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Boreal Community Media

Tentative date announced for reopening BWCAW permit process

Feb 09, 2019 03:03PM ● By Editor
Photo:  BWCA.com

From the Ely Echo - February 7, 2019

The USDA Forest Service anticipates reopening the process to reserve Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness quota permits on February 27, 2019. Prior to the tentative reopening date for the reservation system the Forest Service is working on the following actions:

fixing a technical problem in the BWCAW sale software;
additional planned training for permit cooperators who rely on the system;
and additional testing to ensure a smooth launch of the updated system.
Once the above schedule of actions is successfully completed the Forest Service will confirm the reopening date and move forward with broad public outreach to notify the public of the new reservation period.

“We deeply regret the difficulty this has caused, and I want to thank the members of the community who are working with us to make this transition to an online reservation system successful,” said Superior National Forest Supervisor Connie Cummins. “Our goal is to ensure the reservation system provides a fair and open means for the public to visit the Boundary Waters and support the local businesses that depend on this special place.”

The problem in the BWCAW permit reservation process last Wednesday resulted in many people unable to access the BWCAW reservation process when it opened. This lead to only a small number of people being able to reserve a permit. The Forest Service halted the process for applying for BWCAW permits, then directed Recreation.gov to cancel and refund any reservations that were processed.

The BWCAW, located on the Superior National Forest in Minnesota, is one of over 3,500 facilities across the country which utilize Recreation.gov to manage their permit reservation processes. Within the national reservation system, customers can simultaneously apply for and secure a reservation for a permit.

Full details on the reservation process are located at https://www.recreation.gov/permits/233396.