Change to Glacier Bay Compendium: Vessel "Length of Stay" Regulations

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A permit is required for all vessels in Glacier Bay from June 1 through August 31.

Date: March 14, 2014
Contact: Susan L. Boudreau, Superintendent, 907-697-2230
Contact: Albert Faria, Chief Ranger, 907-697-2230

GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE, AK: Superintendent Susan L. Boudreau announces a change in the 2014 Compendium for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, regarding private boater permit "Length of Stay" regulations, Section 13.1152(a). 

After the proposed 2014 Compendium was published and the comment period ended, it was brought to the Service's attention that the provision "Length of Stay" listed under 13.1152(a) is not consistent with NPS regulations. Under 36 CFR 13.1152, a permit is required for all vessels in Glacier Bay from June 1 through August 31. In the 2013 compendium, the following language appeared: 

"Length of Stay" stated that if additional vessel use days are unavailable, a vessel may remain anchored for up to seven additional days without motorized operation at Blue Mouse Cove, Sandy Cove, or Bartlett Cove. If the vessel leaves an anchorage without obtaining a permit or permit extension it must proceed directly out of the Bay.  

The exceptions set out in 36 CFR 13.1156 to the permit requirement are:

  • Vessels engaged in official, non commercial business of the state or federal government
  • Vessels operating in Bartlett Cove waters east of a line extending from the long axis of the fuel dock to the wilderness boundary of Lester Island.
  • Vessels launched from a permitted vessel while the permitted vessel remains at anchor or in accordance with a concession contract.
  • Authorized commercial fishing vessels
  • Vessels granted safe harbor 

The NPS compendium cannot authorize an activity that is prohibited by published regulations. Because there is no exception that allows an individual to operate a vessel in order to exit Glacier Bay without a permit, this language has been removed from the 2014 Final Glacier Bay Compendium. 

While there is an exception for operating in Bartlett Cove east of a line extending from the long axis ofthe fuel dock to the wilderness boundary of Lester Island, there is no exception for Blue Mouse Cove or Sandy Cove. The language listed in the 2013 compendium which purported to authorize individuals to remain in these areas of Glacier Bay or to operate a vessel in Glacier Bay without a valid permit is not consistent with the permit requirement in 36 CFR 13.1152 and not covered by an exception listed in 36 CFR13.1156. Accordingly, this language has been removed from the 2014 Final Glacier Bay Compendium. 

Effective June 1, 2014, all vessels in Glacier Bay require a valid permit unless excepted under one of the circumstances outlined in 36 CFR 13.1156.

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