Conservation Program

What is Ecotourism?

An innovative tool to promote the conservation of wild areas. 

Though often misused as a catch phrase describing nature travel, ecotourism actually is a rather complicated concept. Ecotourism represents a means of protection for remote wild areas through sound and sustainable economic development. To truly be successful, ecotour operators not only tread lightly but must also set limits upon their use of the land and its resources. 

Here are some ways that Alaska Wildland Adventures promotes and practices this important philosophy:
  1. Our style of travel maintains a low impact on the natural environment. Use is sustainable over time without altering the resource or negatively affecting the experience. 
  2. There is an educational emphasis and purposeful desire for travelers to learn about the natural and cultural history of the places they visit. 
  3. The tours provide direct benefit to the local economy and local inhabitants, thereby providing an incentive for local support and preservation of wild areas and wildlife habitat. 
  4. Company expansion provides economic growth while protecting the natural environment; any development is willingly subjected to limits and conducted with environmental sensitivity. 
  5. We also recognize that, at some point, a group becomes too large to be "ecotourism." That's why we believe that smaller groups mean a bigger experience. 
  6. For more information about sustainable tourism in Alaska, please contact The Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association and The International Ecotourism Society. 


Alaska Wildland Adventures developed a method for evaluating and minimizing its impacts on the environment. We call this method our "Greenworks Program." This award-winning program looks at all of our operations and administrative activities and identifies steps where our daily business practices can be modified to lessen the harm on our environment. Copies of our Greenworks Manual are distributed at industry conferences. 

Company Volunteerism

Company President Kirk Hoessle is a founding board member and two-term past president of the Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association (AWRTA). This association of small wilderness-dependent companies provides a unified voice in support of the value of the wild character of Alaska. Hoessle was elected by his peers to serve on the board of the Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA), the official statewide trade group. As a board member he champions the importance of Alaska's greatest asset, the pristine lands and waterways we all enjoy. Other AWA staff support their communities in a variety of ways, embodying a company spirit of contribution and positive participation. 

Successful Hydro System at Kenai Backcountry Lodge

After three years of researching and planning, Alaska Wildland Adventures was able to lessen our dependence on generators at our remote Kenai Backcountry Lodge. The strategic construction of a hydro-electric system utilizes the power of a nearby creek. The water from the creek moves through a series of pipes and a turbine to eventually charge the lodge's battery bank. Following its natural path, all creek water flows into Skilak Lake. The energy stored in the battery bank runs all lights and water in the kitchen, main lodge and bathhouse as well as lodge laundry facilities. Guests are fascinated by the hydro system and truly appreciate the lack of generator noise that is common to most other backcountry lodges. Alaska Wildland Adventures is proud to continue working towards promoting the quiet beauty of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and all of Alaska's wild places. 

Two Dollars a Day for Conservation 

Alaska Wildland Adventures and Kenai Riverside Fishing contribute annually to Alaska-based non-profit efforts for environmental and fisheries protection. As a consumer, you can elect to participate in our "Two Dollars A Day Program." Since its inception, the program has allowed us to pass through tens of thousands of dollars in contributions. You can help support groups working to preserve and protect the fisheries of the Kenai River and the Kenai Peninsula by making a contribution of $2 per day of your trip with us.  This is a voluntary program; this amount will not be applied to your trip without your consent.

Donations made to this program will be equally divided among:
  • Friends of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge 
  • Eastern Kenai River Peninsula Environmental Action Association 
  • Cook Inlet Keeper 
  • Kenai River Sportfishing Association