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       How did the permit booking process goes this year?
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Date/Time: 05/21/2019 06:07AM
How did the permit booking process goes this year?

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Previous Messages:
Author Message Text
Wallyworld 03/05/2019 10:26AM

All I have to say is. Kudos to the Forest Service for a Seamless system.
You did a Grand job repairing the initial problem. JR
minnesotashooter 03/05/2019 07:08AM
The website won’t let me check out, how frustrating
Pilgrimpaddler 03/05/2019 07:07AM
Booked two permits, cancelled one resulting in a total of one active permit, and got charged for four. Pretty seamless other than the overcharge!
heelix 03/04/2019 09:12PM
A couple of permits booked. Went reasonably well... but then again... it worked out like that the first time I did it.


Now I'll go buy my maps.
bfurlow 03/04/2019 09:02PM
I was able to log in and reserve all the permits I wanted for dates I wanted. Probably will end up putting a couple back in the system unused, but I was very pleased with the process. Don't think it was any more difficult than prior years.
Grandma L 03/04/2019 08:56PM
WIMike: "straighthairedcurly: "Round 2 went smoothly this morning. Got the entry point I wanted on the date I wanted. However, I do wish they listed EP numbers next to the name. "
+1"

+1 also
WIMike 03/04/2019 08:25PM
straighthairedcurly: "Round 2 went smoothly this morning. Got the entry point I wanted on the date I wanted. However, I do wish they listed EP numbers next to the name. "


+1
straighthairedcurly 03/04/2019 05:46PM
Round 2 went smoothly this morning. Got the entry point I wanted on the date I wanted. However, I do wish they listed EP numbers next to the name.
thegildedgopher 03/04/2019 01:10PM
ddbb22ddbb22: "Bower Trout has one available permit per day. I reserved one and got a confirmation number at 9:05. The reservations chart then showed that permit was taken (which it should because I had it). At 11:00 the chart showed it was available. I called reservations.com and they said they were having some problems. While on the phone with them I made a second reservation for that entry/day (which shouldn't happen since only one permit per day). Now I have two permits for that entry/day and reservations.com can't explain it and they say they will get back to me when they figure it out. So the question is are they mistakenly issuing more permits than what the quota is at some entry points?"


I would've just let it be once I had the confirmation number the first time. Or once you made the call why not just confirm that your reservation was valid as opposed to double booking?


I'm glad this was the first reported glitch amongst many users, keep us posted on what you hear back.


ddbb22ddbb22 03/04/2019 12:11PM
Bower Trout has one available permit per day. I reserved one and got a confirmation number at 9:05. The reservations chart then showed that permit was taken (which it should because I had it). At 11:00 the chart showed it was available. I called reservations.com and they said they were having some problems. While on the phone with them I made a second reservation for that entry/day (which shouldn't happen since only one permit per day). Now I have two permits for that entry/day and reservations.com can't explain it and they say they will get back to me when they figure it out. So the question is are they mistakenly issuing more permits than what the quota is at some entry points?
boonie 03/04/2019 11:39AM
It was easier to find the entry after I figured out you could click the arrow and sort them alphabetically.
wanderingfromkansas 03/04/2019 10:01AM
molson14: "wanderingfromkansas: "I had the exact permit I wanted by 9:04am! Everything was very smooth the second time through.




I think the grid system, and using names instead of EP numbers is awkward."




Right? Totally agree. Ended up using "CTRL+F" to search the page and find the EP I wanted.
Still, went smoothly for me this time around. Glad to have this mess behind us. "



I used "CTRL+F" to find my entry point and to find my permitting location.
molson14 03/04/2019 09:52AM
wanderingfromkansas: "I had the exact permit I wanted by 9:04am! Everything was very smooth the second time through.



I think the grid system, and using names instead of EP numbers is awkward."



Right? Totally agree. Ended up using "CTRL+F" to search the page and find the EP I wanted.
Still, went smoothly for me this time around. Glad to have this mess behind us.
gravelroad 03/04/2019 09:51AM
Smooth as silk this time.
wanderingfromkansas 03/04/2019 09:37AM
I had the exact permit I wanted by 9:04am! Everything was very smooth the second time through.


I think the grid system, and using names instead of EP numbers is awkward.
BuckFlicks 02/07/2019 02:47PM
mschi772: "AluminumBarge: "Not to make this a political discussion, but all I can think of while waiting for this site to work as it should is, boy am I glad the government doesn't run my healthcare (yet). "



As a video gamer, this is EXACTLY what launch day for just about every single online video game has been like right down to the one random guy posting "It worked for me" among the swarm of posts about how broken it is and the multiple, repeat forum threads being posted all about the exact same thing. The private sector doesn't get this kind of thing any better."



Haha... I had all these thoughts as I was reading the thread.


Too many users at once breaks the website. It's been happening since the dawn of the internet. Happens every time I try to buy a concert ticket on Ticketmaster when the show first goes on sale. It's definitely not because it's a government agency.
anthonyp007 02/02/2019 11:00AM
PaddlinMadeline: "foxfireniner: "Now I'm as pissed of as everyone else.




I chose to burn one vacation day to register for 4 July week.




Now my vacation next year will cost me 2 vacation days this year.




"




You should write a book"



Lmao! Love it!


HighnDry 02/02/2019 10:24AM
billconner: "I guess I'll just continue to make last minute plans a few weeks in advance, look for a window to go, and see what's available. Hopefully they figure this out so by fall I can just go to a ranger station."


This is my approach as well. My shoulder-season solo trips are a bit easier as well to self-register. I realize that's not an option for many others though. Hopefully this will be all sorted out before the season begins.
heavylunch 02/02/2019 08:18AM
I got my cancel email too. It was in my spam junk folder. Last night.
PaddlinMadeline 02/01/2019 11:10PM
foxfireniner: "Now I'm as pissed of as everyone else.



I chose to burn one vacation day to register for 4 July week.



Now my vacation next year will cost me 2 vacation days this year.



"



You should write a book
schweady 02/01/2019 10:16PM
andym: "It's interesting that they stated it had nothing to do with volume of users. Maybe that means they can fix whatever was wrong and not worry about volume on the next attempt. One can hope."
Yeah, I did find that statement a bit odd. Covering their behinds regarding the decision to include Day Use Motor permits in the system this year??
cyclones30 02/01/2019 08:22PM
I haven't gotten an email yet cancelling. Maybe they are just as good at canceling as they are taking reservations! :)


That means at the earliest I'll have gotten it on Sat, a full 3 days after I received confirmation. That's a ton of time that some probably made hotel, plane, vacation requests and other plans for "their dates" only to have them taken away.
nooneuno 02/01/2019 06:22PM
andym: "It's interesting that they stated it had nothing to do with volume of users. Maybe that means they can fix whatever was wrong and not worry about volume on the next attempt. One can hope."


foxfireniner 02/01/2019 06:17PM
Now I'm as pissed of as everyone else.


I chose to burn one vacation day to register for 4 July week.


Now my vacation next year will cost me 2 vacation days this year.


andym 02/01/2019 05:54PM
It's interesting that they stated it had nothing to do with volume of users. Maybe that means they can fix whatever was wrong and not worry about volume on the next attempt. One can hope.
foxfireniner 02/01/2019 05:36PM
Damn. I hate being wrong.


I think this means that the website won't be up for 7-10 days as the refund process goes through.


What a mismanagement.


heelix 02/01/2019 05:23PM
Just got the same email. Permits refunded...
MN_Lindsey 02/01/2019 05:22PM
About five years ago this same thing (more or less) happened to Chicago Marathon registrants using the Active.com platform. So - it still happens - even on reputable platforms.


Chicago Marathon Suspends Registration


The very next year, because of the 2013 debacle, Chicago marathon switches to a drawing/lottery style registration.



schweady 02/01/2019 05:17PM
Sorry if this has been posted earlier. At 5:04 this evening, I got this email from donotreply@recreation.gov:


“Dear Recreation.gov Customer,


On January 30, 2019, you visited Recreation.gov and processed an order for a Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) permit reservation. 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 we are withdrawing your reservation that was initially processed on January 30. We will provide you a refund within 7 to 10 days for this cancellation.


