Commercial Use Authorization Stipulations

2022 Park Specific Stipulations
Wrangell-St.Elias National Park & Preserve

P.O. Box 439 - Copper Center, AK 99573 - 907-822-7206 phone - 907-822-5366 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. Management fees

$100 per year of authorization. Management fees are due at the time of application for each year of the authorization.

2. Training

All employees of guided commercial services must have the following current and accredited CPR and first aid qualifications as a minimum. In-person training exceptions must be submitted to and approved by the park. The CUA holder must provide certificate copies upon NPS request.

• American Red Cross or American Heart Association CPR or accredited equivalent.
• American Red Cross Standard First Aid or accredited equivalent.

3. Equipment

Guided commercial services employees with clients in the backcountry must be equipped with a basic first aid kit appropriately-sized for the group and activity.

4. Airstrips

  • Utilization of Park/Preserve landing areas/airstrips is at the pilot's discretion.
  • The construction of new landing areas is prohibited.
  • The enlargement or expansion of existing landing areas and gravel bars, including brushing or clearing of vegetation is prohibited without prior written authorization from the Superintendent.
  • Only hand tools (no portable motors) may be used for clearing vegetation without prior written authorization from the Superintendent.

5. Horsepacking/Horserides

  • Holder shall adjust scheduled trips if determined necessary by NPS because of degraded trail or road conditions that require mitigation. When remedial action is necessary, NPS shall notify the holder of the planned work at least seven calendar days in advance to minimize potential adverse effects on authorized business operations.
  • Holder shall ensure that guides/wranglers are qualified by experience and training to safely perform their duties.
  • Holder shall have no more than 6 client-riders per trip.
  • Holder shall conduct safety orientation briefings for all riders prior to commencing each ride. Topics shall include at the least, procedures and practices for mounting and dismounting, controlling the horse, and signaling for assistance from the wrangler. Additional topics that shall be covered shall include the intended route, time required, restroom facilities (or more specifically, the lack thereof), other hazards or demands of the trip, and park resource protection advisories.
  • The following safety equipment shall be provided by the holder for each trip:
    • Rider safety helmets (1 for each client and each guide), and

    • All tack (saddles, bridles, etc.), which will be maintained in serviceable condition. Reins will be kept tied together.

  • All areas used for riding will be cleared of manure daily when near trailhead or camps. Manure may not be stockpiled on federal park lands. A preferred alternative measure for meeting this condition is the use of individual collection bags fitted to each horse to prevent deposits on the trails and roads, with subsequent appropriate off-site disposal of manure.
  • When not in use, horses must be hobbled and released to distribute impact or staked out on a cavalry picket, and not tied to individual trees. Individual lead ropes shall be tied short to minimize stress on trees.
  • Hobbling animals within 100 ft. of a water source or high water mark of a body of water is prohibited.
  • Any feed brought in must conform to the Alaska Weed Free Forage Certification Program.
  • Horses must meet all United States health regulations and have a current Coggins test. Stock shall also meet all equivalent state health regulations regarding examinations and immunizations. Certifications must be submitted with application.
  • Report death of animals on park lands within 48 hours to the Chief of Visitor & Resource Protection (907) 822-7245.

6. Commercial Float Trips

  • Commercial float trips shall be limited to a party size of 15 persons including guides and boatmen.

7. Group Size Limits

  • Guided groups in the Donoho Basin are limited to no more than 12 clients. A minimum ratio of one guide per six clients must be maintained.
  • Unguided groups are limited to no more than 12 people total. Exemptions to this limit for commercially guided groups shall not be considered.
  • The minimum distance between associated camping groups in the Donoho Basin is ½ mile. Associated groups are all groups lead by the same company or partnering companies or organizations.
  • All groups of 8 or more persons are required to register to camp in Donoho Basin and as part of that registration, participate in an educational activity with park staff, or NPS approved trainer, prior to camping at Donoho Basin.

