• Alaska Community Fuel Use

      Saylor, Ben; Wilson, Meghan; Szymoniak, Nick; Fay, Ginny; Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-10)
      The goal of this project was to estimate the amount of fuel used for space heating and electricity production by communities in Alaska. No comprehensive Alaska fuel use data exist at the community level. Community fuel consumption by type of fuel and end use is needed to estimate the potential economic benefits from demand- and supply-side investments in fuel use reduction projects. These investments include weatherization and housing stock improvements; improved lighting, appliance and space heating efficiencies; waste heat capture; electric interties, and alternative energy supply options such as wind and hydroelectric generation. Ultimately the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) and others can use this information to rank and select a suite of projects that provide the largest gains in fuel reductions at the lowest long-term costs and the highest returns on investment over the life of the projects. Study communities consisted of Power Cost Equalization (PCE) eligible communities. Communities in the North Slope Borough were excluded because fuel subsidies offered by the borough result in different patterns of energy use by households.
    • Alaska Fuel Price Projections 2008 - 2030

      Colt, Steve; Saylor, Ben; Szymoniak, Nick (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-04)
      We generated Low, Medium, and High case fuel price projections for the years 2008-2030 for the following fuels: • Incremental natural gas in Southcentral Alaska delivered to a utility-scale customer • Incremental diesel delivered to a PCE community utility tank • Incremental diesel delivered to a home in a PCE community • Incremental home heating oil purchased in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Kenai, Ketchikan, Palmer, and Wasilla This memorandum provides documentation of the assumptions and methods that we used. Two companion Excel workbooks contain the detailed projections
    • Alaska’s People and Economy, 1867-2009

      Leask, Linda; Goldsmith, Oliver Scott; Knapp, Gunnar; Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-09)
      Utterly worthless. That’s how a congressman from Missouri described Alaska in 1867, when the U.S. bought it from Russia. A lot of Americans agreed. For almost 100 years, hardly anyone— except some Alaskans—wanted Alaska to become a state. But Alaska did finally become a state, in 1959. Today, after 142 years as a U.S. possession and 50 years as a state, Alaska has produced resources worth (in today’s dollars) around $670 billion. The U.S. paid $7.2 million for Alaska, equal to about $106 million now. For perspective, that’s roughly what the state government collected in royalties from oil produced on state-owned land in just the month of March 2009. To help mark 50 years of statehood, this publication first takes a broad look at what’s changed in Alaska since 1959. That’s on this page and the back page. We’ve also put together a timeline of political and economic events in Alaska from 1867 to the present. That’s on the inside pages. There’s an interactive version of the timeline—with photos, figures, and more—on ISER’s Web site: www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu.
    • Benefit-Cost Assesment of the Port Mackenzie Rail Extension

      Colt, Steve; Szymoniak, Nick (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-06-20)
      Costs We assume that the Port MacKenzie rail extension would cost $275 million to construct.1 This is a conservative estimate based on a range of between $200 million and $300 million for different route options. The time horizon runs 50 years from 2012 to 2061. O&M costs are assumed to be $1.5 million per year, with a net present value of $26.1 million. The net present value of all costs using a 5% real discount rate2 and a base year of 2010 is $301.1 million. Benefits The rail extension would provide two distinct types of benefits: 1) It reduces the cost of rail transportation; and 2) It is likely to stimulate significant new mines and other major development. These benefits come from a diverse mix of potential projects – thus a strength of the rail extension is that its economic viability does not depend on any one project. Reduced transportation costs Relative to Seward, using the extension would save 140.7 miles per one-way trip.3 Assuming an average cost savings of 6 cents per ton-mile and a 5.0% real discount rate, we estimate that using the extension would save $572 million in avoided rail costs, avoided port costs, and avoided railroad and road upgrades. These savings are shown in the table and figure on the following page. In addition to the above, we estimate that about 22,000 train crossings of Pittman Road and other roads would be avoided by the extension, saving motorists up to 64,000 vehicle-hours of travel time delay between now and 2061.
    • Benefits and Costs to Rural Alaska Households from a Carbon Fee and Dividend Program

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-06-22)
      This paper analyzes the benefits and costs of a carbon fee‐and‐dividend (CFD) policy to individual rural Alaska households. The three study area regions are the Bethel Census Area, the Wade Hampton Census Area, and the Northwest Arctic Borough. These three regions have the state’s highest fuel prices and very cold climates. The CFD policy consists of two elements.  The first is a fee of $15 per metric ton of CO2 beginning in 2016 and increasing by $10 per ton in each subsequent year. The second is the complete return of all fees to households in the form of dividends, which are estimated to equal $300 for each adult plus $150 for each child (up to two). The annual dividends would increase in future years commensurate with the total amount of fees.
    • Benefits and Costs to Rural Alaska Households from a Carbon Fee and Dividend Program - Final Report

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2015-08-01)
      This paper analyzes the benefits and costs of a carbon fee‐and‐dividend (CFD) policy to individual rural Alaska households. The three study area regions are the Bethel Census Area, the Kusilvak Census Area, and the Northwest Arctic Borough. These three regions have the state’s highest fuel prices and very cold climates. The CFD policy consists of two elements.  The first is a fee of $15 per metric ton of CO2 beginning in 2016 and increasing by $10 per ton in each subsequent year. The second is the complete return of all fees to households in the form of dividends, which are estimated to equal $300 for each adult plus $150 for each child (up to two). The annual dividends would increase in future years commensurate with the nationwide total amount of fees. Baseline conditions.  The study area has a total population of about 32,000 people, many of whom live in large households with low cash income. Fuel prices averaged $6.62 per gallon in January 2015.
    • Benefits of the Cook Inlet Ferry to the Municipality of Anchorage

      Szymoniak, Nick; Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-06-30)
      The purpose of this study is to examine the economic benefits of the Cook Inlet Ferry to the Municipality of Anchorage. The Cook Inlet Ferry is currently being built at the Ketchikan, Alaska shipyard. The U.S. Navy has financed construction of the ferry as a prototype military landing craft for northern, ice-filled waters. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough paid for Ferry engineering, design, and outfitting with federal transit monies. Following short-term Navy testing of the craft, it will be transferred to the Borough to provide ferry service in Cook Inlet. The Borough will provide operating and maintenance information to the Navy on an ongoing basis. The Borough will operate the ferry, which will provide regular service between Anchorage and Port MacKenzie as well as service to other points on Cook Inlet. The Ferry is expected to be operational by 2010.
    • Benefits of the Southcentral Rail Extension to the Municipality of Anchorage

      Colt, Steve; Szymoniak, Nick (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2010-01)
      The proposed Southcentral rail extension to Port MacKenzie is likely to generate significant economic benefits for the residents of Anchorage. These benefits are due to a combination of reduced transport costs, the ability to ship bulk commodities over shorter distances, and economical access to industrial land. We considered and analyzed these benefits under a set of assumptions about job creation, transportation costs, land use considerations and future mineral development. Our major findings include the following: Jobs • Port MacKenzie. The rail extension will generate new jobs for Anchorage workers by stimulating industrial development and jobs at Port MacKenzie. Under a base case scenario with a rail extension and ferry service, Anchorage residents would gain 730 average annual jobs and $50 million of annual income during the period of 2013 -2017 from industrial development at Port MacKenzie. Hundreds more jobs would be gained after 2017. The rail extension will play an important role in this process. For example, it will allow coal exports through the port as early as 2013, generating more than 100 jobs. • New Mines. Major new mines shipping concentrate via the rail extension would generate thousands of new jobs, and a significant fraction of these jobs would be held by Anchorage residents. Our detailed analysis of the potential employment from five specific mining projects indicates that more than 2,000 average annual jobs would be created in Anchorage or held by Anchorage residents once the mines are fully developed. Most of these jobs would be in mining and in professional sectors that pay good wages. Also, during initial mine development, many of the jobs would be in construction and fabrication. • Rail Construction. The construction of the rail extension would generate up to 3,000 total jobs, and ongoing operations would generate up to 150 total jobs. It is likely that many of these jobs would be held by Anchorage residents. • State Revenues. State mining taxes generated from new mines will boost the Anchorage economy. Estimated tax revenues and royalties would grow steadily, reaching $267 million per year by 2040. A large share of these potential tax revenues, roughly proportional to Anchorage’s share of state population, would likely flow into the Anchorage economy, sustaining hundreds of direct jobs and reducing property tax burdens that would otherwise stifle private sector job creation. Regional Competitiveness • New Economic Opportunities. Port MacKenzie and the rail extension, operating together, are a significant new strategic asset for the entire regional economy. This infrastructure will create expanded opportunities for mineral, timber, and energy resource development, and the export of bulk commodities by rail through Port MacKenzie constitutes a new economic sector for the Southcentral regional economy. As the region’s commercial and financial hub, Anchorage will gain jobs and income from all of this activity. • More Efficient Land Use. The rail extension allows for higher-valued use of land in Anchorage. The rail extension will allow for railroad-dependent industrial development to take place at Port MacKenzie. This development would allow limited existing industrialzoned land throughout Anchorage to be used for other, higher-value uses such as commercial development, while still meeting the regional economy’s need for industrial land. Fiscal Benefits • New State Revenues. As noted above, revenues to the State of Alaska from new resource development would grow steadily, reaching $267 million per year by 2040. These revenues will reduce the need for other taxes, stimulating capital formation and job creation by the private sector. • Higher Local Tax Base. Local governments will also see higher tax revenues from a higher-valued property tax base. The stimulated new development will increase the tax base and reduce the need to raise taxes on homeowners or existing businesses. Other Benefits • Port of Anchorage. The industrial and mineral development stimulated by the rail extension to Port MacKenzie will likely increase both the volume and the value of cargo going through the Port of Anchorage. For example, if large mines are developed, the goods and equipment used by the mines for development and operations will flow through Anchorage. • Rail Shipping Costs. The unit cost of shipping on the Alaska Railroad is likely to fall as fixed costs of roadbed maintenance and administration are spread over a higher volume of shipments.
    • Comments on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act and Lieberman-Warner proposed legislation