We know that the Boundary Waters is a special place to recreate and we deeply regret this inconvenience to you. We strongly encourage you to apply again.


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


The Recreation.gov Team



Help & Support
Have a question – we’re here to help. The quickest way to find the answer you’re looking for is to visit our Help Center. This is the best spot to get information about reservations, permits, trip planning, and more. If you still have questions, you can contact our reservation line at 877-444-6777 (Toll-Free), 606-515-6777 (International), or 877-833-6777 (TDD) from 10 a.m. – 12 a.m. (Eastern Time Zone) for additional assistance.”
foxfireniner 02/01/2019 01:47PM
thlipsis29: "Just curious if anyone has heard any rumors as to when the site will be up? I see they still have the announcement up that they will give at least 48 hours notice before being open again for business. I am not an IT person, but this is 48 hours after the crash which would suggest to me that whatever happened was far more massive than many of us assumed. "


I think its like getting a written warning for speeding then spending the rest of the trip with the cruise at the exact speed limit. They got away consequence free once, they won't get so lucky twice.




thlipsis29 02/01/2019 12:54PM
Just curious if anyone has heard any rumors as to when the site will be up? I see they still have the announcement up that they will give at least 48 hours notice before being open again for business. I am not an IT person, but this is 48 hours after the crash which would suggest to me that whatever happened was far more massive than many of us assumed.
bwcawabcdefg 02/01/2019 12:14PM
Not really a theory just something not to be overlooked. BTW, paddlers and boaters coexist nicely in the BWCAW. There are others who have a different view on the purpose of the BWCAW than the paddlers and boaters who cherish it's use.
flynn 02/01/2019 11:52AM
foxfireniner: "So here is my question, how difficult would it be for them to harvest the emails of the confirmed permit holders and send us the same message that they have put out in the media and on social media?"


It would be trivial. You are right, they have the emails of people with confirmed reservations. They should have sent out an email ASAP saying "DO NOT MAKE ANY PLANS" with a brief explanation that due to the problems, they are not sure what "actually got reserved" and what didn't. Of course, that would just be damage control wording. The permits did seem to be confirmed, judging by the confirmation emails I got (and alternate permit holder confirmation as well). But they would say they don't know what got confirmed because of how up-and-down the servers were, and that language would give them the ability to uphold the permits or void them. The fact that they haven't sent out any emails saying "JUST HOLD ON" is really bad. It would be so easy to do so. I have no doubt someone internally has suggested this, but someone in power did not give the green light. Indecision is a decision itself in this context and it's really going to negatively impact some folks worse than the bad start already did.
TDBauer 02/01/2019 10:41AM
Wow - I wasn't aware there were any problems until I logged in today to this forum.


I had no problem at all getting a permit. I logged in around 9:15 or so, had to update my email password and did that, then everything from there went off without a hitch. Two minutes later I got a confirmation email on my permit.


Sorry to hear there were major issues. Curious to see how things all go down.


Grandma L 02/01/2019 10:27AM
I don't understand the problem. Just pack your gear and go - there aren't any rangers up there checking permits anyway. We can't afford them.
foxfireniner 02/01/2019 10:26AM
bwcawabcdefg: "I too have been in IT my whole career - a lot longer than I'd like to admit. Truth is, this problem of overloading a server is something of 15 years ago. Yeah, it still happens with systems that aren't production ready or to scale but there are thousands of systems that handle traffic far greater than a few outdoorsy types looking for permits. Seeing as we paid for it, I'd like to hear what the problem was and what penalties will be assessed. Until than I'm also a tad suspicious that this could have been a DoS attack by certain entities whose views of the BWCAW are different than ours. If that turns out to be the case I would like to hear the penalties assessed to them for wasting our money."


So is the theory that the paddlers initiated a DoS attack the motorboaters?


I mean, to what end? In my mind, the only solution that will satisfy the outfitters is if they get the same number of permits that they are accustomed to. That will likely mean leaving the current permits in place and plussing up the avails for this year.


If the Friends of the BW thinks a DoS will keep motors out of the BW for the year, they are delusional. That would devastate the local economy.
bwcawabcdefg 02/01/2019 09:58AM
I too have been in IT my whole career - a lot longer than I'd like to admit. Truth is, this problem of overloading a server is something of 15 years ago. Yeah, it still happens with systems that aren't production ready or to scale but there are thousands of systems that handle traffic far greater than a few outdoorsy types looking for permits. Seeing as we paid for it, I'd like to hear what the problem was and what penalties will be assessed. Until than I'm also a tad suspicious that this could have been a DoS attack by certain entities whose views of the BWCAW are different than ours. If that turns out to be the case I would like to hear the penalties assessed to them for wasting our money.
wanderingfromkansas 02/01/2019 08:53AM
WIMike: "



I’m not suggesting what they do as it’s a tough call with no clear cut answer. The idea though that those who were able to get a permit because they somehow earned it while others didn’t is false. The randomness of who was able to get in and who wasn’t didn’t completely hinge on effort. Certainly those who wore out their refresh button stood a better chance but someone could have logged on one time at 9:30 and been successful while others, like me, also wore out our refresh button to no avail. It was pure chance. "



I'm not suggesting that I somehow out-worked others and therefore deserve my permit more than anyone else. I agree, however, with fox, that reversing permit that have already been processed only adds to the number of people angered and the level of anger.


That's my opinion, from a clearly biased perspective.


It's obvious to me that the statements made were done in haste, without careful thought to what lie ahead.
WIMike 02/01/2019 08:27AM
wanderingfromkansas: "foxfireniner: "



I have been pretty clear on these boards that I don't think they will cancel the permits that got through. Lets walk through it...



My bet is that they will fix what they can, leave the angry people angry, and the happy people happy, concede the fact that they aren't going to the Super Bowl this year, give a press conference about how it was rebuilding year, then slink off down the tunnel.




I think that is their only choice.
"




I absolutely agree with this. Why is it "fair", or even important to be "fair", to take away permits from those of us who fought the system tooth and nail to grab a permit?



Why make more people angry and make angry people more angry?



Leave the existing permits, and re-boot for everyone else.
"



I’m not suggesting what they do as it’s a tough call with no clear cut answer. The idea though that those who were able to get a permit because they somehow earned it while others didn’t is false. The randomness of who was able to get in and who wasn’t didn’t completely hinge on effort. Certainly those who wore out their refresh button stood a better chance but someone could have logged on one time at 9:30 and been successful while others, like me, also wore out our refresh button to no avail. It was pure chance.
foxfireniner 02/01/2019 08:05AM
heavylunch: "I had to laugh with Flynn as there was a lot of truth in that post.



I actually engineer and manage application delivery controllers (such as load balancing) for my job (Citrix NetScaler) and there are at least 6 things in my world that could result in chaos like the BWCA Go-Live. And my stuff is but a small piece of the whole system. Examples in my world would include not having enough "throughput" allocated, not enough server horsepower on the back-end to field all the requests, having session stickiness configured incorrectly, ssl cipher suites not cooperating or hammering CPU, content switching misconfigurations, session pooling problems, even the load balancer applicances themselves need cpu, memory, disk, and maybe ssl processors (all of which could be bottlenecks) etc. etc...



It all works great until it doesn't. I suspect they will get it figured out. But it will probably fail again when they switch hosting vendors or lose the people that finally get the site optimized and the knowledge gets archived and eventually lost. "Big Bang" "go live" events can be very difficult and costly to test and predict accurately. "



So here is my question, how difficult would it be for them to harvest the emails of the confirmed permit holders and send us the same message that they have put out in the media and on social media?


You guys are the IT pros, but I know for a fact that that information is sitting on a table on their server. I know that their email service is working since I have received 3 automated emails from them, reservation confirmation, thank you for your order, and alternate permit holder update.


SO the question is, why haven't they contacted the paying customers? If I were in charge, I wouldn't have said a word to the outfitters until all the permits had been cancelled. If that were my decision, that would have been job 1.


If they are going to do it, I bet they can't figure out how to reverse the charges.
wanderingfromkansas 02/01/2019 07:55AM
foxfireniner: "


I have been pretty clear on these boards that I don't think they will cancel the permits that got through. Lets walk through it...


