Permittee must pay a fee to the National Park Service as follows: The greater of $1,000
annually or $32.00/person (in U.S. Funds) adjusted annually based on CPI-All Urban Consumers
(January 1, 2018 base CPI). Payment of the fee is due on November 15 of each year.

Guided Alsek River Rafting Stipulations


  • “Person” means everyone on the trip except Permittee employees (guides, crew, etc.)
  • “Group” means everyone on the trip, including clients, boatman, trainees and non-paid personnel.
  • “Put-In” means river access where a trip begins.
  • “Take-Out” means river access where a trip ends (Dry Bay, Glacier Bay National Preserve).
  • “Trip” means the service from put-in to take-out.
  • “Allocation” means an authorized trip. One trip allocation is equivalent to a single “take-out” date for a guided raft trip arriving at Dry Bay, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.
  • “Bear resistant container” means a container which has been tested and approved in accordance with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee; Certified Bear-Resistant Products:
  • “Service” means the National Park Service, Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve

General Operating Standards and Requirements

  1. Schedule of Operation

    • The Permittee is allocated a set number of trips per year. This allocation may be changed by the Service.
    • Take-out dates occur during the June 12 through September 15 ‘control’ season.
    • Any trips not used for two (2) consecutive years will be forfeited. Exceptions will be granted by the Superintendent if the permittee relinquishes the trip at least three (3) months in advance. The Service will offer relinquished and forfeited trips to only authorized commercial operators.
    • The Permittee will be assigned arrival dates at Dry Bay for all authorized trips. Trips arriving at Dry Bay on any other date are prohibited.
    • Trip schedules will be provided annually by the Service after conferring with Canadian land managers.
  2. Coordination with Canadian requirements

    • Companies awarded a permit for this service must comply with all Canadian requirements in addition to requirements of the Contract. Prior to operating on the Canadian portion of the Alsek and Tatshenshini Rivers operators must coordinate with and receive authorization from the appropriate Canadian agencies. Proof of authorization must be submitted annually to the Service.
  3. Rate Determination and Approval Process

    • The National Park Service has determined that a competitive market currently exists for river rafting services in Glacier Bay, with a range of prices and types of trips available as well as comparable services being provided in the region on other public lands.
    • Rate Compliance. The Service will check rate compliance during periodic operational evaluations and throughout the year.
  4. Evaluations

    • CUA Monitoring Program. The Permitee must inspect and monitor its services with respect to Applicable Laws, Service policy and standards, life and fire safety, public health, environmental management and impacts on cultural and natural resources, responsiveness to visitor comments, compliance with the permit including all of its Exhibits and other operational performance as appropriate. The Permitee is responsible for developing and implementing corrective action plans to respond in a timely manner to any operating deficiencies it identifies. Specific inspection and testing requirements are described in later sections of this stipulation.
    • Service Concession Review Program. The Service will evaluate the Permittee’s services to assess and rate Permittee performance in accordance with the NPS Concession Review Program. The Permittee must work with Service officials to prioritize, schedule and correct deficiencies and implement improvement programs resulting from these activities.
  5. Risk Management Plan

    The Permittee must develop, maintain, and implement a Risk Management Program that addresses the following:

    • Possession of Firearms

      • The Permittee is responsible for determining how it will interpret and implement federal and state firearm possession laws in regard to its visitors. The Permittee should consult the applicable officials with regard to relevant state firearms laws.
      • Permittee employees may not possess firearms while on duty. The Superintendent, in his or her sole discretion, may grant exceptions to this prohibition upon consideration of a written request from the Permittee’s general manager with a thorough explanation of the basis of the request. The Superintendent will provide a written response to the Permittee.
    • Acknowledgement of Risk-The Permittee may require clients participating in activities to sign an acknowledgement of risk form. All such forms must comply with Service requirements (as these may be amended during the term of the Contract). The Permittee may not require Area visitors to indemnify or hold harmless the Permittee.

  • The Service approved sample Visitor’s Acknowledgement of Risks form is available from the Service upon request.
  • The Permittee must submit to the Superintendent for approval its proposed Visitor’s Acknowledgement of Risks form at least 30 days in advance of any proposed changes in the form. If no Visitor’s Acknowledgement of Risks form will be used, the Permittee must advise the Superintendent of this intention. The Permittee may not request or require guests participating in activities to sign a liability waiver form, insurance disclaimer, and/or indemnification agreement.

