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Boreal Community Media

Video: BWCAW open for quota permit visitors starting May 1

Apr 29, 2022 05:17AM ● By Editor
Photos: KARE 11 News

By Dana Thiede from KARE 11 News • April 28, 2022

It doesn't look or feel like canoe weather, but quota permit season for overnight paddle, hiking or motorized boat trips begins this Sunday, May 1, 2022. 

The U.S. Forest Service says its regional offices and those of "BWCAW cooperators" are open and ready to begin issuing permits in-person during operating hours. 

Visitors can also make reservations for a permit at

Permits will be limited to 5,700 between May and September after visits to the pristine wilderness area spiked in 2020 and 2021. With the increase in visitors came "cutting of live trees, human waste not being properly disposed, trash left in campfire rings, illegal entry, food not properly stored, disruptive and oversized groups, lack of BWCA permits, improper food storage and campfires left unattended," according to the Forest Service. 

Those planning an early trip are being warned that wintry conditions are lingering in the Arrowhead Region, with lakes ice covered and variable amounts of snow on the ground.

Visitors are advised to check conditions ahead of time by calling the Forest Service local district office or their outfitter/guide so they are prepared.

Here are a few other things you should know:

  • Permit holders or alternate group leaders must pick up permits on the entry date or one day before, and participate in a Leave No Trace & Tread Lightly session before entering the Wilderness. 
  • Watch parts 1 & 2 of the BWCAW Leave No Trace video series prior to departing for your trip. To receive credit for watching the videos, click the links in emails sent to the permit holder to access the videos (use Chrome to avoid errors).
  • Reserved permits must be picked up at the issue station specified on the permit.
  • Only the permit holder or alternate permit holder specified at the time of reservation can pick up the permit (photo ID required).
  • You may cancel online anytime up to two days before the entry date for overnight permits and all recreation fees paid will be refunded. The $6.00 reservation fee is non-refundable except when an official Forest Service closure is in place.

To make BWCAW reservations online, check out permit availability or to find out more about the process and Forest Service office hours, visit 

Watch the KARE 11 News Report here

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