My bet is that they will fix what they can, leave the angry people angry, and the happy people happy, concede the fact that they aren't going to the Super Bowl this year, give a press conference about how it was rebuilding year, then slink off down the tunnel.



I think that is their only choice.
"



I absolutely agree with this. Why is it "fair", or even important to be "fair", to take away permits from those of us who fought the system tooth and nail to grab a permit?


Why make more people angry and make angry people more angry?


Leave the existing permits, and re-boot for everyone else.
heavylunch 02/01/2019 07:26AM
I had to laugh with Flynn as there was a lot of truth in that post.


I actually engineer and manage application delivery controllers (such as load balancing) for my job (Citrix NetScaler) and there are at least 6 things in my world that could result in chaos like the BWCA Go-Live. And my stuff is but a small piece of the whole system. Examples in my world would include not having enough "throughput" allocated, not enough server horsepower on the back-end to field all the requests, having session stickiness configured incorrectly, ssl cipher suites not cooperating or hammering CPU, content switching misconfigurations, session pooling problems, even the load balancer applicances themselves need cpu, memory, disk, and maybe ssl processors (all of which could be bottlenecks) etc. etc...


It all works great until it doesn't. I suspect they will get it figured out. But it will probably fail again when they switch hosting vendors or lose the people that finally get the site optimized and the knowledge gets archived and eventually lost. "Big Bang" "go live" events can be very difficult and costly to test and predict accurately.
foxfireniner 02/01/2019 07:11AM
MN_Lindsey:And people like OldTripper etc thinking they have a permit, which they don't, no matter what the system is telling them right now will only mess things up even more. (Or is the system so broken that they won't cancel and refund people in time, and have multiple people showing up to pick up their permits?)


Hoping round 2 isn't a giant FUBAR like yesterday.


I'd be really curious to know:
1.) How many people tried to reserve permits on day 1
2.) How many people actually got alleged "permits" yesterday"



I have been pretty clear on these boards that I don't think they will cancel the permits that got through. Lets walk through it...


1) I logged in and it took about 2 hours of clicking refresh to get through. But, I got through, made my payment, got my confirmation email, and checked my bank account. At this point, I think I have a valid permit. I can 2 ways from here:


2a) I log off and start making plans, secure in the knowledge that I have a valid permit on a specific date. I do not, repeat, do not have an email from anyone telling me my permit is in danger. In fact, the only email I have received from the system was the Alternate Permit Holder Update telling me that my alternate, who is relying on me to book our dates, has updated his info in the system and is also good to go.


2b) I don't log off and read social media posts about letters sent to Outfitters only about how my permit will be cancelled. I notify my alternate, he still updates his info, I get the same confirmation emails. We are now in limbo.


I did 2b. But you know there are people who did option 2a and have no idea that there is any potential issue simply because they, a known paying customer, have not been notified by the issuing agency. We are 48 hours into the mess and zero notification to paying customers, no refunds, no emails except those confirming further that the permit is good to go.


Then there are the people who will took option 2b who know but "don't know officially." If I were one of the guys in AZ who got a permit, in these last 48 hours of zero official notification sent to my registered and required email address, I would be booking hotels and flights right now and I could pretend ignorance when they do notify me.


This is a huge mess. The Schwaller person made it worse with her knee-jerk "in the interest of fairness" statement and the Forest Service has started walking it back in the Minneapolis paper.


My bet is that they will fix what they can, leave the angry people angry, and the happy people happy, concede the fact that they aren't going to the Super Bowl this year, give a press conference about how it was rebuilding year, then slink off down the tunnel.


I think that is their only choice.
tonyis38 01/31/2019 09:18PM
Same here!
MN_Lindsey 01/31/2019 08:31PM
The addition of all of the lottery folks now in the same pool as "first come-first serve" would be problematic. (Read: 42,000 spots!!!) This used to be spread out over a 4-week period of time, and now they are all on the site on the same day as the regular first-come-first-serve spots... of course, it's going to gum up the system. What were they thinking? Were these the same folks who were running the FYRE Festival?

And people like OldTripper etc thinking they have a permit, which they don't, no matter what the system is telling them right now will only mess things up even more. (Or is the system so broken that they won't cancel and refund people in time, and have multiple people showing up to pick up their permits?)

Hoping round 2 isn't a giant FUBAR like yesterday.

I'd be really curious to know:
1.) How many people tried to reserve permits on day 1
2.) How many people actually got alleged "permits" yesterday
foxfireniner 01/31/2019 08:27PM
"they were using "shards", AKA multiple instances of the infrastructure that sync their status between each other to reach consensus"


The multiple servers were trying to decide who wins. That's the part they didn't do right. Where other than an Oklahoma Land Rush like this are your gonna have multiple servers trying to consume the resource at the same time?


If 10000 people want Fall Lake access on July 4 at the same time.. in the early days of the internet, that is how DoS attacks were done. "At this time, everyone do this."



When these servers are trying to reach consensus, they are all trying to write down the same finite resource at the same time.


flynn 01/31/2019 08:05PM
mschi772: "Those were certainly some words you strung together to explain a thing there, Flynn. :)"


I've worked in IT my whole life and my entire childhood was dominated by computers and technology. I figured I would shed a little light.
OldTripper 01/31/2019 07:28PM
Since I was anxious about getting a permit I was on the computer at roughly 835AM here, which was 935AM there.
I was able to log-on to my preexisting account without any troubles. I did see all the zero's for availability but continued to scroll down to the EP I was looking for (EP27) and it showed 8 permits available each day for the week before, the week of and the week after my entry date. It's like not one permit had been reserved yet. But I selected my EP, put in the dates and checked out without any difficulties. Within seconds I rec'd my order confirmation number and within a couple more minutes I rec'd my receipt showing the order number, designated EP, entry date, exit date and cost. I was on the computer about 10-15 minutes.
Sorry to hear of the others who had troubles.
I thought it went very well.
I hope it's fixed now and working better for everyone.

ETA: I just checked my "recreation.gov" account and my permit information is in the "upcoming reservations" page. Guess I just got lucky.
mschi772 01/31/2019 07:20PM
Those were certainly some words you strung together to explain a thing there, Flynn. :)
flynn 01/31/2019 06:07PM
Databases don't work like that. You would perform each operation as it comes in. There is no "exact same time" - we are talking milliseconds of difference. Any transactions trying to write have to wait for their turn. In the case of reserving something, clicking submit would request to read if there are enough permits, and if so, write the changes. When you click submit, it doesn't just spam a write command. At least, if the developers are in any way competent. No one would write an application to interact with a database like that.


If anything it is probably more like the database server could not handle that many read requests, but there are so many moving parts between the webpage you see in your browser and the actual database record that it could be any one of those things (CDN, load balancers, actual web servers hosting the data, database server, any of the applications used to perform these functions, any networking gear between the servers and between you and the servers, etc). Based on the site sometimes showing open registration and then showing closed when you refresh, I think they were using "shards", AKA multiple instances of the infrastructure that sync their status between each other to reach consensus. It allows for elastic traffic handling. Unless you don't do it right, in which case there could be a bottleneck like a single router becoming overwhelmed. Or, someone mentioned it was a cyber attack (denial of service) -- that would also explain the sometimes-up-sometimes-down nature of the application.
foxfireniner 01/31/2019 10:53AM
mrballast: "If traffic is the problem, which it usually is, maybe they should break it up into three hour gaps by closest ranger station/forestry district. Gunflint at 9 am, Kawishiwi at Noon, or some such. Aren't there like a dozen areas? Smaller or less popular ones could be paired.



Nonetheless, it's just another reminder of why most of us go. Can't wait to cut the cord and get out. Rabbit season will have to get me to March I guess.
"



Personally, I think the problem is simultaneous entries for a finite product.


Say I want EP47 on July 1 and so do 4 other people. I go through the crappy hunt and peck website where nothing is sorted correctly or for ease of use as fast as I can at 9AM.


So do the other 4 people and we all hit submit at the same time and our info packets all hit the server at the same time. We have a daily quota of 4 and 5 hopeful applicants whose data is hitting the date at the same time. What is a computer to do? This is probably what happened to this website this time. All 5 packets are trying to write to the database and each entry is trying to subtract from the quota. When the data first arrives, the database tries to subtract each of the 5 from the 4 available. That is 5 instances of 4-1=3, so each of those operations is trying to write the same number, 3, back to the database but the database won't allow duplicates. Now its in an endless loop trying to subtract 1 from 4 five times without being able to update the availability for July 1.