6. Human Resources

  • Employee Conduct. The Permittee must review the conduct of any of its employees whose actions or activities are considered by the Service or Permittee to be inconsistent with the proper administration of the Area and enjoyment and protection of visitors. The Permittee must take all actions needed to fully correct any such situation.
  • Training. The Permittee must provide and maintain records of appropriate training as set forth below and must provide those records to the Service upon request.
  • Manuals. The Permittee must develop written training materials for its employees.
  • Risk Management. The Permittee must provide risk management training to employees as required by Applicable Laws, the RMP or otherwise specified in the Contract.
  • Resource, safety and other visitor Information. The Permittee must provide training for all employees who provide resource, safety and other visitor information.
  • The Permittee must inform employees of Service regulations and requirements that affect their employment and activities while working within the Area.
  • The Permittee must orient its employees to the resources of the Area, including potential safety hazards and their mitigation.
  • Emergency Reporting Procedures. The Permittee must train its employees in proper emergency reporting procedures, including providing essential information. Any injury sustained by a client or employee and all medical emergencies shall be reported to the Service in a timely manner. The park will investigate all visitor and employee accidents which require medical attention. The following numbers must be made available to all employees and posted at appropriate locations:
    • Life-threatening emergencies: (907) 697-2651.
    • Non-emergencies: (907)-697-2230
  • All guides must be trained in Swiftwater Rescue or equivalent; Wilderness First Responder or equivalent.

Specific Operating Standards and Requirements


  • The Permittee must provide all services in a consistent, environmentally-sensitive and high quality manner and must operate in accordance with these stipulations. The applicable standards, Guided Paddle Craft Standards and Backcountry Food & Beverage Service Standards, specify the minimum operating standards that the Permittee must meet in providing the services under the permit. In addition to complying with the following standards and requirements, the Permittee shall comply with the standards and guidelines set out as attachments to these stipulations. When in conflict, standards and guidelines described in this Stipulation supersede those identified in the attachments.

Additional Standards

  • Group size
    • Group size for commercial trips is limited to 15 people total, including clients, guides and trainees and non-paid personnel.
    • Commercial trips authorized prior to adoption of the Glacier Bay National Park Alsek River Visitor Use Management Plan (July 1989) had a group size of 25. Such trips continue to have a group size limit of 25 people total, including clients, guides and trainees. The exception for the larger group size is lost at such time as there is a change in controlling interest in the company, as defined in 36 CFR Part 51.
  • Air Pumps
    • The Permittee must have functioning air pumps available to address punctured and patched floatation on rafts.
  • Throwable Device
    • The Permittee must carry on all rafts a throwable device (minimum fifty (50) feet of at least 3/8-inch rope or life ring). The throwable device must be in serviceable condition and stored so as to be readily accessible in an emergency.
  • Reference Material
    • The Concessioner will carry reference materials related to the Alsek Tatshenshini area for guide and client use on trip. Topics should include natural history, geology, plants/wildflowers, wildlife, and annotated river map.
  • Gear
    • Camping gear and equipment provided by the Permittee, as well as personal items provided to clients (such as sleeping bags, liners, blankets, tents, etc.) are serviceable, clean, sanitized if appropriate, and well maintained.
    • A satellite phone will be carried on all trips.
    • Dry suits will be offered to all clients for use on the river. Alternative types of thermal protection may be provided by the permittee (instead of dry suits) on approval by Superintendent.
    • A functioning water purification system and adequate sanitized water storage is provided to clients, as suitable for the duration of trip and number of trip passengers.
    • Approved bear-resistant containers and a wildlife-proof system for handling food storage must be used.
    • A human waste carry-out system is available and sufficient for the duration of the trip. Backcountry public health sanitation requirements are met. Guides provide instruction to passengers on proper disposal of human waste while on the river, or during hikes away from the river. If toilet paper and sanitary products are burned, it must be to ash.

