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Date/Time: 11/14/2019 07:42PM
2019 Boundary Waters Permits

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Previous Messages:
Author Message Text
schweady 04/03/2019 01:28PM
Mocha: "schweady: "Chalk another item up to poor website management. I have my Senior Outdoor Card number saved in my rec.gov profile, and it didn't bother offering to change my fee. At permit pick-up time, everyone in your group who shows up with a senior card gets the discounted $8 fee, whether trip leader, named alternate, or other. Just like the number of people in the group or the number of watercraft... subject to change and finalized at that time.
"




are you sure everyone gets the discount? just asking cuz when i was an outfitter i called the USFS about this and was told only the card holder got the discount.
could be things have changed in the past few years."

Last July, six out of the 8 in our group carried the card. All charged $8 rather than $16. The boys working the desk at VNO ran out of room on the permit to write in everyone's names and card numbers. A souvenir, for sure.

Mocha 04/03/2019 10:36AM
schweady: "Chalk another item up to poor website management. I have my Senior Outdoor Card number saved in my rec.gov profile, and it didn't bother offering to change my fee. At permit pick-up time, everyone in your group who shows up with a senior card gets the discounted $8 fee, whether trip leader, named alternate, or other. Just like the number of people in the group or the number of watercraft... subject to change and finalized at that time.
"



are you sure everyone gets the discount? just asking cuz when i was an outfitter i called the USFS about this and was told only the card holder got the discount.
could be things have changed in the past few years.
gravelroad 04/03/2019 05:48AM
I swore I’d never use this trite and annoying-to-me phrasing, but as a pass holder who’s still feeling cranky about my stored info not having been taken into account, I’m going to succumb to temptation:


From a revenue-generating perspective, ”it’s not a bug, it’s a feature.”


And get off my lawn. :-)
boonie 04/02/2019 02:29PM
schweady: "boonie: "...my experience is that's not atypical for contracted services where low bidder promises a lot for less and less is what you usually end up getting. "
"It's the least we could do... and we always try to do the least we can do."
"



:)
schweady 04/02/2019 12:09PM
boonie: "...my experience is that's not atypical for contracted services where low bidder promises a lot for less and less is what you usually end up getting. "
"It's the least we could do... and we always try to do the least we can do."
boonie 04/02/2019 07:38AM
I tried to change mine too, but couldn't save the change any way I could figure. I'll just try to remember to take my pass and present at permit pickup. The new website is not as good as the old one; my experience is that's not atypical for contracted services where low bidder promises a lot for less and less is what you usually end up getting.
schweady 04/01/2019 01:05PM
Chalk another item up to poor website management. I have my Senior Outdoor Card number saved in my rec.gov profile, and it didn't bother offering to change my fee. At permit pick-up time, everyone in your group who shows up with a senior card gets the discounted $8 fee, whether trip leader, named alternate, or other. Just like the number of people in the group or the number of watercraft... subject to change and finalized at that time.
voyager 03/30/2019 06:49PM
I went into my account to see if there was an obvious way to change things. I didn't want to screw up because the permits for this date are gone and someone else is counting on entering with me. $ 8.00 won't break me , I'll leave things alone. Thanks though for the suggestion.
Rockwood 03/29/2019 07:46PM
I went in and it looks like I can modify existing permits, changing adult to senior pass, although I didn't try to save. I know in years prior we can edit them as we issued them; maybe the same in your case?
voyager 03/29/2019 06:54PM
Hm.m, I was reading Sawbill's Newsletter, and it seems I'm going to miss out on my $8.00 senior access discount because I didn't indicate it when I made my reservation. It was never necessary in the past. It's hidden in the drop down menu, which until you click the tiny arrow, reads " adult". They fooled me once, they won't again.
Lake of the Goods 03/12/2019 10:45AM
Thanks for the info! Very much appreciated!



Rockwood: "Outfitters were privy to a lot of extra training if they wanted it. Yes guides have numbers (mine is three letters and 6 digits) and this is the spot for the last 4 digits of their number. The forest service told the outfitters that it's just fine to put 'not yet hired' in the spot for the name, Pending in the number and then fill it in later. Or you can put the name of the guide in the name and 'Pending' in the number. ALSO, you can select "no guide" and change it to "guide" at a later date.



Lake of the Goods: "Does anyone know what the guide # refers to when you select yes when it asks if its a commercially guided trip? I didn't know that guides had a number or had to have a number when reserving permits for a group. I didn't know I should be asking my guides for their numbers.