So, what they have to do to overcome it is build a lottery into the system. If we all hit enter at the same time, the system needs to queue us up then by some logic select the 4 winners.


But they need to just have 2 fields, entry point and date, so people can get rejected and still move on to choice number 2. Then, once you win the lottery, then you go in and choose cooperator and payment etc.
bwcawabcdefg 01/31/2019 08:45AM
deadriver: "Wow, ya'll need to chill. No website is bullet proof. It's a hassle, I get it, but $#@#$ happens. Don't make it about anything else.
"



Do you realize that the FS (i.e. taxpayers) paid $183M to Booz(e) Allen for this mess? People took vacation time, brought in extra paid help and traveled to different locales so they could decent internet service for reservations. People secured vacation time and paid deposits in anticipation of getting permits. Go back and read how glorious the FS and BA said the new system would be when they got the contract.
FS/BA had over a year to get this right with plenty of warning about the pitfalls. The plain-folks on this board have better ideas about how to manage this than the "experts". Pick an item, put it in a cart and buy it. Should have outsourced to amazon.
ducks 01/31/2019 08:34AM
Holey Moley! what a mess! Good luck to everyone on round 2.


I'm glad I don't secure a permit until a week to a month before I go on my trip. They "should" have it figured out by then. Otherwise I'll I do what I did for my permit on my solo last year..... walk into the Ranger Station and get what's available for that day.
BearBurrito 01/31/2019 08:13AM
billconner: "I guess I'll just continue to make last minute plans a few weeks in advance, look for a window to go, and see what's available. Hopefully they figure this out so by fall I can just go to a ranger station."


+1
billconner 01/31/2019 06:44AM
I guess I'll just continue to make last minute plans a few weeks in advance, look for a window to go, and see what's available. Hopefully they figure this out so by fall I can just go to a ranger station.
AluminumBarge 01/30/2019 11:16PM
What a disaster. And unfortunately many people expected this. Now they are going to make it worse. I took time from work to get my reservation. Yup, took over an hour. Then once I got confirmation I made arrangements to get those days off. Now they want reverse all this? No doubt this is a government operation. This whole excuse of saying this is due to some private sector company is nonsense. This is a .GOV portal, they own this responsibility. They want to outsource it, fine. But they own they responsibility to make this work. I’ve spent over 25 years working in large IT shops. In today’s world this is generally avoidable. I outsource IT environments, I’ve been involved in fixing some of the other government IT debacles, this is just more of the same. A lot of it has to do with our elected officials not understanding the investment needed to make these things work as intended. That investment needs to be in infrastructure, tools, and most of all, people. Those of us in Minnesota know that all too well. Now it sounds like they’re going to make this worse for those that spent the time and dealt with their mess. What I don’t understand is why they claim they want to make it fair and reverse any reservations and payments completed. If they wanted to make it “fair”, why take away the lottery in the first place?
andym 01/30/2019 08:13PM
Many parks roll out permits for different periods on different dates. For the BW, you could do each month on different days. That might be a problem if your first choice is June 1 but your second choice is May 31.


Seems like the best solution is to bring back the lottery. Seems fairest as your access does not depend on fast internet access or having time on a specific morning.
TronTRS80 01/30/2019 07:45PM
Tried many times right at 9 CST and saw on the site that scheduling was not open and chalked it up to being busy so I kept trying. Finally, got through and noticed all permits seemed to be gone for the EP and date I wanted, around 9:40 and figured I missed out. I went to the next week option and saw permits available, went back to the week I wanted and saw permit numbers available. Figured it must be some sort of glitch, but went ahead and tried to get a permit for the date and EP I originally tried for and it worked just fine. Paid and confirmed. I went in later to see if my EP and date permits were still available because I like to see how popular that date is and noticed I could not get in anymore. Then, the site said unavailable, then it said come back later, now sounds like my permit will be voided and my money refunded and have to do it all over again with 48 hours notice. Oh well.
mrballast 01/30/2019 07:37PM
If traffic is the problem, which it usually is, maybe they should break it up into three hour gaps by closest ranger station/forestry district. Gunflint at 9 am, Kawishiwi at Noon, or some such. Aren't there like a dozen areas? Smaller or less popular ones could be paired.


Nonetheless, it's just another reminder of why most of us go. Can't wait to cut the cord and get out. Rabbit season will have to get me to March I guess.
cyclones30 01/30/2019 07:37PM
schweady: "Horrible experience goes without saying, I guess, but some of that I initially chalked up to the website change coupled with accessing the site on my phone for the first time. Never could tell if I had the right date entered, EPs were sorted in a way I couldn't make out (almost seemed EP#s in descending order), defaulting to outfitters/cooperators I never heard of, telling me I was missing some piece of information but never bothering to mention which piece, insisting on changes to number of watercraft, adding multiple identical alternate names, showing other attendees at times then erasing them... Strangely, the grid I saw showed no permits had yet been reserved by anyone while (at exactly the same time) my buddy said that his grid showed that all permits were already taken. I got on at 9:05 and finally got my 2 permits and confirmations by 9:30, credit card billed correctly, and no refunds yet. The reservations are still listed on my account page. No way I feel like doing this all over again.



At 11:10 pm, VNO emailed about my Permit #1, relaying the "reverse all internal and external transactions" message (whatever the heck that is supposed to communicate to us...) and at 2:08 pm, Rockwood called about my Permit #2, using the same terminology and adding, "stay tuned, we'll continue to stay in touch."



SNAFU and FUBAR squared.
"



As far as I could tell, the entries were sorted in alphabetical order but grouped by ranger disctrict. All Gunflint entries were together, in alphabetical order. Then all Kawishiwi in order, etc etc. I most disliked them taking away the EP numbers. There are a lot of Kawishiwi entries and districts, just name isn't a very good way to keep them organized.
heelix 01/30/2019 07:35PM
It looked like mine worked. Will see if we can hang onto the permits.. but have two booked.


There was a password reset - so did that. Took a few minutes for the reset link to show up. After that, was able to stumble through the process. Not quite as easy as the old one... but does baby step you through it if you were only doing one.
proepro 01/30/2019 07:30PM
At we can be happy least they stopped using active.com to run the website.


I am fighting those guys over accounts with automatic renewals they create secretly.
walleyewood 01/30/2019 07:22PM
nooneuno: "I spent two hours on recreation.com starting at 9 am, couldn't get the reservation I wanted but did finally get signed up for Obamacare....."


LMAO!!
schweady 01/30/2019 07:13PM
Horrible experience goes without saying, I guess, but some of that I initially chalked up to the website change coupled with accessing the site on my phone for the first time. Never could tell if I had the right date entered, EPs were sorted in a way I couldn't make out (almost seemed EP#s in descending order), defaulting to outfitters/cooperators I never heard of, telling me I was missing some piece of information but never bothering to mention which piece, insisting on changes to number of watercraft, adding multiple identical alternate names, showing other attendees at times then erasing them... Strangely, the grid I saw showed no permits had yet been reserved by anyone while (at exactly the same time) my buddy said that his grid showed that all permits were already taken. I got on at 9:05 and finally got my 2 permits and confirmations by 9:30, credit card billed correctly, and no refunds yet. The reservations are still listed on my account page. No way I feel like doing this all over again.


At 11:10 pm, VNO emailed about my Permit #1, relaying the "reverse all internal and external transactions" message (whatever the heck that is supposed to communicate to us...) and at 2:08 pm, Rockwood called about my Permit #2, using the same terminology and adding, "stay tuned, we'll continue to stay in touch."


SNAFU and FUBAR squared.
andym 01/30/2019 06:43PM
ChadM: "Permit lotteries are pretty common, I'm guessing it was the USFS. Yosemite uses recreation.gov for half dome lotteries."


That's right. I forgot that. I think a lot of people in Ely would be happy to have the motor permit lotteries back. Especially given the issues with differing access depending on internet speed.
scramble4a5 01/30/2019 06:00PM
It took me a few tries but I got a permit and a confirmation email this morning. Now I am hearing they are going to cancel any permits that were issued and start all over again. What will keep the system from crashing again?


