Unexpected downtime for the National Park Service's planning website has prompted Denali National Park and Preserve officials to extend the scoping period for comments concerning the allocation of climbing permits in the park.
The comment period, which had been scheduled to end December 6, has been extended until December 13.
While it long has been settled that 1,500 climbing permits are issued annually for Mount McKinley, how those permits are distributed between guiding companies and private groups is now being revisited by park officials.
Park officials are developing an environmental assessment to examine the breakdown of permits given commercial guides and independent climbers for the climbing season that runs from April 1 to August 1. Currently, the park's Backcountry Management Plan allocates 25 percent of the permits to commercially guided groups.
Comments may be submitted online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/dena, faxed
to (907) 683-9612, or mailed to the address below.
Denali National Park and Preserve
ATTN: Climbing EA
P.O. Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755
A second comment period is expected next spring when the environmental assessment is issued.