Final Environmental Impact Statement, Record of Decision for Shoreline II Outfitter/Guide project released
KETCHIKAN, Alaska, Sept. 1, 2017 – The Tongass National Forest is releasing the final Record of Decision (ROD) for the Shoreline II Outfitter/Guide Project Environmental Impact Statement. The ROD selects Alternative Two, which authorizes up to 80,305 service days of non-motorized outfitter/guide upland activities along the marine shoreline zone of the Sitka, Hoonah, and Juneau Ranger Districts; and Admiralty Island National Monument. The decision also incorporates measures that include an adaptive management strategy, changes to big game guide permitting practices, and the designation of large group areas.
“The decision supports a balance of commercial outfitter/guide use with public use within the project area,” said Forest Supervisor Earl Stewart. “Outfitter/guide access to the national forest is important for the stability and growth of the tourism economy in southeast Alaska. Many local businesses and jobs depend on access to national forest resources to provide exceptional recreation experience to paying clients from around the world.”
The Shoreline II Outfitter/Guide Project is the guiding management plan for remote setting, nature tourism in the northern portion of the Tongass National Forest. It allows for continued growth in the tourism industry while protecting forest resources. The project offers a spectrum of visitor experiences that vary from wilderness solitude to more developed large group areas. It also seeks to cultivate more collaborative relationships between the agency, public, and tourism industry.
The ROD is ready for immediate implementation, although current special use permits will not be adjusted until they expire on their current terms, or until permit holders request changes to their permit. Those who may be interested in obtaining special use permits for outfitter/guide services can contact their local Ranger District office for an application. All applications, or requests for permit changes, must be received by January 15, 2018 to be considered for the 2018 operating season.