Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center Transportation #ORMS-2314

Commenting on This Project

The Alaska Region is implementing a policy change to address challenges in managing commercial transportation to and from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center (Visitor Center) during the cruise ship season (April – October). Visitation to the Visitor Center has increased to nearly 700,000 annual visitors as of 2018, with additional growth expected over the next several years. Existing facilities simply can’t accommodate the growing number of visitors. Increased use has affected resources and visitor safety and experiences. The policy change will update a Forest Service Manual regional supplement. Under the policy, the Forest Service may restrict commercial transport to special use permit holders only at the Visitor Center during the cruise season. This will enable the Forest Service to better manage and enforce authorized commercial transportation access and for law enforcement to cite unauthorized access.

Forest Service Manual 2720 provides guidance for Forest Service Special Uses administration, including outfitting and guiding service.  The Forest Service, is seeking public comment on a proposed revision to a directive supplement for the Alaska Region that would require an outfitting and guiding permit for strictly point-to-point commercial transportation to, from, and within the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center subunit of the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area (Visitor Center subunit) in the Alaska Region of the Forest Service (Alaska Region).  


The Forest Service is implementing changes to the Alaska Region Supplement to Forest Service Manual 2720 directive. These changes include the following:

  • Revises the definition of “guiding” for purposes of the Alaska Region, and for consistency with the definition of “guiding” in Forest Service regulations.
  • Requires an outfitting and guiding permit for all strictly point-to-point commercial transportation (including services provided by Transportation Network Companies) to, from, and within the Visitor Center subunit of Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area.
  • The permit requirement would apply only during the cruise season as reflected in the calendar published annually by Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska.



If you have a question about this project, please send it to:

Earnest Rawles

National Level