Does anyone have anymore info about this?"
"



Lake of the Goods 03/12/2019 10:36AM
My first few trips we hired someone who knew the park to lead the trip. But now since we know our way around we use outfitters for canoes and lodging before the trip and pick the permits up with them.
adam 03/11/2019 08:23PM
Lake of the Goods: "Does anyone know what the guide # refers to when you select yes when it asks if its a commercially guided trip? I didn't know that guides had a number or had to have a number when reserving permits for a group. I didn't know I should be asking my guides for their numbers.



Does anyone have anymore info about this?"



Are you just using an outfitter or did you actually hire a guide who will travel with you?
Lake of the Goods 03/11/2019 04:17PM
Does anyone know what the guide # refers to when you select yes when it asks if its a commercially guided trip? I didn't know that guides had a number or had to have a number when reserving permits for a group. I didn't know I should be asking my guides for their numbers.


Does anyone have anymore info about this?
Homme du Nord 03/09/2019 06:19PM
Got our permit today after navigating the new site.
Fill in every box possible and it helps narrow things down to what you want.
Like all change it's difficult at first.
airmorse 03/06/2019 01:57PM
So i checked just a little bit ago, my permit is there my alternate is listed as "pending". I called the La Croix ranger station and the person i spoke with stated that my alternate will have to respond to the rec.gov email that is/was sent to him. I checked with my alternate and he said that no such email has been sent.


I am aware of the notice that said for the 2019 season alternate verification will not be required. So then why is my alternate listed as pending? There seems to be a conflict.
CdnRanger 03/05/2019 07:09PM

Here is an article on permit troubles out west
Yosemite postpones lottery for Half Dome hiking permits - indefinitely!
https://www.bing.com/amp/s/www.latimes.com%2ftravel%2fla-tr-yosemite-half-dome-permit-lottery-postponed-20190305-story.html%3foutputType%3damp
Rockwood 03/04/2019 10:39AM
All 21 permits went through no problems! Of course the phone kept ringing (YES!!!) and it's fun (read: crazy) creating permits and taking reservations at the same time. Reminds me of late July, but there's no one on the beach waiting to put their canoes in...
UPBoy 03/04/2019 10:01AM
No problems with the web site this time. I got 2 permits for this summer.


I did not get the day I wanted but that is not the web sites fault. When you are shooting for a entry point with just 1 permit a day you take your chances.


I do agree with airmorse comments:
They should add the Entry Point numbers and along with the Entry Point names.


They also should separate the motor use eps and the paddle only eps.


And a simple calendar with selection days would be better than what they have.


See you on the lakes this summer.


UP Boy
airmorse 03/04/2019 09:54AM
They need to add the ep numbers and not have just the names.


They also need to separate the motor use eps and the paddle only eps.


And a simple calendar with selection days would be better than what they have.
schweady 03/04/2019 09:51AM
Still some weird quirks in the web design, but I got in and out with our 2 permits in 15 minutes.
Beast388 03/04/2019 09:44AM
Success!! Worked the way it should have the first time.....
heavylunch 03/04/2019 09:23AM
Quick and easy this morning.
KarlBAndersen1 03/04/2019 09:20AM
I'm in.
AG4 03/04/2019 09:15AM
Two pemits booked... agian. Good luck everyone.
Blatz 03/04/2019 09:13AM
Flawless
scotttimm 03/04/2019 09:12AM
Woo hoo!
Krien2731 03/04/2019 09:11AM
Got in and got mine. Good to go in on Clearwater early July.
ckelley 03/04/2019 09:07AM
No issues here!
egknuti 03/04/2019 09:06AM
I "reserved" my permit without any trouble.
airmorse 03/04/2019 08:19AM
Must have just been me.


But i did already reset my password once b4 when instructed to do so by rec.gov.


I hope there are no other issues. Good luck to everyone.
ghamer 03/04/2019 08:04AM
Login worked ok for me, after resetting my password.
gravelroad 03/04/2019 07:57AM
KarlBAndersen1: "I was able to log right in with no issues.
"



Ditto.
KarlBAndersen1 03/04/2019 06:12AM
I was able to log right in with no issues.
boonie 03/03/2019 10:03PM
Not the kind of thing that engenders confidence . . . We'll see tomorrow.
airmorse 03/03/2019 09:24PM
I had to reset my password....again...we will see what tomorrow brings.
airmorse 03/03/2019 08:58PM
Well this is not very promising. I just tried to log on to rec.gov, (for the first time since the great failure) and my password was rejected because it said i had tried to log on too many times and now my account is locked.


Whatever. I'm going when and where i want if i can't get my permit.
adam 02/21/2019 04:44PM
NEWS RELEASE: For Immediate Release
Contact: Lisa Radosevich-Craig, Superior National Forest


Boundary Waters Permit Reservations Available March 4, 2019

DULUTH, Minn. (February 21, 2019) Beginning Monday, March 4, 2019 at 9 am CST, the USDA Forest Service will reopen the process to reserve Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness quota permits on Recreation.gov.

“Between now and March 4 we will continue website testing and conducting training with cooperators to ensure the website meets Forest Service and public needs,” said Superior National Forest Supervisor Connie Cummins.

As a result of unforeseen technical issues, many people were unable to access the BWCAW reservation process when it opened on Wednesday, January 30. With 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 technical issues with the BWCAW permit sale software have been addressed and additional testing has been completed by reservation system programmers. The USDA Forest Service is confident that the reservation system will function correctly and that visitors will have equitable access to make permit reservations beginning March 4, 2019. Quota permits for the BWCAW may be reserved through the season to September 30.
schweady 02/20/2019 05:57PM
It's all good. Thanks to all of the folks working to keep everyone informed... not an easy task. And thanks to all of the cooperators participating in testing the system, and doing their level best to communicate suggestions for improvement. I do hope that they're ready for a boatload of folks logging in on the 27th... Fingers crossed.
adam 02/20/2019 05:50PM

I apologize and just sent out a retraction. This date is still tentative.


And presuming it is truely still tentative this would imply that by Monday at 9am CST, there would be announcement confirming or denying the 27th.




Rockwood 02/20/2019 05:30PM
schweady: "The official reservation site still labels the date as "tentatively" set..."


I was part of the testing the permit system on Tuesday (Feb 19) and all seemed to work okay, nothing show-stopping, some issues that we could live with, to be ironed out later. A forest service person called asking if I thought the system was ready, if they needed to push the date back, and from my point of view it seems solid, keep the Feb 27th date. I was able to make many permits of different kinds, change the information, watch the videos, cancel the permit, no issues. Outfitters are required to use a separate credit card machine that we had to purchase, but everyone else will be able to pay online through their browser. They recommended using Chrome, seems to be the browser that is the most updated on a regular basis.


In my mind the verdict is still out if there will be another cascading cache problem, if the suspected west vs. east server issue was addressed or solved. No new information was shared on either issue. There seemed to be over 60 of us testing, and they reported that the contractor had done extensive load testing. We were using a test server, not the actual production server, but my guess it is just another virtual server and housed in the same hardware as the actual one.


They are doubling the number of telephone staff to answer phone questions, I think the number is 14. I asked for entry point numbers to be added to the names of the entry points, and it would be sensible to sort by those numbers. Typing the last name then the first name is silly, it should be first and then last. We asked for a lot of other tweaks to the system that are not critical to actually getting a permit. We even tested the hiking permit system and the motor boat permit system, all seemed working.


There's another test / training session this Friday (Feb 22) for outfitters to attend (online, naturally) and we'll see how that session goes as well.


I still believe the forest service is doing a great job with this issue, and that the contractor was unprepared for the large volume.
schweady 02/20/2019 05:14PM
Just bumping this thread to call attention to an email adam sent a few hours back which mentions that plans to re-launch the reservations site on February 27th at 9 am have apparently been finalized.

2019 Permit Information

The official reservation site still labels the date as "tentatively" set...

Yay!?
airmorse 02/16/2019 08:26AM
boonie: "This had come up in another thread where it was mentioned that new passwords had to be something like @least 12 characters, upper and lower case, symbols and numbers. Like you I had changed mine a month or so before Jan 30th and was wondering if I'd have to change it again since it did not meet those requirements. I had saved it so I could log in easier and I still could this morning, if I clicked the "login" button for the saved password. BUT, then I tried typing it in myself and it wouldn't log me in, so I reset mine using those requirements listed above and saved the new one.



I hope that works without problem on the 27th or whenever, but my confidence in them is diminished.
"



Thanks boonie. I think I'll wait until it gets closer to the 27th before i reset it again. As of last night not only does my password not work but recreation.gov says that my email is not a valid email address. Whatever...


This whole thing has been a disaster and could have been done way better. Websites are redesigned all the time with little to no issues. I hope the USFS truely realizes the mess that has been created.
boonie 02/16/2019 08:09AM
This had come up in another thread where it was mentioned that new passwords had to be something like @least 12 characters, upper and lower case, symbols and numbers. Like you I had changed mine a month or so before Jan 30th and was wondering if I'd have to change it again since it did not meet those requirements. I had saved it so I could log in easier and I still could this morning, if I clicked the "login" button for the saved password. BUT, then I tried typing it in myself and it wouldn't log me in, so I reset mine using those requirements listed above and saved the new one.


I hope that works without problem on the 27th or whenever, but my confidence in them is diminished.
airmorse 02/15/2019 06:38PM
So...before the great reservation failure i went ahead and reset my password like i was instructed to. Now when i try and log on with the new password recreation.gov does not recognize the new password. Has anyone else experienced this issue.
schweady 02/14/2019 04:10PM
recreation.gov's site changed the wording of their Alert! message to include:
"...The next on-sale date is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, February 27 at 9:00 AM (CST). Please check back here for status updates."


In short: whatever day it actually happens, plan on it opening at 9:00 AM (CST).
gravelroad 02/14/2019 03:02PM
Looks like the permit process won't be impeded by a shutdown:


admin 02/08/2019 05:22PM
Forest Service announces tentative date for reopening Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness permit process
DULUTH, Minn. (February 8, 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.
gravelroad 02/08/2019 04:28PM
schweady: "VNO emailed me this USFS letter this afternoon, indicating that they anticipate that the reservations re-do will be February 27, 2019: "


Thanks for sharing this.
mjmkjun 02/08/2019 01:26PM
Thank you, schweady.
schweady 02/08/2019 12:59PM
VNO emailed me this USFS letter this afternoon, indicating that they anticipate that the reservations re-do will be February 27, 2019:
Beast388 02/07/2019 01:35PM
foxfireniner: "My refund is in today."


Same here...
foxfireniner 02/07/2019 11:58AM
My refund is in today.
Rockwood 02/06/2019 07:26PM
gvpant: "Today mine says voided on recreation.gov. Have not received any email yet regarding the cancellation. Have checked spam."


One of ours showed up on Saturday Feb 2nd. The Subject line was "Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Permit Reservation Refund". Hope this helps!
mikko 02/06/2019 02:43PM
Mine is also voided, hopefully this means they're making progress on opening it back up
gvpant 02/06/2019 02:12PM
Today mine says voided on recreation.gov. Have not received any email yet regarding the cancellation. Have checked spam.
Beast388 02/05/2019 03:27PM
foxfireniner: "admin: "
There is still no official date set for when permits will be issued again.




If you did book a permit on Jan 30th directly through RecreationGov, these permits are being cancelled. If you didn't receive a notice, please check your spam folder or log into your account.




If you are working with an outfitter directly, they will continue to work to book the reservation on your behalf."




Still no refund but at least they have some notification up on the site indicating that the permits will be voided. The permit still looks valid other than the "Voided" box. "




Yep, mine shows the same......
foxfireniner 02/05/2019 02:40PM
admin: "
There is still no official date set for when permits will be issued again.



If you did book a permit on Jan 30th directly through RecreationGov, these permits are being cancelled. If you didn't receive a notice, please check your spam folder or log into your account.



If you are working with an outfitter directly, they will continue to work to book the reservation on your behalf."



Still no refund but at least they have some notification up on the site indicating that the permits will be voided. The permit still looks valid other than the "Voided" box.
gravelroad 02/05/2019 11:27AM
The following text from an email was posted elsewhere yesterday by a reliable source. I have cleaned up a minor typo, but I'm quite confident it is correct and will be useful to all of us:


