36 CFR 251.124 - Preferred operator competitive special use authorization procedures.
(a) In selecting persons to provide visitor services for a CSU, the authorized officer shall, if the number of visitor service authorizations is to be limited, give a preference (subject to any rights of historical operators under this subpart) to preferred operators as defined in this subpart who are determined to be qualified to provide such visitor services.
(b) In such circumstances, the authorized officer shall solicit applications competitively by issuing a prospectus for persons to apply for a visitor services authorization. Notwithstanding Forest Service outfitting and guiding policy in Forest Service Handbook 2709.11, chapter 40, when authorizations, including priority use permits for activities other than sport hunting and fishing, expire in accordance with their terms, they shall not be reissued if there is a need to limit use and when there is competitive interest by preferred operators.
(c) To qualify as a preferred operator under this subpart, an applicant responding to a solicitation made under this section must be determined by the authorized officer to be a local resident as defined in § 251.121 of this subpart, or the Native Corporation most directly affected by establishment or expansion of the CSU covered by the solicitation pursuant to § 251.123 of this subpart.
(d) Applicants seeking preferred operator status based on local residency must provide documentation verifying their claim. Factors demonstrating the location of an individual's primary, permanent residence and business include, but are not limited to, the permanent address indicated on licenses issued by the State of Alaska, tax returns, and voter registration.
(e) An application from a preferred operator in the form of a corporation, partnership, limited partnership, joint venture, individual entrepreneurship, nonprofit entity, or other form of organization shall be considered valid only when the application documents to the satisfaction of the authorized officer that the preferred operator holds the controlling interest in the corporation, partnership, limited partnership, joint venture, individual entrepreneurship, nonprofit entity, or other form of organization.
(f) A qualified preferred operator shall be given preference, pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section, over all other applicants, except with respect to use allocated to historical operators pursuant to § 251.122 of this subpart.
(g) If the best application from a preferred operator is at least substantially equal to the best application from a non-preferred operator, the preferred operator shall be issued the visitor service authorization. If an application from an applicant other than a preferred operator is determined to be the best application (and no preferred operator submits a responsive application that is substantially equal to it), the preferred operator who submitted the best application from among the applications submitted by preferred operators shall be given the opportunity, by amending its application, to meet the terms and conditions of the best application received. If the amended application of that preferred operator is considered by the authorized officer to be at least substantially equal to the best application, the preferred operator shall be issued the visitor service authorization. If a preferred operator does not amend its application to meet the terms and conditions of the best application, the authorized officer shall issue the visitor service authorization to the applicant who submitted the best application in response to the prospectus.