The old system worked fine if you ask me.
ChadM 01/30/2019 05:39PM
Permit lotteries are pretty common, I'm guessing it was the USFS. Yosemite uses recreation.gov for half dome lotteries.
andym 01/30/2019 05:10PM
The FS probably has little control over recreation.gov. They are only one of several government agencies that use the site. I actually wonder if the end of the lottery was purely driven by the FS or if no one else using a lottery meant that it was seen as not cost effective to include that functionality in the contract requirements. But it may have really been helping with reducing the load, especially the lotteries for the motor permits.


As for testing, I discussed this with a really excellent programmer I work with. He had a successful behind the scenes network software company before he went back to scientific programming. His comment was that load testing is really, really hard to do. There are just too many places where bottlenecks can occur, not all of which are even inside your own system, and which interact with each other.


Overall, I wouldn't blame the FS. They are the public face that we see but are probably just as much victims in this as those of us who were trying to make reservations today.


Fortunately for me, I have no idea when I can get there this summer and so wasn't even trying.
heavylunch 01/30/2019 04:48PM
I booked online this morning and while it was a little fussy, I got my permit by about 9:20am. They haven't canceled it yet that I can tell but I assume it is just a matter of time.


Strange.
deadriver 01/30/2019 04:45PM
nooneuno: "From the US Forest Service:


"We will give advanced notification of at least 48 hours or more prior to the system going live.""



Thanks nooneuno!
deadriver 01/30/2019 04:43PM
beaver10: "And how are we going to get that notification? Continuing to refresh the website? I think my refresh button is starting to wear out..."


I'm sure we will get emails, like we did this week, announcing 48 hours ahead of time, and then an email the day of as well.
beaver10 01/30/2019 04:38PM
And how are we going to get that notification? Continuing to refresh the website? I think my refresh button is starting to wear out...
DaleLL 01/30/2019 04:38PM
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.


So now I can quit refreshing, and check back tomorrow
nooneuno 01/30/2019 04:08PM
From the US Forest Service:

"We will give advanced notification of at least 48 hours or more prior to the system going live."
wanderingfromkansas 01/30/2019 03:42PM
wanderingfromkansas: "Whew! I made it!



I'm sure I had a similar experience that everyone else did who wanted to book at 9am. The system had difficulties at every step. Registration was open, then it wasn't. Then I'd see available permits, and then they were gone. Then I got my permit picked, but couldn't proceed.



It took an hour and a half, but in the end it seemed to work. Here's to a great adventure ahead!"



My reservation is still on my account at recreation.gov.


I tried calling for assistance, and the wait time was estimated at 30 minutes. I took the option to have them call me back. When they did, I was on hold for another 10 minutes, and I gave up.
nooneuno 01/30/2019 03:38PM
I spent two hours on recreation.com starting at 9 am, couldn't get the reservation I wanted but did finally get signed up for Obamacare.....
foxfireniner 01/30/2019 03:28PM
Harv: "Terrible system.



Ely Echo Article



Glad it was easy for some; although looks like you'll have to do it all over again. "



This is my favorite line: Ann Schwaller, Natural Resources Program Manager at the Superior Forest Supervisor’s Office in Duluth:


“Again, the Forest has done everything asked of us the last 14 months."


Everything except provide a functioning website. Everything in this case must mean they went to a bunch of meetings, had some unrealistic testing, then had more meetings.


Harv 01/30/2019 03:20PM
Terrible system.


Ely Echo Article


Glad it was easy for some; although looks like you'll have to do it all over again.
gravelroad 01/30/2019 03:19PM
adam: "
Please report how your permit/trip booking process went this year?
Any challenges with the new system and rules?
Did you book through outfitter or online or via phone?"



Or: "Other than that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?" ;-)
deadriver 01/30/2019 03:16PM
Wow, ya'll need to chill. No website is bullet proof. It's a hassle, I get it, but $#@#$ happens. Don't make it about anything else.


Hopefully they will be able to announce a new date and time when reservations open up, and we can get them then!
Lea 01/30/2019 02:47PM
What a joke, they should be looking for a few new employees by Monday. There are a lot of people waiting for this date to ensure a date that they already had to put vacation down for. Why change a system that worked.
HighnDry 01/30/2019 02:20PM
I wonder if there's a chance to book these directly through the ranger stations whenever they open for the season. I guess that'd be a tad too late though....
kmjsuperfly 01/30/2019 01:24PM
foxfireniner: "As I read more about it, I think the problem is with the motor permits.



If I lived in the area and had a small boat, I would be queued up and waiting to hit "pay now" for Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. Just the motor permitting process for one of those days would clog a site up. But then they combined the motor permit day with the paddle permit day?



Recipe for disaster. They should have stress tested the site with paddlers only on one day and then motor permits another day. "



That's a great idea! Make the motor permits on a different day.
foxfireniner 01/30/2019 01:13PM
bwcawabcdefg: "it's pretty easy to find Ann's email address and let her know if you feel revoking successful reservations is fair. Seems to me the ball has already been hiked and the last play should stand.
"



I think she spoke too quickly. She is just trying to survive the day. We were discussing whatever the refund process through a .gov site might look like. I bet it is ugly and I bet she didn't consider that when she made her statement.


In the end, I bet the reservations stand but they increase the quotas on the Big 3; Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. Instead of 14 boats a day on Fall Lake, they will get 28 and hope for no -shows.


How does recreation.gov deal with the question: once my outfitter contacted me that I got the dates I wanted, I spent money and/or made irreversible plans for those exact dates. Now, I don't have those dates and I can't cancel and you didn't give me timely notification so I could make other plans on those dates?


So this Program Manager has less than a day to figure out the refund and cancellation notification system or she is going to run into all sorts of landmines and angry people about real costs and opportunity costs.



foxfireniner 01/30/2019 01:09PM
As I read more about it, I think the problem is with the motor permits.


If I lived in the area and had a small boat, I would be queued up and waiting to hit "pay now" for Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. Just the motor permitting process for one of those days would clog a site up. But then they combined the motor permit day with the paddle permit day?


Recipe for disaster. They should have stress tested the site with paddlers only on one day and then motor permits another day.
bwcawabcdefg 01/30/2019 01:09PM
it's pretty easy to find Ann's email address and let her know if you feel revoking successful reservations is fair. Seems to me the ball has already been hiked and the last play should stand.
andym 01/30/2019 12:58PM
Good description of the gov contracting process. This happens with non gov sites too.


I agree with cowdoc (and the quotes in the Star Trib article) that getting rid of the lottery helped cause this problem. The lottery spread out the load on the system.
Beamingloon 01/30/2019 12:44PM
https://www.elyecho.com/articles/2019/01/30/crash-and-burn-epic-failure-bwca-online-permit-system


article states quote from Schwaller that transactions will be reversed!


Sorry for those of you that this does happen to... You put your time in today, got your permits and had luck on your side....


We will reverse all internal and external transactions of course for fairness and close BWCAW reservations until further notice,” said Ann Schwaller, Natural Resources Program Manager at the Superior Forest Supervisor’s Office in Duluth.


Until then keep refreshing and "May Luck be forever in your favor"
kmjsuperfly 01/30/2019 12:43PM
If they cancel everyone's permit its going to turn an already bad situation worse.
Frenchy19 01/30/2019 12:41PM
Article in the Star Tribune
walleyewood 01/30/2019 12:33PM
It pays to know people - got mine with a certification of authenticity ~ boom!
SteveSkolnicki1 01/30/2019 12:13PM
Site is still out 1:10pm.
foxfireniner 01/30/2019 12:12PM
kmjsuperfly: "So far they haven't cancelled anything. I checked the bank and they got my $ though. "


They took mine as well!


I don't what we are worried about, I bet there is so much red tape involved with refunds to prevent embezzling that no single government employee knows the full process.


Wait! Oh no. Chances are they will cancel our reservations, the previous funds will be stuck in bureaucrat limbo, and we will have to pay twice once the site opens back up to get the same reservations we already had.