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-04-11)
      The Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act (hereafter LW or “the Act”) aims to cover 87% of total U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.2 It aims to reduce the emissions of those gases by 4% below year 2005 levels in 2012 and by 17% below 2005 levels in 2020. The Act would impose a cap-and-trade mechanism on most energy-using activities. The number of emissions allowances would be limited in order to keep total emissions in each year below the predetermined cap. The interaction of buyers and sellers of emissions allowances would determine a market price per ton of CO2 equivalent. The Act allows emitters to trade, save, and borrow allowances, so that the most cost-effective GHG emissions reductions can be made where and when they are available. The American Council for Capital Formation and the National Association of Manufacturers (ACCF/NAM) recently issued a report3 that projects some of the economic effects of implementing LW. Both effects on the U.S. economy and effects on individual states are projected. The analysis was conducted by Science Applications International Corporation using the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS). NEMS is a set of interlinked computer models that project energy supply and demand and key macroeconomic outcomes such as gross domestic product and employment. Many assumptions are required as inputs into NEMS. The assumptions driving the ACCF/NAM results were provided by ACCF and NAM. They were not chosen by the consultants who ran the model. Two sets of assumptions were used to generate two set of projections: a “Low Cost” scenario and a “High Cost” scenario.
    • Components of Delivered Fuel Prices in Alaska

      Wilson, Meghan; Saylor, Ben; Szymoniak, Nick; Colt, Steve; Fay, Ginny (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-06)
      This is a systematic analysis of components of delivered fuel prices in Alaska. Data for the analysis include limited publicly available Alaska fuel prices (fall 2007 prices), as well as information the authors gathered from extensive interviews with fuel retailers and transporters, communities, and agencies. We identify the individual components of delivered fuel costs—including world price of crude oil, refining costs, transportation costs, storage and distribution costs, taxes and financing costs—and investigate how these factors influence the final retail prices of home heating fuel and gasoline. Transportation, storage, and distribution costs appear to be the most variable factors driving the large retail fuel price differentials among Alaska communities. Therefore, we investigate how factors such as seasonal icing, the number of fuel transfers enroute to specific communities, local storage and delivery infrastructure, marine and river characteristics, and distance from refineries or fuel hubs influence fuel prices. We did an in-depth analysis of how those factors influence prices in ten case study communities around the state—Allakaket/Alatna, Angoon, Bethel, Chitina, False Pass, Fort Yukon, Lime Village, Mountain Village, Unalakleet, and Yakutat. Together, the quantitative data and information on Alaska fuel logistics provide a comprehensive analysis of Alaska’s fuel prices.
    • The Cost of Crime: Could The State Reduce Future Crime and Save Money by Expanding Education and Treatment Programs ?

