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LesliesDad
member (16)member
 
04/16/2019 11:22AM
I have a question regarding permits for a route on the east side of the BWCA. If using a permit for Clearwater Lake EP 62, following a route eastward through West Pike, East Pike, John Lake, Little John, McFarland, Pine, Little Caribou, Caribou back to Clearwater, the route would exit the BWCA from John Lake and re-enter at Pine Lake. Is exiting from John and then re-entering at Pine on a Clearwater Lake permit okay with the US Forest Service? Thanks.
 
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04/16/2019 02:43PM
It is ok.
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2520)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/16/2019 03:35PM
Yep.
LesliesDad
member (16)member
 
04/16/2019 06:12PM
How do you know? I saw that others have posted trip reports for this same route, but I don't see anything that says it is okay with the Forest Service.
04/16/2019 06:30PM
I've checked with them before and they said it is ok. It is part of an established and you leave for just a short time.
You can not side track, say hopping in your car, go somewhere, come back and re -enter.
Give the Gunflint NFS ranger office a call. They get this question a lot.
sedges
distinguished member (470)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/16/2019 06:45PM
I would call the USFS office in Grand Marais to set your mind at ease.

I am certain they will tell you it is OK as long as you just pass through. If you were to park a vehicle there and run into town for a pizza you would need another permit.

We have done the border route many times passing out of the BWCAW at Gunflint Lake and back into it at North Lake. USFS says this is OK with a single permit. I imagine your situation would be fine, too
LesliesDad
member (16)member
 
04/16/2019 07:27PM
Thanks Guys. I sent the USFS an e-mail about an hour ago. If I get a reply I'll post it.
LesliesDad
member (16)member
 
04/17/2019 02:55PM
The answer that I received today 4/17/19 from the Forest Service is "No". See following:
"Hello,
"Thank you for contacting Superior National Forest.
"Individuals or groups may not re-enter the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) on a different date using the same permit. Group leaders must be with the group for the entirety of the BWCAW trip and permits/stubs become invalid once the group leader exits the Wilderness boundaries.
"Depending on the specifics of your journey and if desired, many groups start on the eastern end of your desired loop and put in at entry point #69-John Lake or #68-Pine Lake and do the loop going the other way while either
"A. Taking the 200 rod portage between Clearwater Lake and Caribou Lake (not on the western end, where the boat access is located but further east, within the BWCAW) or
"B. Going south from Pine Lake to Canoe Lake to Alder Lake to East Bearskin Lake to Moon Lake to Deer Lake to Caribou Lake.
"If I can clarify any of the above information or answer any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
"Regards,
"Luke Laaveg
"Information Receptionist
"Forest Service
"Superior National Forest, Supervisor's Office
"p: 218-626-4300
"luke.laaveg@usda.gov
"8901 Grand Avenue Place
"Duluth, MN 55808"
sedges
distinguished member (470)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/17/2019 05:10PM
This is certainly a change from the past policy. I am curious about what the folks doing the Voyageur's Highway Challenge did with their permitting. Did they get a second permit for entering at North lake after passing out of the wilderness on Gunflint Lake? Beav, can you weigh in on this?
LesliesDad
member (16)member
 
04/17/2019 05:59PM
FYI - I sent Luke Laaveg / USFS - Duluth a follow-up e-mail question as follows:

"Robert Beymer's guide book to the BWCA - Eastern Region, 5th edition, has a similar route (62-2, page 206) starting at Clearwater Lake EP-62 and looping east through Mountain Lake, Moose Lake, North Fowl Lake, South Fowl Lake, Royal Lake, John Lake, East Pike Lake, West Pike Lake and back to Clearwater Lake. Is this permissible?"

I'll post the answer. Thanks to all.


mjmkjun
distinguished member(2520)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/17/2019 07:12PM
May I ask how you worded your original question to USFS concerning your proposed loop?
jwartman59
distinguished member(2990)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/17/2019 07:23PM
This route is best if you start at john lake. It’s a great loop but tacky development at east end spoils the wilderness character if it comes at the midpoint of your loop.
LesliesDad
member (16)member
 
04/17/2019 09:08PM
I used the same wording that I used here on this messageboard. I did a cut and paste.