Rs130754 01/30/2019 12:10PM
voyager: "If I were king, I'd honor the permits of those that got through this A.M. (There couldn't be that many. ) They wouldn't count against the quota. It shouldn't clog the wilderness that much. But knowing the gov't ( ex employee ) it would probably take an act of congress to do so."


I agree, it sucks if you got booted and couldn't get your permit. I was one that did get a permit so I might be biased in my agreement with voyager. It won't be the end of the world if they issue me a full refund, my dates are pretty much open from early June to early August. I just feel bad for the outfitters whose livelihood depends on getting trips booked, for me it is just an inconvience.
kmjsuperfly 01/30/2019 12:02PM
So far they haven't cancelled anything. I checked the bank and they got my $ though.
voyager 01/30/2019 11:56AM
If I were king, I'd honor the permits of those that got through this A.M. (There couldn't be that many. ) They wouldn't count against the quota. It shouldn't clog the wilderness that much. But knowing the gov't ( ex employee ) it would probably take an act of congress to do so.
cyclones30 01/30/2019 11:50AM
This has to the the fastest any topic has made it to 100 posts? Adam any way to confirm?
Frenchy19 01/30/2019 11:50AM
11:50 CDT right now, and the site says registration closed with the following at the top of the page:

Alert:
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.
foxfireniner 01/30/2019 11:49AM
andym: "BTW, this is being done by the private sector.



I’m guessing BWCA permits produce the greatest surge and their new system just wasn’t able to handle it. I’ve seen other websites be able to handle most situations and then die under a surge.



What would happen if they released all the May permits on day one, June the next day, ... through September? It would reduce the surge but spread out the days outfitters needed to be ready to do reservations.



I think of that because I’m part of a scientific society that has a meeting with the most presentations. Everyone submits at the last minute and it regularly destroys the submission system every time it is updated. So they’ve taken to finding ways to encourage early submissions (submit early and get entered in a drawing for free meeting registration) just to spread out the load.



I feel sorriest for the outfitters that staffed up this morning to take care of their clients and for anyone who took time off work. "



The way government contracting works is the govt provides a Scope of Work and multiple bid on producing a product that meets the SOW. The government picks a winner then the Contracting Officer and Contracting Officer's Rep are in charge of tracking the contractors deliverables, timetables, etc.


At certain gates, the contractor wants to be paid. At that point the Contracting Officer's Rep evaluates the product versus the timetable to ensure that the SOW is being met.


I will guarantee that the SOW stated that on Jan 30, thousands of people will log on to book reservations and the contractor's product must be able to handle the large volume.


It sounds like they did a stress test of sorts but the problem is that government contracting officers and representatives don't have to be experts on the final product. So the contractor has most likely already been paid for the majority of this site...and it doesn't work.


cowdoc 01/30/2019 11:38AM
Hmmm......glad I don't try to do this til late Feb or March. The dropped lottery didn't help, plus the fact that alternates need to sign up(and may be doing so right now), and get their confirmation emails generated.....and replied to. Plenty of new things to gum up the new system........
kukymnstr 01/30/2019 11:34AM
Logged on and was to the payment process when I was rejected. In reading the other posts I seen a couple mention ticket re seller bots buying them up. Checked some of the sites and found none available. There is a notice from the forest service that the process has been shut down and it looks like they will reverse all transactions. I cant verify the ticket re sellers, but if this is what happened we are better off to wait for a fix than to have to buy greatly inflated permits from ticketbastard.
cyclones30 01/30/2019 11:34AM
kmjsuperfly: "A few things things that were annoying (other than not being able to book your permit).



#1 It used to be way easier when you could get everything selected and ready to hit submit when 9:00 came around. Now it is a confusing mad dash as soon as you log in.



#2 No entry point numbers listed. Bad decision to remove the entry point numbers. I like to make sure I have the right one selected and matching entry point number.



#3 When selecting the permit issue location please make the local ranger station the default like it was before. If I want to change it to a cooperator fine give me a drop down menu. The way it is now its confusing and a pain to find it in the list.



Just my 2 cents



"



I mentioned #2 above as well. I liked having the EP number there as reassurance I've got the right one.
andym 01/30/2019 11:32AM
BTW, this is being done by the private sector.


I’m guessing BWCA permits produce the greatest surge and their new system just wasn’t able to handle it. I’ve seen other websites be able to handle most situations and then die under a surge.


What would happen if they released all the May permits on day one, June the next day, ... through September? It would reduce the surge but spread out the days outfitters needed to be ready to do reservations.


I think of that because I’m part of a scientific society that has a meeting with the most presentations. Everyone submits at the last minute and it regularly destroys the submission system every time it is updated. So they’ve taken to finding ways to encourage early submissions (submit early and get entered in a drawing for free meeting registration) just to spread out the load.


I feel sorriest for the outfitters that staffed up this morning to take care of their clients and for anyone who took time off work.
voyager 01/30/2019 11:30AM
Same tale of woe here! Here I sit waiting, on the slim chance it will reopen today. The next logical step for the site would be a banner, stating it will not reopen today, so we can all get on with our lives. I feel for those who have jobs, as I'm sure it's far more stressful for them than us retirees.
flynn 01/30/2019 11:23AM
kmjsuperfly: "A few things things that were annoying (other than not being able to book your permit).



#1 It used to be way easier when you could get everything selected and ready to hit submit when 9:00 came around. Now it is a confusing mad dash as soon as you log in.



#2 No entry point numbers listed. Bad decision to remove the entry point numbers. I like to make sure I have the right one selected and matching entry point number.



#3 When selecting the permit issue location please make the local ranger station the default like it was before. If I want to change it to a cooperator fine give me a drop down menu. The way it is now its confusing and a pain to find it in the list.



Just my 2 cents



"



You can change the pick-up station for it later, right? I still don't know which outfitter I plan to use, based on the route I'm taking, so I picked one that might be the one, but not 100% sure.... super confusing. Definitely would have appreciated the entry point numbers as well.
flynn 01/30/2019 11:10AM
Wow, what a bummer. I'm sure they will be transparent about the new permit date and we will all get our permits, whether we successfully reserved them this time around or not... but some people took time off to book this stuff. Argh........ yet again the customer pays the price because the vendor didn't do their job adequately. Just take a deep breath, self...... wuuusahhh.....
kmjsuperfly 01/30/2019 11:07AM
A few things things that were annoying (other than not being able to book your permit).


#1 It used to be way easier when you could get everything selected and ready to hit submit when 9:00 came around. Now it is a confusing mad dash as soon as you log in.


#2 No entry point numbers listed. Bad decision to remove the entry point numbers. I like to make sure I have the right one selected and matching entry point number.


#3 When selecting the permit issue location please make the local ranger station the default like it was before. If I want to change it to a cooperator fine give me a drop down menu. The way it is now its confusing and a pain to find it in the list.


Just my 2 cents


egknuti 01/30/2019 10:56AM
wanderingfromkansas: "Whew! I made it!



I'm sure I had a similar experience that everyone else did who wanted to book at 9am. The system had difficulties at every step. Registration was open, then it wasn't. Then I'd see available permits, and then they were gone. Then I got my permit picked, but couldn't proceed.



It took an hour and a half, but in the end it seemed to work. Here's to a great adventure ahead!"

Sounds like your permit will be cancelled and you’ll need to start over. ??
airmorse 01/30/2019 10:54AM
Moosetrack posted this.


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
Northwoodsman 01/30/2019 10:54AM
I was having problems earlier also. Then I noticed that you could pay an extra $2.00 to get directed to the front of the line.


I am joking.
lindylair 01/30/2019 10:47AM
Stress free...it's nice to know that whenever I figure out the dates for a trip in 2019, I will find something interesting to book. Feel bad for all of you...
wanderingfromkansas 01/30/2019 10:43AM
Whew! I made it!


I'm sure I had a similar experience that everyone else did who wanted to book at 9am. The system had difficulties at every step. Registration was open, then it wasn't. Then I'd see available permits, and then they were gone. Then I got my permit picked, but couldn't proceed.


