SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Forest Service seeks comment on Petersburg outfitter and guide use plan


January 08, 2010

Petersburg, Alaska - The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public comment on its Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Outfitter and Guide Management Plan for the Petersburg Ranger District. A decision on the plan will determine how recreation visitor capacity will be allocated to outfitters and guides through issuance of special use permits.

The project area comprises about 1.9 million acres in central Southeast Alaska on the Petersburg Ranger District, including Mitkof, Kupreanof, Woewodski, and Kuiu Islands, a section of the mainland, and several smaller islands. It encompasses the communities of Petersburg, Kupreanof, and Kake.

The EA describes two action alternatives. Alternative 1, the Proposed Action; and Alternative 2, Increased Solitude. Although Alternative 2 is the preferred alternative, the final decision may include either alternative, a combination of alternatives, or a new alternative.

Both Alternatives propose to allocate outfitter and guides up to 10 percent of the capacity within and 25 percent outside an identified home range. These allocations would be proportioned out by season, and would authorize up to 39,605 Recreation Visitor Days annually. Alternative 1 proposes:

  • 10% or 3,961 RVDs in the spring (April 1 - May 31)
  • 65% or 25,743 RVDs in the summer (June 1 - August 31)
  • 15% or 5,941 RVDs in the fall (September 1 - October 31)
  • 10% or 3,961 RVDs in the winter (November 1 - March 31)

Alternative 2 is similar to Alternative 1, but with reduced outfitter and guide allocations in the spring and fall in Study Areas 12A (Saginaw/Security/Washington Bays) and 14 (Keku Strait/Port Camden). Reducing spring and fall allocated use in these study areas is intended to result in fewer user conflicts due to a greater opportunity for solitude. Currently the annual actual use for all study areas on the Petersburg Ranger District is less than what is proposed in either action alternative.

Authorization of outfitter and guide operations will be based on the district's wilderness needs assessments and the Petersburg Recreation Use Carrying Capacity Report, which were completed in November and December 2009. The Forest Service will allocate a portion of the total recreation carrying capacity for commercial use while taking into account the needs of unguided users and forest resources.

The 30-day comment period on the EA will begin on the date the Notice of Availability is published in the Petersburg Pilot, the newspaper of record. Send comments to:

Petersburg District Ranger Chris Savage / Team Leader Marina Whitacre
Attn. Petersburg Outfitter and Guide Management Plan
U.S. Forest Service
PO Box 1328
Petersburg, AK, 99833-1328

Comments may also be e-mailed to: Use "Petersburg Outfitter and Guide Management Plan" in the subject line.


On the Web:

For more information or copies of the Environmental Assessment (EA)


Source of News:

U.S. Forest Service

E-mail your news & photos to

Publish A Letter in SitNews         Read Letters/Opinions

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2010
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska