The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has agreed that a DXpedition to Baker and Howland Islands (KH1) — the fourth most-wanted DXCC entity — would be an acceptable use, but has detailed strict conditions under which it would issue a special use permit (SUP) to allow such use. The FWS recently completed a compatibility determination for Amateur Radio operation on Baker Island National Wildlife Refuge, and two dozen comments showed “strong support” for Amateur Radio operation on the ecologically sensitive island refuge, the FWS said. Baker Island is 1,830 nautical miles southwest of Honolulu — an 8-day voyage.
“While…not a wildlife dependent public use according to National Wildlife Refuge Administration Act of 1966, as amended, Amateur Radio operation is a use that assists in the management of the resources indirectly,” the FWS said in its Compatibility Determination, released on June 8. “By allowing Amateur Radio operators to visit the PRIMNM refuges, the refuges benefit through the ability of staff to visit remote island sites to monitor wildlife populations, habitats, detect invasive species introductions, and perform management actions that would otherwise require the Service to charter a vessel.”