Visitor Safety

  • The Permittee must provide an orientation and safety briefing to all participants before each trip. Guides must provide briefings about the activity and safety material prior to beginning the trip activity, and repeat such information as needed. Items to be discussed include, but are not limited to:
    • nature and demands of the trip
    • proper fit and use of personal flotation devices
    • man overboard procedures
    • use of gear
    • suitable clothing, including footwear
    • litter and sanitation
  • For on-shore excursions, visitor briefings and communications should include, but are not limited to:
    • distance
    • elevation
    • Leave No Trace principles
    • hiking challenges, including staying hydrated
    • weather
    • wildlife interaction
  • The Permittee must ensure noise levels are kept at a minimum so as not to impair the experience of others or impact wildlife.

Scheduling of Trips

  • The primary rafting season (June 12 – September 15: 96 days) will be divided into 12, eight-day blocks.
  • Each block will have 2 Canadian allocated and 2 U.S. allocated commercial takeout dates - with the remaining fourdays reserved for private parties.
  • The 24 authorized Canadian take-outs will be allocated to operators by assigning each operator a number by drawing (for example four operators would have numbers from 1 to 4). Each operator would select one available date in the order of the numbers drawn (1-4). Operators with remaining dates would select the second date in reverse order (4-1) and so on until all dates are selected.
  • U.S. take-out dates will be on odd numbered days; Canadian take-out dates on even numbered days.
  • Swapping among operators may be permitted as long as the private/commercial 50/50 split (overall and within blocks) is not disrupted (subject to put-in constraints). The Service must be notified and approve in advance any swapping of takeout dates between commercial operators.
  • Swapping commercial dates for private dates may be permitted prior to November 1 as long as the private/commercial 50/50 split (overall and within blocks) is not disrupted (subject to put-in constraints). The Service must be notified and approve in advance any swapping of takeout dates between a commercial operator and a private party.
  • River put-ins are controlled by Canadian governmental entities through their matching permits.


  • Groups will not remain longer than one night on each trip at Walker Glacier, Gateway Knob and Alsek Lake Peninsula/Spit except that on each trip a group may remain two nights at only one of these three sites listed above. At all other campsites, groups will not remain longer than three consecutive nights on each trip.
  • The Permittee will not leave campsites unattended.
  • Boat motors may not be used above Gateway Knob.


  • Open wood fires shall be contained in a fire-pan and all fire residue distributed in the main channel of the river.
  • Firewood is limited to driftwood collected at least one mile from the campsite.
  • Burning of garbage and trash, such as packaging, plastics, tin, aluminum, etc. is prohibited except for paper and compostables which must be burned to ash.


  • No materials, supplies, or equipment of any type will be cached or stored in the park or preserve without prior written approval by the Superintendent.

Required Reports & Submissions

  • Permittee Operational Reports- The Permittee must provide the following reports to the Service. The Service and/or its designated representatives must be allowed to inspect supporting documentation for all operational reports upon request.
    1. Alsek/Tatshenshini River Trip Survey Form. The Permittee must carry a copy of the form as found as an attachment to this Operating Plan on each trip and fill it out during the trip. The Permittee must submit the completed form to the Service Commercial Services Office within five days from end of the trip.
    2. Bear Report Form. The Permittee must carry a copy of the form as found as an attachment to this Operating Plan on each trip and fill it out during the trip. The Permittee must submit the completed form to the Service Commercial Services Office within five days from end of the trip.
    3. Annual Activity Report (form 10-660) due November 15. Send completed reports to Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, Commercial Services Office, P.O. Box 140, Gustavus, AK 99826 or e-mail us.
  • Permittee Incident Reports. The Permittee must immediately report to the Service any:
  1. Fatalities or incidents which could result in a tort claim to the United States;
  2. Fatalities or incidents which could result in a tort claim to the United States;
  3. Property damage over $500;
  4. Employee or visitor injury requiring more than minor first aid treatment;
  5. Any fire, other than those started and managed in compliance with this permit;
  6. Incident that negatively impacts the Area’s natural or cultural resources;
  7. Any known or suspected violation of law occurring within the Area.

Last updated: February 21, 2019

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Mailing Address:

Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve
PO Box 140

Gustavus, AK 99826


(907) 697-2230

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