8. Guided Paddleboarding (Frontcountry Only)

  • Minimum equipment for stand up paddleboarding shall include life jacket, leash and clothing appropriate for the weather and water. Equipment shall conform with United States Coast Guard (USCG) and industry acceptable standards and be in good working order.
  • Minimum emergency equipment to be carried by each guide must be sufficient to initiate rescue, stabilization, and evacuation.
  • Client to guide ratios shall be appropriate for the nature of the trip and based on the trip objectives. Client to guide ratios will not exceed 6 clients to 1 guide.

9. Float Plane Use

For all flights landing on water bodies within the park, air taxi operators must complete the following measures to prevent the spread of Elodea and other aquatic invasive species. Prior to departing a water body for a flight into the park:

• Before entering the aircraft, remove visible plants and/or debris and pump water from floats.
• Before takeoff, do not taxi through heavy plant growth; raise and lower rudders.
• After takeoff raise/lower rudders to free plant fragments over the waters you just left or over dry land.
• Watch “Sea Plane Inspection and Decontamination” on YouTube for more details.

10. Air Taxi and Transporter Reporting

  • Further to Interior Region 11 Reporting Condition #15, Air Taxi operators, Big Game Transporters, and Incidental Hunt Transporters must include GPS coordinates for the drop off and pick up locations of clients, equipment, and each species harvested (if applicable). The holder must report all transportation, including transportation provided to hunters, their equipment or game. Big Game Transporters must also enter corresponding State of Alaska Big Game Commercial Services Board Transporter Activity Report numbers in the Visitor Use Reporting system.
  • Further to Interior Region 11 Reporting Condition #15, all licensed Big Game Transporters must submit copies of their State of Alaska Big Game Commercial Services Board Transporter Activity Reports. Location coordinates must be included on each report. Reports must be submitted to on or before November 15th.
  • Holders providing Air Taxi, Big Game Transport, or Incidental Hunt Transport are required to have and activate a flight tracking system such as Spidertracks or similar device for the duration of all flights that include taxiing, taking off or landing within the boundaries of Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve. The tracking unit must be registered and compatible with the Automated Flight Following Network Operations Center (AFF NOC) and must be able to generate and calculate all positional data specified.
  • Holders providing Air Taxi, Big Game Transport, or Incidental Hunt Transport services must collect the information below for each client. This information must be provided to the Chief Ranger immediately upon request.
  1. Client field contact information for each group in the field. Client field contact information is defined as a satellite phone number, Garmin inreach address, or other satellite communication device address, as applicable.
  2. Client emergency contact information (e.g. client background, gear, next of kin, etc.)
  3. Dates and locations of when and where clients were dropped-off, their intended route of travel, and intended pick up.
  4. Tent color(s)
  5. Holders must provide the dates and locations of when and where clients were dropped-off, their intended route of travel, and intended pick up of clients currently in the field to the Chief Ranger immediately upon request.
  • All fuel caches must have prior written approval from the Superintendent. A written request to the Chief Ranger must include the exact location of the proposed fuel cache including a map and GPS coordinates (if available), dates of use, and the reason for the cache. If approved, all fuel caches must be removed from the park on or before November 15.

11. Violation Reporting

Permittee shall report observed or suspected violations of park regulations to the National Park Service as soon as practical.

12. Compliance With Other Park Regulations

Further to National CUA condition #2, the CUA holder is responsible for ensuring that their employees are aware and comply with all applicable state and federal regulations, including but not limited to the Superintendent’s Compendium and Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at Title 36 and Title 43.

13. Land Status

There are approximately 800,000 acres of non-federal lands within the boundary of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve (WRST). This permit authorizes the commercial service(s) and location(s) of those services listed on the permit on park and/or preserve lands only. Further to Alaska Region CUA condition #11, it is the responsibility of the permit holder to know the land status within WRST, inform park visitors if they are entering or being dropped off on non-federal lands, and to secure approval from the landowner. Contact Lands & Planning Lead at (907) 822-7243 regarding land status questions within WRST.

Last updated: November 8, 2021