LesliesDad
member (16)member
 
04/17/2019 09:14PM
I realize that would be an option. But we'd like to spend the night before and maybe the night after at Clearwater Lodge. And avoid a drive all of the way over to John Lake.
04/17/2019 10:31PM
You asked the wrong people. You sent it to Duluth. Frankly, they are office people and don't know. Call the Ranger' office in Grand Mara is (Gunflint).
04/17/2019 10:35PM
Or call Clearwater Outfitter.
LesliesDad
member (16)member
 
04/18/2019 08:39AM
Yes. I kind of figured that "no" would be the answer from Duluth. But their's was the only e-mail address that I could find. We don't plan to make an east side trip until next year. I just wanted to get a feel for how far I could bend the rules. I'll check with the Rangers in Grand Marais next year when I pick-up the permit. Our permit is for this year is Moose Lake EP-25. THANKS MUCH TO EVERYONE FOR THE ADVICE. Sincerely, Jay Shaw
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2520)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/02/2019 04:20AM
Jay, here's a link that will be helpful for your proposed trip next year. The info is contained in the portage notes specifically for Crocodile Lake but luckily there is mention regarding travel from John Lake--thru McFarland--to Pine Lake. There's also a contact # and a person to speak to in Duluth office. Heck, print it and bring on your trip.
I just came upon this info this morning while researching portage to Crocodile Lake. It confirms what's already been stated by the comments of seasoned paddlers.
billconner
distinguished member(7011)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/02/2019 05:55AM
I have gotten different answers over the years. It's a chronic problem of varying interpretations from different Forest Service employees.

One concept was that so called "corridor crossings" where you are permitted to exit and re-enter in same permit are only allowed when there is no route that keeps you in the wilderness. You can cross the Echo Trail, LIS north to south for instance, but not Fernberg Road, ep 26 to 29 or Farm to Fall for instance.

Seems unlikely to be clarified soon.
gravelroad
distinguished member (260)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/02/2019 06:54PM
There is no chronic problem of varying interpretations from different Forest Service employees. There is a chronic problem of RELYING on the varying interpretations from different Forest Service employees. The governing federal regulation and order are explicit on this point, and nobody at USFS is formally authorized to look the other way:

"36 CFR § 261.57 - National Forest wilderness.
§ 261.57 National Forest wilderness.
When provided by an order, the following are prohibited:
(a) Entering or being in the area."
36 CFR § 261.57 - National Forest wilderness

"ORDER No. R909-05-02
ORDER OF THE FOREST SUPERVISOR
OCCUPANCY AND USE RESTRICTIONS FOR THE
BOUNDARY WATERS CANOE AREA WILDERNESS (BWCAW)
SUPERIOR NATIONAL FOREST
...
"[T]he following acts are prohibited in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) and any other lands administered by the Superior National Forest in St. Louis, Lake, and Cook Counties, that are affected by the Act of October 21, 1978, Public Law 95-495, 92 Stat. 1649:
...
"4. Entering in the BWCAW on a date or at an entry point other than specified on the Visitor Permit. 36 CFR 261.57(a)."

ORDER No. R909-05-02

And before you wave any assertion at me that a USFS employee had "apparent authority" to tell you anything different, go ask your lawyer what that will be worth when you're explaining to a federal judge why you shouldn't be forced to pay the fine. "You takes your chances, you pays your money." All depending on the mood of the person holding the citation book. And BTW:

"36 CFR § 261.1b - Penalty.
§ 261.1b Penalty.
Any violation of the prohibitions of this part (261) shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than six months or both pursuant to title 16 U.S.C., section 551, unless otherwise provided."
36 CFR § 261.1b - Penalty.
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2520)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/02/2019 08:32PM
Well, that set me straight, gravelroad. I'd not take that chance either. So many wonderful ways to spend $500......and/or six months!
LesliesDad
member (16)member
 
05/02/2019 09:02PM
Dear Gravelroad.
Interesting, The following is an e-mail reply that I received from the NFS Duluth on 4/25/19. Is the "corridor crossing" rule covered in the regulations?

"Within the route you described, the individual(s) would leave the BWCAW heading into North Fowl Lake and reenter the BWCAW at the Royal River (while leaving South Fowl). Thus, this route would not fall in line with the BWCAW rules on reentering."

"I’m not sure if your inquiries are based on it, but you may have come across or even utilized what are called corridor crossings in the BWCAW. In case you aren’t familiar, the three 'islands' (dark green) that make up the BWCAW are obviously divided by non-wilderness (largely the regions surrounding the Gunflint Trail and Echo Trail). Crossing at established corridors (without stopping to replenish supplies or camp outside the BWCAW) allow a group or individual to maintain a longer, continual trip through the BWCAW while crossing through non-wilderness as the only means to transition from one island of the wild to another. The Border Route is a lengthy example of this, extending from Crane Lake (EP12) to Grand Portage National Monument."