      Martin, Stephanie; Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-01)
      Alaska’s prison population is among the fastest-growing in the U.S., with five times more inmates in 2007 than in 1981. Spending for the state justice system has nearly doubled since 1981—but the crime rate has dropped only about 30%. Here’s the dilemma for the state, given the pattern shown in Figure 1: what can it do to hold down the number of inmates and stem the rising costs—while at the same time keeping the public safe and using tax dollars effectively? Senator Hollis French asked ISER to project growth in the number of Alaska inmates and the associated costs—and then evaluate whether the state could reduce that growth by expanding intervention and prevention programs for people already in prison or at risk of ending up there. Alaska currently spends about $17 million a year for such programs, but they aren’t available to many of those who might benefit from them.
    • Dollars of Difference: What Affects Fuel Prices Around Alaska?

      Wilson, Meghan; Saylor, Ben; Szymoniak, Nick; Colt, Steve; Fay, Ginny (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-05)
      The spike in oil prices has hit rural Alaskans especially hard, because they rely mostly on fuel oil for heating. But some rural residents are paying much more than others—at times 100% more. The Alaska Energy Authority asked ISER to analyze what determines the prices rural households pay for fuel oil and gasoline. The agency hopes this research can help identify possible ways of holding down fuel prices in the future. In this summary we report only fuel oil prices, but the full report (see back page) also includes gasoline prices. We studied 10 communities that reflect, as much as possible, the forces driving fuel prices. We collected information in November 2007, and fuel prices have gone up a lot since then. Crude oil sold for $120 a barrel in mid-May, up from about $80 in fall 2007.
    • Economic Analysis of an Integrated Wind-Hydrogen Energy System for a Small Alaska Community

      Colt, Steve; Gilbert, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-12)
      Wind-hydrogen systems provide one way to store intermittent wind energy as hydrogen. We explored the hypothesis that an integrated wind-hydrogen system supplying electricity, heat, and transportation fuel could serve the needs of an isolated (off-grid) Alaska community at a lower cost than a collection of separate systems. Analysis indicates that: 1) Combustible Hydrogen could be produced with current technologies for direct use as a transportation fuel for about $15/gallon-equivalent; 2) The capital cost of the wind energy rather than the capital cost of electrolyzers dominates this high cost; and 3) There do not appear to be diseconomies of small scale for current electrolyzers serving a a village of 400 people.
    • Economic Impacts of the South Denali Implementation Plan

      Colt, Steve; Szymoniak, Nick; Fay, Ginny (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-02-01)
      This study estimates the economic effects of carrying out the South Denali Implementation Plan. The plan provides for construction of new visitor facilities in the South Denali Region. ISER economists used the IMPLAN input-output modeling system to project the jobs, income, and sales due to 1) initial construction activity; 2) ongoing operation and maintenance expenses; and 3) additional visitation and visitor spending attributable to the new facilities. The model results include the effects at the Mat-Su Borough and statewide Alaska levels. Local area impacts are also estimated. Suggested Citation: Colt, Steve, Fay, Ginny, Szymoniak, Nick. 2008. Economic Impact of the South Denali Implementation Plan. Prepared for the National Park Service, Denali National Park and Preserve and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Planning and Land Use Department. Anchorage: University of Alaska Anchorage Institute of Social and Economic Research.
    • Economic Importance of Sportfishing in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough

      Colt, Steve; Schwörer, Tobias (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-08-31)
      We have estimated the economic benefits of sport fishing activity occurring within the Matanuska-Susitna (Mat-Su) Borough, using data from year 2007. Our estimates are based on the recent study entitled, Economic Impacts and Contributions of Sportfishing in Alaska, 2007. 2 It contains estimates of angler spending patterns within three regions: Southcentral, Interior, and Southeast. We also used year 2007 data from the ADFG annual Statewide Harvest Survey (SWHS).3 These data allow us to allocate economic benefits to the Mat-Su Borough.
    • End Use Energy Data Collection for Alaska Buildings Guidance Document

