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AndyK2019
Guest Paddler
 
04/17/2019 06:12PM
Has anyone else received calls with in the last day or two about permits not being fully processed but we’re billed and that you need to rebook your permit and they will refund the original?
 
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airmorse
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04/17/2019 08:14PM
That would really piss me off. Especially after everything we already went thru.
 
cyclones30
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04/17/2019 09:28PM
There's a similar topic in the trip planning section. I sure hope not
 
ddbb22ddbb22
Guest Paddler
 
04/18/2019 12:40AM
I tried to explain this problem 6 weeks ago. Rec.gov issued more permits than the maximum for multiple entry points. So if you have a Mudro permit, there might be 10 permits out there for that day instead of the maximum of 6. In my original post there were multiple permits on one day for Bower Trout (I know, tough to believe multiple people wanted Bower Trout). So rec.gov knows there is a problem because I alerted them to it in early March. They are now starting to tell people that their permit is not valid but they are not disclosing that it's because on opening day their computers allowed too many permits. I don't know how widespread this is, I just know there is a potentially big problem. The worst part is they are cancelling the permits made the earliest which makes no sense.

I said this same thing in the Trip Planning section. Jiujitsubob had Lake One 6/6 revoked. I had Bower Trout 5/16 revoked. AndyK, when was yours for?
 
DrBobDerrig
distinguished member(723)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/18/2019 07:05AM
That sound just great.....they should just ignore the limit for this one year and somehow figure it out for next year.
Amazing screw-up

dr bob
 
bwcadan
distinguished member(1250)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/18/2019 07:21AM
DrBobDerrig: "That sound just great.....they should just ignore the limit for this one year and somehow figure it out for next year.
Amazing screw-up


dr bob"


Double edged sword. Will they also ignore Q style camping because of overloaded lakes without enough camp sites? It is well documented the need to claim a site by mid afternoon even with the numbers now permitted at any given entry point.
 
Bushpilot
distinguished member(547)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/18/2019 07:29AM
DrBobDerrig: "That sound just great.....they should just ignore the limit for this one year and somehow figure it out for next year.
Amazing screw-up


dr bob"
I couldn't agree more. It used to be anything the government stuck their fingers in ended up bad. Now it is also the contractors. In most case you can follow the contractors connection back a politician.

This reservation center should have been located in Minnesota with people that care about Minnesotans. We do need jobs in northern Minnesota!!
 
scramble4a5
distinguished member (475)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/18/2019 06:43PM
I received an email today from the outfitter we plan to use. They said that due to costly requirements the Forest Service imposed upon them they will not be issuing permits and we need to pick it up at the ranger station. So, how will the Forest Service deal with this possible influx of folks showing up to pick up permits?

Has anyone else received a similar communication?
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
04/18/2019 07:00PM
Scramble... could you post a copy of the email?
 
scramble4a5
distinguished member (475)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/18/2019 07:49PM
Jackfish: "Scramble... could you post a copy of the email?"

This is what I received:

As you all may know, the BWCA permit reservations changed to a new system this year. The process of reserving and issuing permits for cooperators also changed. Due to this change, Echo Trail Outfitters will not be able to issue your permit for this season. They have required us to make changes that are not financially feasible. These changes not only affected Echo Trail Outfitters, but also affected other businesses as well.



Your reservations for canoes, equipment, and bunkhouses with Echo Trail Outfitters are still intact. The only change is that we will no longer be able to issue your BWCA permit. The Forest Service should contact you to make other arrangements for your permit issuance station. If not, you may call the Ely Ranger Station at 218-365-7600.

 
Bushpilot
distinguished member(547)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/18/2019 08:01PM
Gee thank you forest service for looking out for the very good people of Minnesota! Please just go away.

To think the forest service was put in place to manage all the money coming in from people using the federal land. Like logging, mining, etc…… To think at one time the forest service got enough money from Tomahawk Timber Company to support the entire superior national forest and it's projects. It is amazing how things change and people just sit there watching it all go down hill.

I still have not got my refund from the first permit sale. We didn't get the permits we wanted in the second permit sale.
 
nooneuno
distinguished member(801)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/18/2019 08:59PM
scramble4a5: "Jackfish: "Scramble... could you post a copy of the email?"
This is what I received:

As you all may know, the BWCA permit reservations changed to a new system this year. The process of reserving and issuing permits for cooperators also changed. Due to this change, Echo Trail Outfitters will not be able to issue your permit for this season. They have required us to make changes that are not financially feasible. These changes not only affected Echo Trail Outfitters, but also affected other businesses as well.

