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Boreal Community Media

Superior National Forest to phase out virtual permit issuance for Boundary Waters visitors in mid-July

Jul 02, 2021 10:07AM ● By Editor

From the Superior National Forest - July 2, 2021

Starting in mid-July, most Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness permit holders will need to pick up their permits in-person. The Superior National Forest plans to phase out its virtual program, with the exception of virtual sessions on Sundays for the remainder of the permit season. The forest’s virtual option was developed as a temporary modification in response to Covid19. 

“We’d like to thank all of our visitors and permit holders for being flexible and patient over the last year or so as we provided virtual customer service and permit issuance. While the virtual sessions worked well temporarily, we are excited to move towards face-to-face conversations with our visitors again about their trips, Leave No Trace principles and wilderness preparedness,” said Shannon Rische, deputy forest supervisor. 

Beginning in mid-July, virtual permit issuance and Leave No Trace & Tread Lightly education sessions will be offered only on Sundays at 9:00 am for those who have selected LaCroix District Office or Tofte District Office as their issue station due to these offices being closed on Sundays. 

If you have an upcoming reservation and have already received an email with the virtual session link, or receive one in the coming days, this change does not affect you.  

For reservations in the second half of July or later, the forest encourages you to modify plans accordingly to pick up your permit in-person. Permits can be picked up at a Forest Service district office or a cooperator. For a full list of cooperators, visit this link. If you have questions regarding your issue station, please contact the Forest Service office nearest your entry point.  

All permits (virtual and in-person) must be issued on the entry date or one day prior. 

Forest Service offices are open and offering in-person services; however, hours vary by district. Gunflint and Kawishiwi district offices are open seven days a week, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm. LaCroix and Tofte district offices are open Monday – Saturday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. The Laurentian District Office and the Supervisor’s Office are open Monday – Friday, 8:00 am -4:30 pm.  

If you plan to visit one of our facilities and you are unvaccinated, please wear a mask and practice social distancing in accordance with federal guidance. 

The forest will issue a firm timeline for phasing out virtual programming after the fourth of July. In the meantime, the forest would like to wish all a safe holiday and remind visitors that fireworks are illegal in the BWCA Wilderness. Please recreate responsibly and Leave No Trace & Tread Lightly. If you have questions regarding your permit issue station during the transition, please contact the Forest Service at 218-626-4300.  

A copy of this press release will also be available on our website.

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