It took an hour and a half, but in the end it seemed to work. Here's to a great adventure ahead!
greywolf33 01/30/2019 10:43AM
I'm not sure what's up with others, but I logged in at 9:01 AM CDT, selected my EP and date, paid and received a confirming e-mail in less than 5 minutes. No problems here. I wish everyone good luck locking down their permits. Now let's pray for liquid water.
Z4K 01/30/2019 10:43AM
tnvol: "Well I’m still trying, does anybody that had success have some tips? I’ve been refreshing on an up to date version of google chrome. What gives?"


Nope I got one permit on an updated chrome, took me about 45 minutes of refreshing. I checked out with just the one to make sure I got it, I've been trying for a half hour to get back in and haven't had any luck
cyclones30 01/30/2019 10:41AM
Voyageur North is now saying they're being told all permits that's did make it in today will be cancelled and everyone starts over another day. Until I see an email saying that I guess I'll assume I'm still good with mine
Bumstead 01/30/2019 10:37AM
heavy traffic on site probably due to not having a lottery this year early for the motorized boat permits?
tnvol 01/30/2019 10:34AM
Well I’m still trying, does anybody that had success have some tips? I’ve been refreshing on an up to date version of google chrome. What gives?
boonie 01/30/2019 10:28AM
RMinMN: "New banner on the site. It says:



Alert:



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."



Same message I got when I tried to log back in.
nlong 01/30/2019 10:21AM
Got my reservation booked finally an hour later. What a hassle.
ckelley 01/30/2019 10:21AM
LakerTaker83: "I am standing on the refresh button having the least productive morning waiting for this thing to clear up. Ugh!"

Between changing out my car battery and trying to reserve a permit, I'm not getting anything done this morning either! At least the coffee pot is working...
Rs130754 01/30/2019 10:17AM
Myyokepad: "Finally got mine booked after about an hour. Just kept refreshing, would take about 10-20 minutes per screen. Eventually out of the grace of god would finally advance to the next page. Good Luck to all"


Same here it took forever. I finally stopped refreshing and it would advance me through the process 10-15 minutes per screen until checkout. Good luck to everyone, hopefully they get things up and running soon.
Flatlandpaddler 01/30/2019 10:16AM
After repeatedly smashing the refresh key and an hour and 10 min was able to close the deal!
LakerTaker83 01/30/2019 10:13AM
I am standing on the refresh button having the least productive morning waiting for this thing to clear up. Ugh!
RMinMN 01/30/2019 10:11AM
New banner on the site. It says:


Alert:


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.
loongoingdeep 01/30/2019 10:11AM
Alert:
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.
Myyokepad 01/30/2019 10:08AM
Finally got mine booked after about an hour. Just kept refreshing, would take about 10-20 minutes per screen. Eventually out of the grace of god would finally advance to the next page. Good Luck to all
flynn 01/30/2019 10:07AM
I managed to get my permits through the checkout process but it looks like they won't allow any more to be added. I was hoping to get 1 more but I'll be fine, it was for Moose on an unlikely weekend (for me) anyway. Best of luck to the rest - I will probably try for that permit just in case.


BTW, use this link to see permits, instead of waiting for the button that says "view permits" or whatever:


https://www.recreation.gov/permits/233396/registration/detailed-availability?type=OvernightPaddle&date=2019-05-01T00:00:00.000Z
buckshot 01/30/2019 10:05AM
I managed to get through a little after 11:00 EST. Was able to get a confirmation at the end of the process. The first hour of hitting "refresh" was a little like being waterboarded.
KarlBAndersen1 01/30/2019 10:05AM
anthonyp007: "KarlBAndersen1: "I get to my permit issuing station and then can't get beyond that."




Having the same issue. Also, the date changes to today when you get to the permit issue station page.



Tony"



Yup.
AG4 01/30/2019 10:04AM
I got logged in around 930 and had both permits booked, paid for, and a confirmation email in about 10 minutes. Good luck to everyone! I hope you're able to get yours.
wvevans 01/30/2019 10:02AM
Glad i burned an hour of vacation time to be ready at 9:am sharp.... LOL
RDB 01/30/2019 10:01AM
Just in... StubHub... Seat Greek... Ticket Master & Vivid Seats reserved all permits with their robots. Cheapest permit is Bog Lake overnight for $100.



cyclones30 01/30/2019 10:01AM
Hope this site doesn't crash from all the people having problems with permits!


The permit numbers remaining keeps going down on the few I've been watching but not many. Mudro has one gone at 9:01, I thought damn someone was ready. I thought I was and it took me a few min still.
flynn 01/30/2019 10:01AM
I successfully added 4 permits to the cart (not sure which weekend, will cancel others ASAP, don't worry) and was going to add the final one, and then I saw this banner:


"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."


Now all of the permits in my cart are invalid. Who knows when they will be back. :(
anthonyp007 01/30/2019 09:59AM
KarlBAndersen1: "I get to my permit issuing station and then can't get beyond that."



Having the same issue. Also, the date changes to today when you get to the permit issue station page.


Tony
Beamingloon 01/30/2019 09:58AM
well they did change the message but no ETA on timing so still hitting refresh!
KarlBAndersen1 01/30/2019 09:57AM
I get to my permit issuing station and then can't get beyond that.
airmorse 01/30/2019 09:57AM
Z4K: "Wow this is Frustrating! No more human-chosen lottery, let's let the computer do it instead! Seem totally random to me, I've been able to get to the permit selection screen three times and the outfitter choosing screen twice. I haven't made it any farther yet..."


Same here.
RMinMN 01/30/2019 09:55AM
It looks like they should have kept the old system until a couple months into the reservations so they could have worked out some of the problems.
Beamingloon 01/30/2019 09:54AM
I wish they would just change the message and have estimated opening time so I can move from my computer until a certain time...


BearBurrito 01/30/2019 09:52AM
Seems like a lot of problems, I'm glad I didn't try to get on right away this morning.
yogi59weedr 01/30/2019 09:47AM
I hope they scrap today. On line registration was and still closed. Got on cell phone line was so crackly and then dropped. Land line same thing..... #;*^$-"^**$÷^^system. They should have had a test day or everyone. Arugh really fustrated.
Rs130754 01/30/2019 09:47AM



I am making progress...I think.
KarlBAndersen1 01/30/2019 09:46AM
Failure so far.
One step forward - two steps back.
airmorse 01/30/2019 09:42AM
cyclones30: "Smooth here, was logged in and hit refresh right after my clock hit 9. Found EP and paid and have confirmation email.



Odd that they took away the EP numbers this year. Only know what it is by Ranger district and entry name. I liked the reassurance of knowing my number matched. "



I noticed that as well. Id like to see the ep numbers added.
RMinMN 01/30/2019 09:42AM
jtniehof: "I'm going to go get a bagel. Since the system is going to start working as soon as I step away from my desk, I expect everybody to be nice and leave my preferred EP alone until I get back. Thanks!"


You have to reveal the entry point and date if you expect that courtesy.
Z4K 01/30/2019 09:41AM
Wow this is Frustrating! No more human-chosen lottery, let's let the computer do it instead! Seem totally random to me, I've been able to get to the permit selection screen three times and the outfitter choosing screen twice. I haven't made it any farther yet...
jtniehof 01/30/2019 09:40AM
I'm going to go get a bagel. Since the system is going to start working as soon as I step away from my desk, I expect everybody to be nice and leave my preferred EP alone until I get back. Thanks!
IndyElden 01/30/2019 09:39AM
I've been online trying since 9:00 a.m. Central time and it is now 9:45 and it has not worked for me. It is saying "Registration is Closed". For a minute it showed it open but everything said unavailable, and the filter seemed to be stuck on permits from Canada.
flynn 01/30/2019 09:39AM
I think they should have done a little better job of stress testing the new system. This is pretty messy.
unshavenman 01/30/2019 09:37AM
Well, we selected our permit but then we couldn't choose the outfitter for pickup, and then it changed the permit date today. I guess I better get packing!
HayRiverDrifter 01/30/2019 09:32AM
Maybe there are too many people trying at one time. I will tell you what, everyone logoff, then I will try getting my permit. If it works, I will let you all know ;-)
Beamingloon 01/30/2019 09:32AM
Mr. Guest Paddler is a little hostile and Cranky.... really as long as I am in the BWCA at a campsite life is good... 1 star, 4 star, the one I was hoping for or the one that was left on the lake... I am in the best place on earth. No reason to be all worked up.
Permits will open, we will all get something booked.
loongoingdeep 01/30/2019 09:30AM
I logged out and back in, and found the same; They closed registration. Hoping its an easy fix and opens back quickly.
naturboy12 01/30/2019 09:30AM
.
mjmkjun 01/30/2019 09:29AM
foxfireniner: "mjmkjun: "All went smooth. Logged in at 10:00 am EST and had my permit in a few minutes. "



Well that is pissing me off. I was in there then too and it was borked for me."

Internet traffic bottlenecking? ;-)
Keep trying, buckaroo.
cyclones30 01/30/2019 09:28AM
cyclones30: "Smooth here, was logged in and hit refresh right after my clock hit 9. Found EP and paid and have confirmation email.



Odd that they took away the EP numbers this year. Only know what it is by Ranger district and entry name. I liked the reassurance of knowing my number matched. "



Done by 9:10 and did it online. Have to have my wife check her email tonight to make account since I put her as alternate
BeaV 01/30/2019 09:26AM
My login attempt failed...I am now "banned". I may now have to resort to joining other groups so I can sneak in.
foxfireniner 01/30/2019 09:24AM
mjmkjun: "All went smooth. Logged in at 10:00 am EST and had my permit in a few minutes. "


Well that is pissing me off. I was in there then too and it was borked for me.
cyclones30 01/30/2019 09:24AM
Smooth here, was logged in and hit refresh right after my clock hit 9. Found EP and paid and have confirmation email.


Odd that they took away the EP numbers this year. Only know what it is by Ranger district and entry name. I liked the reassurance of knowing my number matched.
MikeinMpls 01/30/2019 09:24AM
I am so pissed off.


First, it didn't recognize my password....the same password I've been using for at least six years. I reset it. Then it didn't recognize the new password. Finally I was able to log on....Then the freeze, and partial loading and crashing. The same BS as everyone else.


I'm also on hold with their 1-877 number. 25 minutes so far. The connection is so bad that I likely will be unable to understand the agent anyway, if I ever get one.


I'm having the same problems as everyone else. And I don't have unlimited time to do this. I set aside 45 minutes this morning to get this done. Plenty of time. But now I have an appointment and I am certain the EP I want (small quota), will be gone when I am again able to log in and the website is functional.


You know.... I did my part. I did what I was supposed to do. I allowed reasonable time to obtain the permit I desired. Recreation.gov failed to live up with their end of the contract. I'm almost at a point where, if they can't get their shit straight, I'll just go in where I want without a permit. I know that isn't right, and it's my emotion talking, but what else I am to do? I've had nothing but problems with Recreation.gov from their inception.


Mike in Mpls


boonie 01/30/2019 09:24AM
Yeah, not getting anywhere. Come back later.
mschi772 01/30/2019 09:23AM
AluminumBarge: "Not to make this a political discussion, but all I can think of while waiting for this site to work as it should is, boy am I glad the government doesn't run my healthcare (yet). "


As a video gamer, this is EXACTLY what launch day for just about every single online video game has been like right down to the one random guy posting "It worked for me" among the swarm of posts about how broken it is and the multiple, repeat forum threads being posted all about the exact same thing. The private sector doesn't get this kind of thing any better.
SlowTroller 01/30/2019 09:22AM
Worked fine for me? Went in right at 9 and booked my permit for September.
Northwoodsman 01/30/2019 09:21AM
It opened at 9:01 a.m. and by 9:05 it closed. Once I signed in I was able to see all of the available permits however I could not book one. The system kept freezing. Although I chose an entry date of May 11, 2019, it defaulted to January 30, 2019 and could not be changed. Maybe the system reached capacity. I'll try back later. So far I would rate it as "F" for failure.
mjmkjun 01/30/2019 09:20AM
All went smoothly securing my permit online. Logged in at 10:00 am EST (OHIO) and had my permit reserved in no time.
foxfireniner 01/30/2019 09:19AM
Maybe the cold froze the internet.
AluminumBarge 01/30/2019 09:19AM
Not to make this a political discussion, but all I can think of while waiting for this site to work as it should is, boy am I glad the government doesn't run my healthcare (yet).
muddy 01/30/2019 09:18AM
"Serenity now, serenity now!"
Rs130754 01/30/2019 09:18AM
If they would just let members of this site book the day before they wouldn't have this problem. SMH
MN_Lindsey 01/30/2019 09:18AM
Current mood.
airmorse 01/30/2019 09:17AM
It still says no permits available.
Bumstead 01/30/2019 09:16AM
foxfireniner: "I'm hitting the refresh button like it owes me money."



hahahahahhaaaa! Me too
ellahallely 01/30/2019 09:14AM
No joy for me either. People in the know predicted this.


I am not surprised!! The fed government cant even make the do not list work. I doubt anyone in control even cares.
Buffy 01/30/2019 09:13AM
MN_Lindsey: "Ugh - finally opened, and selected my EP, and then when trying to save my outfitter/issuing station it said error, and then everything went to zero permits available, and now the whole site says, "Closed for permits"... "


Exactly what happened to me.
airmorse 01/30/2019 09:13AM
I called 877.444.6777 and got an recording saying there are difficulties. No kidding...
Buffy 01/30/2019 09:12AM
kyleyewongster: "I got in right away and added to cart then it disappeared and now its closed"


Same experience here.
loongoingdeep 01/30/2019 09:11AM
Unavailable no permits for this date LOL.
I love it when they take something as simple as an IS and either don't test or ask users what they think. New management same as the Old.
THEGrandRapids 01/30/2019 09:11AM
Maybe it's working and all the permits went in the first minute- most likely bought by scalpers and ticket bots.... street value might be $32 an adult.... figure the permits are already available on the dark web...
foxfireniner 01/30/2019 09:11AM
I'm hitting the refresh button like it owes me money.
thlipsis29 01/30/2019 09:11AM
Even if I get it it shows no permits available for the date I'm looking for at any EP. The joy!
scotttimm 01/30/2019 09:10AM
Glad it isn't just me...stupid technology...
anthonyp007 01/30/2019 09:10AM
kyleyewongster: "I got in right away and added to cart then it disappeared and now its closed"


same thing happened to me.


Tony
muddy 01/30/2019 09:10AM
0910 am, central and system says it is still closed.
airmorse 01/30/2019 09:10AM
Same experience. I got in right away it showed permits available then no permits available for any entry for any date.


Thanks government.
tnvol 01/30/2019 09:09AM
Well, this is getting stressful
tcoeguy 01/30/2019 09:08AM
9:09 and no permits available. Someone turn on the switch!
anthonyp007 01/30/2019 09:08AM
yep, it crashed. New system, same old tech glitches...
Rs130754 01/30/2019 09:08AM
Showing me zero open permits for anything. I have been like a woodpecker on my refresh button.
Pilgrimpaddler 01/30/2019 09:06AM
9:05 AM and can't even get in now! When I finally do get in, the "Registration is Closed" notice is still up. Then when the registrations are finally open, I try to reserve a permit and suddenly there are no permits available for any entries on any dates!
kyleyewongster 01/30/2019 09:05AM
I got in right away and added to cart then it disappeared and now its closed
Tlaker 01/30/2019 09:05AM
Trying now. Shows no availability on any dates
MN_Lindsey 01/30/2019 09:04AM
Ugh - finally opened, and selected my EP, and then when trying to save my outfitter/issuing station it said error, and then everything went to zero permits available, and now the whole site says, "Closed for permits"...
foxfireniner 01/30/2019 09:04AM
It looks like the website is borked.


I tried to register already and there weren't any sites available. Now it says registration is closed again.
Beamingloon 01/30/2019 09:04AM
9:05 AM Central time and not live yet...Is it just me?
kajy 01/30/2019 07:53AM
I’m still trying to figure out how there website works. The last time you could be all set up with enter point op or om the date and then just hit summit at 9:00. It looks like you have to go through all the steps at 9? I called several times yesterday but could never get through to ask the questions I had
adam 01/30/2019 07:15AM
Please report how your permit/trip booking process went this year?

Any challenges with the new system and rules?

Did you book through outfitter, online or via phone?