The Haines Assembly scheduled a special meeting to discuss a new winter tour permit that drew opposition from some residents.
Alaska Mountain Guides is seeking approval to run snowmachine and backcountry ski tours in several Upper Valley locations.
After hearing from a few residents, AMG owner Sean Gaffney said he would remove the Jarvis Glacier area from the permit application. He said he doesn’t want to affect other user groups.
“The areas that we included in the permit application were such that they would allow us to stay away from other user groups,” Gaffney said. “There’s enough different areas in there that if we encounter groups in one area, we could move to another and try to respect everybody that’s out there.”
But some Upper Valley residents still had concerns. Jessica Plachta said the tours could encroach on her favorite cross-country skiing spot near the Little Salmon/Tsirku flats. She says the area is home to trumpeter swans and eagles that would be spooked by snowmachines.
“It’s our reason for living up there, pure and simple,” said Plachta. “It’s our reason for being there. So please, don’t take it away from us. Don’t ruin it.”
Scott Sundberg said the new tours might also conflict with his winter recreation business.
The assembly will hold a longer discussion about the tour permit at a committee-of-the-whole meeting on Nov. 29.