Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge is also deeply committed to Alaskan Native heritage and environmental responsibility. All guests receive a 'leave no trace' talk but the commitment goes far, far deeper than that. The Lodge is situated inside the 1700 acre Pedersen Lagoon which is owned by an Alaskan Native Village Corporation and together with the lodge’s parent company, are working to protect the rich ecological values of the land’s ancestral Alutiiq people.
Visitor numbers to both lodges are limited in order to reduce the environmental footprint and ensure long term sustainability but with the local communities and economies very much at the forefront of thinking. Basically, the aim is to provide a means of economic growth in particularly remote and sensitive areas whilst having a positive impact on the local flora, fauna and wilderness as a whole.
Getting to the lodges requires some travel and in a state as large of Alaska it is almost impossible to avoid some air travel. The flights are generally in small aircraft which form an absolutely pivotal supply chain and also create a considerable number of jobs in the industry as well as generating incomes from sources as diverse as postal services to touristic flights. Flying is a human essential in Alaska and, as with everything in the 50th state, it is integral to the Alaskan way of life.
This vacation is centred around two amazing lodges which enjoy what here in the UK would be unthinkably remote locations. As your host at one of them says: “Our nearest neighbors are 100 miles away.”
Owning and running accommodation in one of the world’s most carefully protected wildernesses is a delicate business but the owners at both the Seward Windsong Lodge and the Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge are well versed in the art of eco-tourism and ensure that their operations benefit not just their clients but also the Alaskan economy and the businesses who supply them. There is also a strong emphasis on ensuring that Alaska’s Native heritage and economic interests are respected.
Seward Windsong Lodge is part of the CIRI group which is one of 12 regional corporations established by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. The company is owned by 8300+ Alaskan Natives and aims to foster social responsibility and responsible tourism.
The CIRI’s mission statement best sums up its aims and philosophy: “to promote the economic and social well-being and Alaska Native heritage of our shareholders, now and into the future, through prudent stewardship of the company’s resources, while furthering self-sufficiency among CIRI shareholders and their families.”