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2011-01-04)
    • Fiscal Impacts of Alternative Land Use Scenarios for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska

      Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2014-04-29)
      This paper presents the projected fiscal impacts on Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna Borough (MSB) and its taxpayers, through year 2050, of six alternative land use and population scenarios. The analysis is focused on population growth and education spending, due to the overwhelming importance of school expenditures in overall borough finances. The Mat-Su Borough is Alaska’s fastest growing borough. Between 2000 and 2012, MSB population grew by 3.8% per year, from about 60,000 to about 94,000. Also, real1 total school expenditures per student (both operating plus capital) increased by 1.6% per year between 2003 and 2012. The State of Alaska currently pays 71% of these total education costs.2 With Alaska oil production decreasing, state education spending per student is likely to decline. Population growth could therefore be costly to MSB residents if school and other costs increase faster than available financial resources.
    • Fuel Costs, Migration, and Community Viability

      Martin, Stephanie; Killorin, Mary; Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-05)
      ISER researchers compiled and reviewed existing studies and data sources relating to the economic and social viability of remote rural Alaska communities. We particularly looked for possible linkages between high fuel costs and migration. Our review indicates the following: (1) migration from smaller places toward larger places is an ongoing phenomenon that is more noticeable when birth rates drop; (2) there is no systematic empirical evidence that fuel prices, by themselves, have been a definitive cause of migration; (3) the pursuit of economic and educational opportunities appears to be a predominant cause of migration; (4) however, currently available survey data are not sufficient to definitively determine other reasons for migration, which could include concerns about public safety and/or alcohol abuse; 5) most of the survey data pre-date the latest rapid increase (2006-2008) in fuel prices. We suggest several ways that better data could be collected on community viability and the reasons for migration.
    • How Would$1,200 Per Person State Payments Compare With Increased Household Costs for Energy Use?

      Colt, Steve; Saylor, Ben (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2008-07-11)
      In the face of sharply rising energy costs, Alaska’s governor, Sarah Palin, has proposed to pay every Alaskan $1,200 to help cover those increased costs. The Alaska Legislature will be considering the governor’s proposal in the special session that began July 9. How would the proposed payments—about $3,300 for the average-size Alaska household—compare with recent increases in energy costs? We looked at that question and present our estimates here. But these truly are estimates, because there’s not much current information about the types and amounts of energy Alaska households use.
    • Nature-Based Tourism in Southeast Alaska