"Good evening all – Today a handful of cooperators met at the Kawishiwi Ranger District to talk with several of us from the Superior, several from the
Washington Office of the Forest Service that supervise the contract for the Recreation.gov permit system, and some of the developers from the Contractor. Additionally we had staffers from Rep Stauber’s office and Senator Klobuchar’s office. Forest reps and cooperators and staffers were in the room, the others were on a Zoom video conference.
"We had a good meeting and wrote down all the issues many of you experienced when you were trying to reserve permits. We talked about a process going forward and communication on that process. The small group will meet again to experience how the other permits (overnight Motor and overnight Paddle) are reserved. Following that meeting, we will have more information about what fixes you should expect to the system, and (roughly) when they will be completed.
"The contractor also described what went wrong on Wednesday and how they will fix it, and test it to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The contractor and the FS are confident that we will not Go Live again before February 19. This will allow them to put the system through all levels of load testing. So please pass along that Recreation.gov will not Go Live until sometime after 2/19. We will keep you posted.
We will offer training on the Recreation.gov site to cooperators before we go live.
"The group today helping us to understand the issues all of you have been experiencing included Kathleen Floberg from Camp Widjiwagan, Betsy and Willy Vosburgh of Custom Cabins, Jason Jabokrsky of Ely Outfitting Company and Boundary Waters Guide Service, Dave Sabesta from Williams and Hall, Bob LaTourell, Ginny Nelson of Spirit of the Wilderness, Ida Rukavina from Klobuchar’s office, and John Eloranta from Pete Stauber’s office. From the Superior, I was there, Connie Cummins our Forest Supervisor, and Dawn Labolt our Staff Officer for Recreation, Wilderness, Minerals, and Lands.
"I apologize that I could not include you all. I did my best to gather a group of diverse cooperators that could represent the rest of you.
We will keep you posted as soon as we have more to share. Gus"
mjmkjun 02/05/2019 10:12AM
Outstanding moose picture, Adam.
admin 02/05/2019 05:36AM

There is still no official date set for when permits will be issued again.


If you did book a permit on Jan 30th directly through RecreationGov, these permits are being cancelled. If you didn't receive a notice, please check your spam folder or log into your account.


If you are working with an outfitter directly, they will continue to work to book the reservation on your behalf.
Beast388 02/01/2019 03:59PM
Here is part of an email I just received from the USFS.:


"DULUTH, MN (February 1, 2019)


The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), located on the Superior National Forest in Minnesota, opened a quota permit sale to the public on Wednesday, January 30 on Recreation.gov. As a result of unforeseen technical issues, unrelated to volume of users, many people were unable to access the reservation process, resulting in only a small number of people receiving access to apply for a permit. For this reason, the USDA Forest Service halted the process for applying for BWCAW permits, and is withdrawing the reservations that initially were processed. We will be providing refunds for any cancellations made.


The USDA Forest Service deeply regrets this inconvenience to everyone, and we encourage people to apply again. Our goal is to provide a fair and open opportunity for visitors to experience this special location. We are urgently working with Recreation.gov to fix the technical issue. Under the new system, customers can simultaneously apply for and secure a reservation for a permit, so that our visitors have ample time to plan their quality experience in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.


We will soon name a new date for reservation requests in the BWCAW permit system. We will provide advanced notice of this date to ensure customers have ample time to make their reservations. Full details on the reservation process are located at https://www.recreation.gov/permits/233396."


admin 01/30/2019 05:39PM
Our understanding is they are going to reverse/cancel all reservations that were made and start again, but as noted below not for at least 48 hours which likely pushes to Saturday at the earliest.

Alert: Due to technical difficulties, reservations for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness are closed. We are diligently working to correct the problem. Please check back for status updates. We will give advanced notification of at least 48 hours or more prior to the system going live.


admin 01/30/2019 05:13PM

Lets try to keep this thread clean from commentary. Please use this thread for respectful commentary - How did the permit booking process goes this year?.


We will try to keep this thread clean for keeping folks up to date with information.


Welcome to the new members to the site!
admin 01/30/2019 11:04AM
stay tuned:


PERMIT UPDATE!!!! just sent to the outfitters by the US Forest Service.


All – I spoke with the Forest Supervisor. We will reverse all internal and external transactions of course for fairness and close BWCAW reservations until further notice. A banner will show up shortly on the site. Our public affairs is speaking with media.


Again, the Forest has done everything asked of us the last 14 months. We don’t know why this happened, but we will keep you updated as we are updated. All previous tests the last few months pointed to success for today.


We are sick over it as well. A ton of work has gone into this; including working through furlough. We’ve done all we can to prepare and follow national direction.


Ann Schwaller
Natural Resources Forest Wilderness Program Manager
Superior National Forest Supervisor’s Office
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness


National Wilderness Advisory Group, Region 9
Society for Wilderness Stewardship Board Member
gravelroad 01/30/2019 10:12AM
"Due to technical difficulties, reservations for Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness are closed. We are diligently working to correct the problem. Please check back for status updates."


We now return you to your regularly scheduled job duties. And don't bother trying to call us, lest ye too feel the frustration of having the line disconnected after waiting for 45 minutes on hold.
adam 10/22/2018 05:51AM
Permits are now available on first come first serve basis. Please contact an outfitter or read more at
2019 Permit Information

Happy Trails!