"Corridor Crossings cannot be utilized by groups to enter the BWCAW at a designated entry point and then navigate or backtrack across a corridor to gain access at a ‘booked’ entry point where there are no remaining quota permits available. These types of actions put pressure on campsite availability and visitor distribution within the BWCAW. "

Thanks, Jay Shaw
gravelroad
distinguished member (260)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/02/2019 10:44PM
LesliesDad: "Dear Gravelroad.
Interesting, The following is an e-mail reply that I received from the NFS Duluth on 4/25/19. Is the "corridor crossing" rule covered in the regulations?"
"Corridor Crossings cannot be utilized by groups to enter the BWCAW at a designated entry point and then navigate or backtrack across a corridor to gain access at a ‘booked’ entry point where there are no remaining quota permits available. These types of actions put pressure on campsite availability and visitor distribution within the BWCAW. "
Thanks, Jay Shaw"


Point me to the "corridor crossing" exception in an order signed by the Forest Supervisor and I'll let you know. ;-)
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2520)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/03/2019 05:23AM
mjmkjun: "Jay, here's a link that will be helpful for your proposed trip next year. The info is contained in the portage notes specifically for Crocodile Lake but luckily there is mention regarding travel from John Lake--thru McFarland--to Pine Lake. There's also a contact # and a person to speak to in Duluth office. Heck, print it and bring on your trip.
I just came upon this info this morning while researching portage to Crocodile Lake. It confirms what's already been stated by the comments of seasoned paddlers. "

meh! I forgot to include the link.
corridor crossing
(not a challenge to what's been posted afterward. Just correcting my oversight.)
billconner
distinguished member(7011)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/03/2019 06:00AM
Well, clearly regulations prohibiting corridor crossings have often nor been enforced by the law enforcement officers with jurisdiction. I have email and have had conversations with rangers clearly stating corridor crossings are permitted. Seems like the forest service should be held in contempt of Congress.
05/03/2019 06:30AM
mjmkjun: "mjmkjun: "Jay, here's a link that will be helpful for your proposed trip next year. The info is contained in the portage notes specifically for Crocodile Lake but luckily there is mention regarding travel from John Lake--thru McFarland--to Pine Lake. There's also a contact # and a person to speak to in Duluth office. Heck, print it and bring on your trip.
I just came upon this info this morning while researching portage to Crocodile Lake. It confirms what's already been stated by the comments of seasoned paddlers. "

meh! I forgot to include the link.
corridor crossing
(not a challenge to what's been posted afterward. Just correcting my oversight.)"


Here's a picture of the sign that the Forest Service put up at the East Bearskin Landing in 2016. It clearly contradicts what LuvMyBell was told and posted in 2014 in the link provided.


gravelroad
distinguished member (260)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/03/2019 06:31AM
billconner: "Well, clearly regulations prohibiting corridor crossings have often nor been enforced by the law enforcement officers with jurisdiction. I have email and have had conversations with rangers clearly stating corridor crossings are permitted. Seems like the forest service should be held in contempt of Congress. "

The Forest Service promulgated the regulation I cited from the CFR. The Forest Service Supervisor for the Superior National Forest issued the order I cited. As far as I know, Congress has had no role in establishing the entry point system for paddlers beyond authorizing the issuing of management rules in general. (The 1978 BWCAW Act does lay out the outlines for the motorboat quota system.)

People contemplating a ”corridor crossing” might do well to compare the response from Duluth with the response from Grand Marais quoted at the link above (including its various caveats) and ask themselves which version they’d like read to them in the middle of a trip.
TominMpls
distinguished member(528)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/03/2019 08:46AM
ducks: "Here's a picture of the sign that the Forest Service put up at the East Bearskin Landing in 2016. It clearly contradicts what LuvMyBell was told and posted in 2014 in the link provided.



"


Wow, I certainly would never have considered an EP64 permitholder going on to Crocodile Lake at some point in their trip to be a violation of the permit. I can see that *entering* there would be a technical violation but even then I'd have been surprised if a ranger fined the person who did it. But maybe the only reasonable way to get to Crocodile Lake is through that portage from East Bearskin? It looks like it should be possible to get there from Pine and Stump to make a loop of it, but maybe that's not really possible. And if Crocodile is truly a dead end with its own entry permit I guess I can see it given that East Bearskin isn't a wilderness lake where the access to Crocodile happens. It's a bit esoteric though, and it doesn't jive with the way I generally think of access and entry points.
LesliesDad
member (16)member
 
05/03/2019 09:03AM
Dear Gravelroad,

Thanks for the input. I'm fuzzy on this "corridor crossing" business. I've never heard of it before. I'll send a reply to Luke Laaveg, NFS Duluth and ask for more information on the rule.

I'm no Philadelphia Lawyer, but obviously there is some flexibility in the "Once You Exit There is No Re-entry" rule. For example: Everyone who uses the Big Knife Portage is technically exiting the BWCA, portaging 75 rods through Canada, and then re-entering the BWCA. Yes, I realize this is allowed by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, but still, it would be an exception to a literal interpretation of the Forest Service rule 4.

Thanks again, Jay Shaw

LesliesDad
member (16)member
 
05/03/2019 09:47AM
Dear Ducks,
Thanks much.
Jay Shaw
 
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