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The National Park Service has decided to use an open, competitive process to award commercial use authorizations for transporter services in Noatak National Preserve. Eight permits will be available.
Transporters are commercial operators who carry sport hunters into and out of the preserve. Over the last few years, the NPS has become aware of conflicts between subsistence users and transporters and their clients. To address the issue, the NPS has determined that it is prudent to limit the number of available transporter permits to eight and the total number of clients transporters may carry to 357 a year. These are the number operators and number of clients who were permitted in the preserve in 2008 and 2009 when a moratorium on the issuance of additional permits and cap on the number of clients were in effect.
The authorizations will be awarded though an open, competitive process. Companies interested in providing transporter services must submit a written application, including responses to a number of selection factors. The eight companies that submit the best complete applications will be issued authorizations. The award process will include a mechanism to ensure the total annual number of hunters does not exceed 357.
The NPS intends initiate the competitive process by releasing an application in fall 2009. It intends to issue the CUAs in winter 2010. All interested companies, including current operators, must compete for an opportunity to provide the service. Preferences established by law will be addressed in the application process. The application will be publically announced as soon as it is available.
The NPS has also begun a big game transportation services plan to find long-term solutions for the user conflict issue in the preserve.