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McNeil River Bear Viewing Permit Deadline is Fast Approaching

If you’re seeking a seat this summer at the best brown bear viewing site in the world, take note: The application deadline for lottery permits to visit Alaska’s McNeil River State Game Sanctuary is March 1.

Located 100 air miles west of Homer, McNeil River hosts the world’s largest gathering of brown bears. They come to feed on migrating salmon and as many as 80 bears have been observed at McNeil River at one time.

Online applications for this summer must be submitted by midnight on March 1. Hard copy applications submitted by mail must be received by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game by close of business on March 1.

A nonrefundable application fee of $30 per person is required. Applications are selected by lottery and, if drawn, Alaska residents pay a $225 permit fee and nonresidents $525.

Online applications and printable application forms are available at http://www.mcneilriver.adfg.alaska.gov through the “Permits” tab and “Viewing Permits” link.

For information on the McNeil River bear viewing program and application process, contact Lands and Refuges Coordinator Ed Weiss at 267-2189 or ed.weiss@alaska.gov.