Commercial Use Authorization Stipulations

2019 Park Specific Stipulations
Gates Of The Arctic National Park & Preserve

4175 Geist Road - Fairbanks, AK 99709 - 907-457-5752 phone - 907-455-0601 fax

The following specific provisions (in addition to the National and Regional Conditions of the Authorization), are applicable to those commercial activities and areas authorized through a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA):

  1. Commercial operators in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve are required to ensure that all clients utilizing any park or preserve lands receive a Visitor Safety and Leave No Trace (LNT) orientation. Orientations are available in person during regular business hours at Bettles Ranger Station, Coldfoot Visitor Center, Anaktuvuk Pass Ranger Station (when staffed), and during regular business hours via telephone to the Bettles Ranger Station (800-478-5494) from any location in Alaska. Commercial operators must contact the Bettles Ranger Station if none of these options are available to their clients. If interested in a customized interpretive program please contact the appropriate Visitor Center or Ranger Station a minimum of 2 weeks prior to your arrival to schedule a program. A customized Interpretive program would include an introduction to the park and the park’s mission in protecting wilderness values in lieu of a general backcountry orientation. Commercial operators may be authorized to conduct their own client orientation including Visitor Safety and LNT in lieu of this requirement, following consultation with and approval by the Superintendent.

  2. All licensed Big Game Transporters must submit copies of their State of Alaska Big Game Commercial Services Board Transporter Activity Report (Form #08-4349) by February 1st of each year. **See definition below for Incidental Big Game Transporter. The report must include GPS coordinates. Submit reports via email to, via fax to 907-644-3813 or via mail to:
National Park Service
Concessions Division
240 West 5th Avenue #114
Anchorage, AK 99501

Air Taxi Operators must annually report use on the National Park Service (NPS) Air Taxi Activity Report. Any transportation provided to hunters, their equipment or game should be shown on the reverse side of the Air Taxi Activity Report. Operators must list the GPS coordinates and minor drainage of drop off and pick up locations for all clients. Submit the report via email to or via fax to 907-644-3813 on or before November 15th. If submitted via mail, the report must be postmarked no later than November 15th and sent to:

National Park Service
Concessions Division
240 West 5th Avenue #114
Anchorage, AK 99501

  1. Air transporters may not deliver an object (including food drops) by airborne means, except in emergencies involving public safety or serious property loss [36 CFR 2.17].
  2. Without written approval of the Park Superintendent, permit holders may not deliver or leave unattended food, equipment or supplies, except in emergencies involving public safety; or when they are associated with an on-going trip and/or occupied campsite. Approval to leave unattended food will generally be contingent on the ability to secure the unattended food in a bear resistant manner.
  3. Commercial river float trips are limited to a maximum party size of 10 persons, including guides and boatmen.
  4. Commercial backpacking trips (including side trips taken by river float parties) and trips utilizing land based “base camps” are limited to a maximum of 10 persons, including guides. CUA holders have the option to petition the Superintendent to have permission to conduct a “Custom Trip” that would allow for greater than 10 people in a guided group. To monitor any abuse of this option there will be a limit to how many times a CUA guide may petition for such a request. Please contact Superintendent Greg Dudgeon at 907-457-5752.
  5. Utilization of landing areas/airstrips is at the pilot’s discretion. Improvements to or enlargements of landing sites and gravel bars are not permitted. The construction of new landing areas is prohibited.
  6. The following provisions apply to ALL activities:
  • Durable surfaces should be sought out when selecting campsites. Gravel bars, sand bars, snodwry, grasses, and bedrock offer the best choices.
  • The following camping practices are prohibited: Digging or leveling the ground at a campsite; leaving camping equipment, site alterations, or refuse after departing from the campsite; camping within 100 feet of a flowing stream, river or body of water, except as designated* [36 CFR 2.10]. *Sand and gravel bars located less than 100 feet from a body of water are designated as appropriate campsites when they afford the most durable surface available.
  • Camps may remain in place no longer than 5 days unless prior approval has been obtained from the Park Superintendent. Permanent or semi-permanent camps are not allowed. Any camp improvements must be dismantled prior to departing from the campsite.
  • Human body wastes shall be disposed of further than 100 feet from a water source, high water mark of a body of water, or a campsite [36 CFR 2.14]. Solid human waste shall be deposited in a small cathole (6-8” deep) whenever possible or covered by snow in winter. All toilet paper shall be burned or packed out. Dog waste must be scattered at least 100 feet from water sources (lakes, streams, and rivers).
  • The use of a self-contained stove is strongly encouraged for cooking. Wood fires are discouraged, but if necessary only down and dead may be used for firewood. When fires cannot be built on gravel bars, a fire pan or fire retardant cloth shall be used to contain the fire. All evidence of a campfire must be obliterated prior to departing the campsite.
  • All trash, garbage, and leftover food must be packed out. Do not bury trash. Leftover food should not be buried, burned or discarded into waterways.
  • Adequate precautions shall be taken to guard against human/bear encounters. Unattended food caches are not permitted, except when they are associated with an on-going trip and/or occupied campsite or secured in a bear resistant manner. Unattended food and garbage must be properly secured from bears and other wildlife by using NPS approved bear resistant food containers; suspending items at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet horizontally from a tree trunk; or by other techniques subject to NPS approval. Approved bear resistant food containers for Federal Lands can be found at Other types of containers may be approved following inspection by the NPS.
  1. The following provisions apply to commercial winter activities:
  • The use of a snowmobile is permitted when it accompanies guided clients on winter dog sled trips for safety and logistical support; i.e. hauling gear or sick/injured clients, or breaking trail for a dog team. The permit holder may also request to use snowmobiles to break or set trail prior to conducting guided dog sled trips; with the dates, route, and number of machines used subject to the expressed approval of the Park Superintendent. This practice is limited to a maximum of one time per season. Snowmobiles providing logistical support for commercial dog sled trips may only be operated by employees of the permit holder and must use routes where sufficient snow cover exists to prevent vegetation damage and minimize personal safety hazards. Snowmobile use is not permitted for the support of other commercial winter activities, i.e. cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, mountaineering, or snowmobile tours.
  • Sled dogs will be staked out on a picket cable or similar gangline, and not tied individually to trees. Dog food should be heated with a stove.

**Definition: Incidental Big Game Transporter – taken from State of Alaska Statutes and Regulations for Big Game Guides and Transporters (Sec. 08.54.790) “Incidental” means transportation provided to a big game hunter by an air taxi operator or air carrier who does not charge more than the usual tariff or charter rate for the carriage of big game hunters, their equipment, or big game animals harvested by hunters; or advertise transportation services or big game hunting services to the public; in this subparagraph, “advertise” means soliciting big game hunters to be customers of an air taxi operator or air carrier for the purpose of providing air transportation to, from, or in the field through the use of print or electronic media, including advertising at trade shows, or the use of hunt broker services or other promotional services.

Last updated: April 5, 2019