      Dugam, Darcy; Fay, Ginny; Griego, Hannah; Colt, Steve (Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage, 2009-03)
      In this report we calculate the economic importance of nature-based tourism in Southeast Alaska as measured by business revenue. Our estimates are based on field research conducted during 2005, 2006 and 2007. We define nature-based tourism as those tourism activities for which the natural environment is a significant input.1 Our key findings include the following: • Nature-based tourism generates about $277 million per year of direct business revenues in Sitka, Juneau, Chichagof Island, Prince of Wales Island, Petersburg and Wrangell. This number is most likely an underestimate of total revenues because not all naturebased tourism businesses and business sectors could be included in our estimates. Our numbers do not include tips – which in some businesses might add 25% to revenues – or taxes and fess paid directly to local governments. In addition, the especially rainy weather of 2006 probably caused abnormally low sales for some businesses. • Average revenue per visitor varies considerably among communities and activities; ranging from about $140 per visitor in Juneau to more than $2,600 per visitor on Prince of Wales Island. These differences reflect the range of activities offered -- from half-day excursions to multiple, overnight all-inclusive lodge stays. • Nature-based tourism expenditures create a significant economic ripple effect that keeps money circulating through the economy. This money supports jobs in marketing, support services, food and beverages, accommodations, fuel sales, government, and other sectors. • Communities are clearly striving to differentiate themselves and capitalize on local amenities such as the Stikine River, Anan Creek, the LeConte Glacier, Tracy Arm, Glacier Bay, Pack Creek and exceptional fishing and scenic opportunities. • A large and growing portion of Southeast Alaska’s visitors are cruise ship passengers. Both cruise passengers and independent travelers are similarly interested in nature-based tourism services. The majority of cruise ship shore excursions offer nature-based activities, from hikes and glacier viewing to flightseeing and forest canopy zip lines. • Communities hosting large numbers of cruise passengers are actively developing new and creative tourism products such as forest canopy zip lines and mountain biking while those with fewer visitors tend to be focused on sport fishing. This appears to be the case even if local amenities exist to support a broader range of business and visitor activities. Thus, there appear to be unrealized opportunities in some communities, but these may also reflect an inadequate visitor base upon which to risk additional investment. • There is a complex and competitive system for pre-booking cruise ship shore excursions. Businesses with exclusive cruise line contracts make price and tour information available only to cruise passengers and often agree to sell tours only through the cruise line.• The tourism businesses in cruise ports of call that appear to be most successful either have a cruise ship shore excursion contract or are catering to overnight (non-cruise) guests with high-quality and high-value services. Examples of these types of businesses include sport fishing lodges and multi-day yacht cruises. • It is difficult to compete with established businesses holding existing cruise line contracts. Despite this hurdle, a number of companies are offering creative new products including zip lines through the forest canopy, glass-bottomed boats, and an amphibious “duck” tour. • Some operators attribute the increased interest in adventure activities to a change in cruise ship clientele. In recent years, cruise companies have been catering to a younger crowd, targeting families. In any event, increasing numbers of passengers are interested in more active pursuits. • Competition for cruise passengers exists both within and between communities, as people are booking their shore excursions in advance and look at all the options. Sitka companies mentioned they were carefully tracking zip line activity in Juneau and Ketchikan, dogsled tours on the Mendenhall Glacier, and other activities to see which market niche they could capture. • There is some evidence that visitors are willing to pay premium prices for higher quality experiences in more pristine environments. However, it is not clear what specific attributes (seclusion, fishing experience, food, services, perceived exclusivity, and environmental amenities) are the key components of this higher market value. • It is possible to design a community-based tourism program that provides employment to local residents as is occurring in Hoonah. However, Elfin Cove appears to bring in more in gross revenues than Hoonah with about one-eighth as many visitors because Hoonah’s operation relies on volume while Elfin Cove businesses rely on higher-priced fishing lodge experiences. Day trips seem to be relatively higher cost, lower profit operations. • Independent travelers appear to try to avoid crowds and many are repeat visitors. Most tend to stay longer and have more open itineraries than those on cruise ships or organized tours. These characteristics make independent travelers more difficult to contact. • Independent travelers also appear to seek communities with fewer visitors and those that they perceive to be more “authentic,” such as Petersburg, Wrangell, and communities on Chichagof Islands. A lack of transportation capacity, whether on scheduled jets or on ferries, may be limiting the opportunities for these smaller communities. Less marketing may also be a factor limiting visits by independent travelers. • The primary marketing mechanisms for smaller, non-cruise related businesses are the internet and word of mouth. In addition, many customers return to the same fishing lodge, yacht tour, or charter business year after year. • Wildlife viewing is highly attractive to visitors due to spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife including whales and other marine mammals. Companies in several communities expressed a desire to move toward more wildlife viewing and sightseeing and away from sport fishing. These operators preferred wildlife viewing as it was less stressful due to less pressure to catch fish. Some operators were making this shift, while others thought they would not be able to match the revenue generated by sport fishing. • Weather has a significant impact on business for companies whose tours are not prebooked on cruise ships. Operators noted a marked difference between the sunny, dry summer of 2004 and the remarkably wet summer of 2006. Visitors walking off a ship in the rain were much less likely to go on marine tours or hikes in soggy conditions, and seasonal revenues were down. Businesses with cruise contracts did not experience this setback as passengers are not reimbursed for pre-sold tours when weather conditions are poor. The one exception was flightseeing, where companies had to cancel tours due to unsafe weather conditions. • Promoting wildlife watching is an important marketing strategy for Southeast Alaska communities. Visitors bureaus currently produce pamphlets with charismatic large animals, such as whales and bears. Bureau staff cited studies showing the desire to see wildlife was attracting a large portion of out-of-state visitors. • A significant policy question emerging from this research is how the public lands might be managed to increase the economic returns from tourism to residents of Southeast Alaska communities, especially the smaller communities that can only accommodate smaller numbers of visitors at one time. Bear viewing is one example of a high-value activity that depends on controlled access to specific infrastructure.