On Seduction Point Trail, Scott Ramsey teaches a natural history class for a group of Chilkat Guides employees. (Tom Evans)

On Seduction Point Trail, Scott Ramsey leads a natural history presentation for a group of Chilkat Guides employees. (Tom Evans)

A new outdoor education program gained approval from the Haines Assembly this week.

Scott Ramsey applied for a commercial tour permit for his new business, the Alaska Outdoor Science School. He hopes to teach environmental education classes that include hiking and rafting trips.

“Recently after teaching an environmental education course as an adjunct professor in an online platform, I recognized the limitations of explaining concepts from the textbook and realized the incredible opportunity to show students a living classroom,” Ramsey told the assembly. “Particularly the living textbook here in Haines.”

Ramsey plans to work with schools like the University of Alaska and Virginia Wesleyan College to offer hands-on courses in Haines. Ramsey’s tour permit includes hikes on trails like Mount Riley and Battery Point and rafting trips on the Klehini, Tsirku and Chilkat Rivers. He writes that the groups will number a dozen students and instructors at the most.

Ramsey said he spoke with tour operators who run similar rafting trips around Haines and had not heard any concerns.

The assembly reacted positively to Ramsey’s plans. Ron Jackson said it was nice to have a non-controversial matter to vote on.

“So often we have hearings that are about bad stuff sometimes, appeals and stuff like that,” Jackson said. “This is just so nice — refreshing.”

The assembly unanimously approved the commercial tour permit.

Ramsey’s first environmental education course is set for June.