Special Use Permits are required to use U.S. National Forest land. Most special use permits are issued to hunting, fishing, and sightseeing tour operators, and may also be required for recreation and other commercial and private enterprises.

Wilderness Permit

© John Schnell Photography. Alaska Wilderness Charters—Wilderness Permit
© John Schnell Photography. Alaska Wilderness Charters. Instagram.

Special Use Permits

Special Use Permits are required to use national forest land for specific purposes. Most special use permits are issued to hunting, fishing, and sightseeing tour operators. A special use permit may also be required for recreation, mineral exploration, and other commercial and private enterprises on national forest land.

Alaska Wilderness Charters operates trips in the Tongass National Forest and Ford's Terror Wilderness under a Special Use Permit issued by the US Forest Service, Juneau Ranger District, 8510 Mendenhall Loop Road, Juneau, AK 99801.

Alaska Wilderness Charters participates in the Wilderness Best Management Practices (TBMP) for Tracy Arm—Ford's Terror Wilderness. This program is a cooperative effort to minimize the impacts of tourism and vessel operations in the Tracy Arm—Ford's Terror Wilderness (which includes Endicott Arm) in a manner that addresses concerns for our natural resources’ safety and passenger service. By actively participating in this voluntary program, the Alaska Wilderness Charter demonstrates our commitment to the sustainable use of wilderness resources.

USDA Forest Service: Title VI Special Use Permit
© John Schnell Photography. Alaska Wilderness Charters. Instagram.

Wilderness Outfitter and Guide Expectations

  • Activities of outfitters and guides affect the areas in which they operate. Those who operate in designated Wilderness areas have an additional mandate to preserve and protect wilderness values and to maintain the wilderness character.
  • Our shared duty is to build an understanding of the need to perpetuate unimpaired conditions of the federally designated wilderness areas entrusted to our care. Our shared responsibility is to promote an awareness of ecological, geological, and other features of scientific, educational, scenic, and historical value.
  • As an outfitter and guide operating under a permit on the Tongass National Forest, you play a crucial role in conveying this understanding to your clients. While the following characteristics may apply outside the wilderness in many cases, they are essential for the wilderness outfitter guide.

Wilderness Outfitters and Guides

  • Have an understanding of and a personal appreciation for the Wilderness resource. 
  • Place the Wilderness resource above the ease and convenience of themselves and their clients.
  • Hold the view that economic gain is subordinate to the protection of Wilderness values.
  • Are keen observers and interpreters of natural processes. 
  • Pass on to the client: Wilderness history, ethics, and values.
  • Continually seek to improve “Leave No Trace” techniques. 
  • Recognize the value of opportunities for solitude in the Wilderness experience.
  • In their advertising, represent the experience as a primitive and unconfined recreation and prepare clients in advance for a Wilderness experience that contrasts with their daily life.
  • Avoid the competitive urge to provide luxurious amenities that negate the qualities of a Wilderness experience.
  • Take pride in keeping primitive skills alive and sharing them with their clients.
  • Seek agency advice on specific operations such as selecting campsites, layout, and food storage, recognizing their impact on the Wilderness. 
  • Respect the rights of non-guided visitors to enjoy the Wilderness experience and work to minimize user conflicts.