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Kenai refuge taking cabin reservations

Posted: Friday, May 06, 2005

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge has instituted a reservation system for public-use cabins on the 2 million-acre refuge. The new reservation system became effective this week.

"The new reservation process is one result of an environmental assessment and the resulting Cabin Management Plan developed last year as a product of congressional funding directed at our public-use cabins," refuge manager Robin West said in a press release.

Refuge staff have developed a reservation system accessible on the Internet at http://kenai.fws.gov/, by phone at (907) 262-7021, and in person at the refuge headquarters in Soldotna.

In the future, West expects the reservation system to be administered through a nationwide contractor like the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service cabins are administered.

Ten cabins on the refuge currently are available for public use, with plans to build three more this summer. Eight cabins are part of the reservation system while two cabins will remain first-come, first-serve, with on-site self-registration.

Fees for the reservation cabins will range from $35 to $45 per night, a portion of which will go toward cabin maintenance. No fee will be charged at the first-come, first-serve cabins.

The basic guidelines for reserving cabins are:

Registration and accountability for recreational use of cabins will be limited to noncommercial users 18 years old and older;

A cabin permit holder or named cabin occupant can reserve that cabin once during a 30-day period;

Reservations may be made up to 180 days in advance;

Use of cabins is limited to seven consecutive days, with a permit day beginning at noon and ending at noon the next day;

Occupancy of cabins without a permit for reservation cabins or registering at the first-come, first-serve cabins is prohibited;

Cabin users must comply with all refuge, state and federal public-use, boating, hunting and fishing regulations.

At the first-come, first serve cabins, users must register upon arrival.

"Our staff has strived to develop a system that assures all parties interested in using these public-use cabins will have a reasonable chance to do so," West said.

More information on refuge cabins is available from the refuge and on its Web site.



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