AWA Belief #1: There’s just no substitute for experience.
Alaska is our home, and we’ve been committed to providing the highest quality trips from the beginning, over 40 years ago. We were among the first to offer raft explorations of the Kenai River into the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and we pioneered small-group explorations from the protected areas of Kenai Fjords National Park to Denali National Park and Preserve. We know all the areas we visit intimately. Today, we are proud to continue this tradition as Alaska’s leader in lodge-to-lodge adventure trips.
AWA Belief #2: Comfort and wilderness can peacefully coexist.
Our goal is to share wild Alaska without compromising comfortable accommodations. We pride ourselves on the quality of our cuisine, accommodations and guest service, having honed our approach over many years. We constantly listen to guest feedback to make our itineraries and lodges better. The quality of your Alaska trip is our unwavering focus.
AWA Belief #3: Our guides are our most important treasures.
Our guides love what they do, and many return to work with us year after year. Trained under the most extensive program of any company we know, they are specialists in Alaska’s natural history, wonderful people to travel with and get to know, and they will inspire you with their knowledge and enthusiasm. They’ll guide you to great adventuring every step of the way.
AWA Belief #4: Alaska’s legacy is ours to protect.
At the heart of every trip, lodge and experience we craft is our unwavering focus on responsible travel. We cherish the extraordinary wildness and unique character of Alaska, and we take pride in our ecotourism principles which combine purposeful considerations for conservation, community, culture and commerce. We share in the stewardship of our amazing public lands and waterways for the enjoyment of future generations.
AWA Belief #5: Small groups mean a bigger experience.
We pride ourselves in maintaining the “smaller is better” philosophy. If you are seeking rich experiences in this expansive place we call Alaska, think small. Small groups, small boats, small vehicles. Your rewards for taking the path less traveled? More wildlife. More hospitality. More insight. More authenticity. More friends. More memories. And many, many more smiles.
Our core purpose is to provide our guests with the highest quality, small-group, interactive experience in wild Alaska without compromising – or overemphasizing – comfort. Further, our goal is to do it in a manner that involves a spirited interpretation of the natural world and a constant care and concern for the environment. Behind the scenes in our business world, we seek an enthusiastic approach to new challenges, keenly value a mutual respect among staff, and promote a family-like atmosphere; we also aim to seriously enjoy our work and share the rewards of a well-run business.
The following principles guide the operation of our business and activities where we visit:
Reduction of Environmental Impacts
- Leave all program and operation areas as pristine as we found them. Leave no trace of our passing except for footprints.
- Remove all garbage, including human waste, when wilderness camping and, if possible, clean up messes left by others.
- Reduce our impact in terms of energy consumption and material usage whenever possible, in all operations and administrative locations.
- Consciously make purchases of goods with forethought to pre-cycling as well as re-using and recycling, whenever possible.
- Voluntarily limit or decrease the use of any area if our activities are degrading the environment.
- Disperse our impact on the wild lands of Alaska so the use of the areas we visit can be sustainable.
- Identify the areas we do impact and work to mitigate and prevent further degradation.
- Be a contributor to the conservation of the regions we visit.
- Approach all wildlife in such a manner that our presence does not disturb them or change their behavior. This will sometimes require observing animals from a distance even though the opportunity exists to get closer.
- Avoid critical habitat areas, such as nesting areas, that are particularly important to wildlife survival.
Guest Information and Education
- Distribute these guidelines to our guests in advance of their visit.
- Prepare travelers to minimize their negative impacts while visiting sensitive environments.
- Impart natural history information to enhance appreciation and understanding of Alaska to our guests.
- Aim to present all sides of environmental issues of the areas affected by our visits so that our guests fully understand the issues, choices and challenges that we face in protecting wild areas.
- Promote awareness with others and share information and environmental practices with the community in which we live, and with the agencies with which we work.
- Approach our business with sustainability in mind so that decisions made today will not result in depriving future generations of a quality environment.
- Be upfront, forthright and honest in all business dealings, including interactions with guests, staff, other businesses and the land agencies for which we are permitted.
- Model and describe ideas, techniques and systems so that other businesses may follow in the pursuit of sustainable tourism and a socially responsible business.
- Contribute a voice in the communities in which we operate and within organizations to which we belong, to guide Alaska tourism toward sustainability and appropriate use of resources so that we may protect the wilderness of Alaska for future generations.
- Contribute a minimum of 10% of our pre-tax earnings to conservation organizations and causes.
Alaska is for Everybody
At Alaska Wildland Adventures (AWA), we strive to be leaders in responsible tourism. Our company culture focuses on care and concern for our natural world and environment while also extending into advocacy for equality, inclusion and fairness in our human relationships – with both our guests and our staff.
Our goal is to foster an inclusive environment that is welcoming to anyone who wants to experience the wonders of wild Alaska, regardless of race, religious beliefs, economic background, sexual identity, or abilities.
Here are a few ways that Alaska Wildland Adventures practices building a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community:
- Hiring and Training
- Our Hiring Team meets often to revise and update our hiring practices, to uphold our equity and inclusion standards and ensure continued education on how we can keep our workplaces welcoming and a place where all staff can thrive
- Staff are provided access to routinely updated resources to continue individual growth in the areas of Justice, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI), including books, articles, podcasts and media suggestions to help diversify social media feeds
- Land Acknowledgments
- Our staff and guides receive training on the importance of acknowledging the previous – and in many cases still-present – Indigenous stewards and guardians of the land upon which our lodges and trips operate
- Community Partnerships and Programming
- We are grateful for a long-standing partnership with Port Graham Corporation, a Native Alaskan organization with ancestral connections to the waters and lands of Kenai Fjords National Park (learn more at http://portgrahamcorp.com/)
- We strive to respectfully share the voices of the Alaskan Native people whose ancestral lands we visit and the People of Color who are making a difference in the outdoors and conservation. Projects, for example, include our Sugpiaq Storycorp Fellowship and Sugpiaq Cultural Guide. Both projects are a partnership with the Port Graham Native Corporation where we aim to capture the stories of the Sugpiaq Elders in the community through the voices and art work of the community members today
- We seek to give philanthropically to local organizations and charities which align with our responsible tourism goals