by KTNA Staff ~ September 14th, 2011
An Environmental Assessment (EA) for the allocation of climbing permits
between commercial guided climbing operators and independent, non-guided
climbers on Mount McKinley is now available for public review and comment,
announced Superintendent Paul R. Anderson.
The 2006 Backcountry Management Plan allocated 25% of the permits for
commercially guided groups. The National Park Service (NPS) is considering
an adjustment to the number of permits allocated to guided climbing
operators. Concessioner guided climbs are a longstanding tradition in the
park, and there is an increasing demand for guided climbs. The NPS must
determine if this demand can be accommodated, while assuring that
independent climbers are not displaced, and that wilderness resource
values, visitor experience, and other park resources are protected.
The Backcountry Management Plan also established a seasonal (April 1 to
August 1) limit of 1500 permitted climbers for Mount McKinley. The limit of
1500 permits is not being reviewed in this planning effort.
The NPS has developed a range of alternatives to be considered:
· Alternative 1 is a no action alternative which would enforce the annual
limit of 25% (375) of 1500 climbers for commercially guided climbing set
by the Backcountry Management Plan.
· Alternative 2 guarantees commercially guided climbing of 25% (375) of
1500 climbers , and also allows commercially guided climbing to utilize
any remaining unused permits up to 50% (750) of 1500 climbers, providing
no independent climbers are displaced.
· Alternative 3 guarantees commercially guided climbing of 25% (375)
of1500 climbers, and also allows commercially guided climbing to
utilize any remaining unused permits providing no independent climbers
The NPS has published an EA for this issue entitled “Climbing Allocation
for Mount McKinley.” It is available at the NPS planning website at
The EA analyzes the impacts of the proposed alternatives and the no action
alternative. It was completed in accordance with the National Environmental
Policy Act of 1969 and the regulations of the Council on Environmental
Quality (40 CFR 1508.9).
Comments on the EA may be submitted through October 15, 2011, preferably
via the website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov. Comments may also be faxed
to (907) 683-9612, or mailed to the address below:
Denali National Park and Preserve
ATTN: Climbing Allocation EA
P.O. Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755
For questions about the EA, or if you need a hard copy, please contact
Paula Homan, Project Planning Lead, at (907) 683-6223 or
paula_homan [at] nps [dot] gov or Martha Armington, Project Lead, at (907) 683-9529 or
– NPS –
Experience Your America
The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American
people so that all may experience our heritage.