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Alaska Department of Fish and Game


McNeil River Special Access Permits
Application Procedure

Application Procedures for Scientific, Educational or Media Special Access Permits

The following procedures apply to applications for Scientific, Educational and Media permits for access to the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary.

  1. Application Deadline: Applications for these Special Access Permits are accepted starting September 1 and must be received by 5:00 pm on December 1 of the calendar year preceding the summer season the applicant desires to visit the sanctuary.

  2. How to Apply: Application forms can be obtained on these web pages or by contacting us (see the “Contact McNeil” page). Completed applications may be submitted by mail, fax or electronically by email.

  3. Application Fee: There is an application fee of $50 per person (3 person maximum per application) for these Special Access Permits. Please include a check made to “State of Alaska” (in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank) or a completed credit card payment form with your application.

  4. Available Time Blocks: A maximum of 10 permits (40 permit-days) will be available for scientific, educational or media permit applications. These Special Access Permits will normally be issued for the following time blocks:

    • Time Block C = June 15 – 18
    • Time Block E = June 23 – 26
    • Time Block J = July 13 – 16
    • Time Block M = July 25 – 28
    • Time Block P = August 6 – 9

    No more than 3 permits (12 permit-days) will be allocated to these Special Access Permits for any time block. Unallocated permit-days will be made available for Commissioner’s Permits (described below) and regular lottery applicants.

  5. Number in Party: Special Access Permits may be granted for a maximum of three persons during a 4-day time block. The function and need for each of these persons must be fully explained and the review panel may recommend issuing permits for fewer individuals or fewer permit-days than requested.

  6. Notification of selection results: The McNeil River Special Access Permit Review Panel will make recommendations to the Commissioner regarding the qualifications of each application. The Commissioner will consider the panel’s recommendations and may accept or reject all or a portion of them. Applicants will be notified of results (usually by February 15) and successful applicants will be issued their permits once the permit use fee is received.

  7. Restrictions: Applicants who receive a Special Access Permit will not be eligible for any other form of Special Access Permit or Viewing Access Permit for the calendar year of their permit or the following year (except off-season permits).

  8. Alternatives: Unsuccessful applicants for Special Access Permits may apply for Viewing Access Permits through the lottery drawing.