Katmai National Park Accepting Public Comments About Brooks River Corridor Permit Process

The following press release is courtesy of the National Park Service:

Katmai National Park and Preserve seeks public input on the Brooks River Corridor permit system 

Photo by Russ Taylor/National Park Service

KING SALMON, Alaska ––Katmai National Park and Preserve is seeking public comment on the seasonal Brooks River Corridor permit system, first piloted in 2022. Public comments will be accepted from March 27 through April 28, 2023 at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/BrooksRiverCorridorPermitSystem

In 2022, the park piloted a seasonal permit system in the Brooks River Corridor for all activities, except for redfish fishery subsistence activities.The?Brooks?River?Corridor includes the?Brooks River as well as 50 yards from the water on either side along the banks upstream from the elevated bridge and boardwalk. This does not include graveled trails, boardwalks, or wildlife viewing platforms. The Brooks River is an important habitat for migrating and spawning salmon, is a primary fishing location for Alaskan brown bears, and is enjoyed by visitors for fishing, bear viewing and photography. The number of bears using the river has been consistently high in recent years and the number of people visiting the Brooks River Corridor continues to increase. This seasonal permit system was developed to learn how many people utilize the Corridor every year, while providing an avenue for creating future visitor safety measures that ensure an enjoyable visit, avoid human-bear interactions, and protect natural resources.   

The 2022 pilot permit program greatly enhanced the NPS’ ability to effectively address management concerns in the Brooks River Corridor.  Accordingly,the park plans to continue implementing this permit?system going forward.?The?permit?system has already proven to be an important management tool to enhance visitor safety and resource protection and builds upon other actions taken to manage the?Brooks?River?Corridor?within the park’s 1987 General Management Plan (GMP). ?  

The park has taken what it learned from the pilot year and developed an updated permit structure for 2023. This year, visitors will need a permit within the Brooks River Corridor from June 15-October 31, 2023.  Permits can be obtained online starting June 1, 2023, at Recreation.gov and are valid for seven days with a maximum group size of six individuals.  Permits can also be obtained at the Brooks Camp Visitor Center. Permits are free but do include a six-dollar booking fee online and in-person.  

Because it is still early in the development of this permit system, Katmai National Park and Preserve is interested, once again, in hearing your thoughts about the Brooks River Corridor permit system. The public is invited to provide input by visiting the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website https://parkplanning.nps.gov/BrooksRiverCorridorPermitSystem between March 27 and April 28, 2023. The park will also hold public meetings during the open public comment period at the following dates, times and locations:   

  • April 3, 2023 between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at the Coast Inn Hotel in Anchorage, AK   
  • April 4, 2023 between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at the Best Western Bidarka Inn in Homer, AK  
  • April 17, 2023 between 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at 1000 Silver St, King Salmon, AK. An option to call-in and attend virtually will also be available during the public meeting held on April 17, 2023. Directions on how to attend virtually are located on the PEPC website. 

To submit comments and find detailed information about the permit system and the public meetings, please visit the project website athttps://parkplanning.nps.gov/BrooksRiverCorridorPermitSystem.