Your reservations for canoes, equipment, and bunkhouses with Echo Trail Outfitters are still intact. The only change is that we will no longer be able to issue your BWCA permit. The Forest Service should contact you to make other arrangements for your permit issuance station. If not, you may call the Ely Ranger Station at 218-365-7600. "

Also do not forget the Forest service keeps banker's hours (8am) compared to the outfitters....
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member (256)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/18/2019 09:07PM
How long have the outfitters known about the new system and all associated requirements and costs? Yet this outfitter stayed in the system as a cooperator and led their customers to believe they could pick up their permits there, surely helping to generate revenue for their business?

You can gripe about the usfs all day, but don’t forget to send a big thank you to this outfitter who took your money and failed to live up to their end of the deal.

I’m not saying the forest service is perfect. But unless this outfitter attempted to be removed from the list of pickup locations on recreation.gov BEFORE permits went on sale, then I think they should be held accountable as well.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12665)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
04/18/2019 10:26PM
The entire permit system was pretty much turned over to private contractors because of politicians. There was a time they were issued by the USFS out of the Duluth office.
 
riverrunner
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04/19/2019 09:30AM
There are some things the government can do better and some things private contractors can do better.

I am not sure bout his permit system most likely well take a year or so to get the bugs out
 
bobbernumber3
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04/19/2019 10:29AM
I had the same problem in January with a cabin in the Hiawatha National Forest. A computer upgrade glitch sent out cancellations in error, but reservations were still intact.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12665)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
04/19/2019 11:37AM
riverrunner: "There are some things the government can do better and some things private contractors can do better.


I am not sure bout his permit system most likely well take a year or so to get the bugs out"


Years ago when the computer system first started I got like 3 permits for Snowbank lake when I only wanted one. Like 20 years ago. After that initial year always had good luck.
 
04/19/2019 01:50PM
Well, hopefully Voyageur or another outfitter in town will be able to help you out. At least they're on the way if you're coming up the night before....
 
Andy1013
Guest Paddler
 
04/19/2019 03:40PM
Mine was for Brule on the 28th of July. I did call them back and a refund and cancellation has been done. Luckily there are still permits available for that day. Rebooking now. Feel bad for the groups that only have 1 or 2 as a daily quota.
 
scat
distinguished member(693)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/19/2019 04:18PM
The outfitters are going to lose a lot of dough because of this, aren’t they? Well, there goes more revenue away from the town of Ely. Maybe I’m wrong. I know when it was goofed up on the first permit day I called VNO to see if they could get me in and a guy there said they brought in a bunch of employees for the day to process more than 150 permits. And I’m thinking they had to do it all over again. What does all this cost them?
 
scramble4a5
distinguished member (475)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/19/2019 04:27PM
thegildedgopher: "How long have the outfitters known about the new system and all associated requirements and costs? Yet this outfitter stayed in the system as a cooperator and led their customers to believe they could pick up their permits there, surely helping to generate revenue for their business?


You can gripe about the usfs all day, but don’t forget to send a big thank you to this outfitter who took your money and failed to live up to their end of the deal.


I’m not saying the forest service is perfect. But unless this outfitter attempted to be removed from the list of pickup locations on recreation.gov BEFORE permits went on sale, then I think they should be held accountable as well."


I don't disagree and it puts me in a bit of an ethical pickle in my opinion. I can find another cooperator to just get the permit, which is kind of not fair to them in my view. I can adjust our arrival time to get to the forest service office on time. Or I can switch to another outfitter which is my last choice since the one we chose is very close to our entry point.

I'll figure something out but it is a mild pain to deal with.
 
ozarkpaddler
distinguished member(5285)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
04/19/2019 05:25PM
Bushpilot: "DrBobDerrig: "
dr bob"
I couldn't agree more. It used to be anything the government stuck their fingers in ended up bad. Now it is also the contractors. In most case you can follow the contractors connection back a politician.
This reservation center should have been located in Minnesota with people that care about Minnesotans. We do need jobs in northern Minnesota!!"


Exactly right. I would bet every penny in the bank that EVERY gov't "Contractor" could be traced back to a politician?
 
nooneuno
distinguished member(801)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/19/2019 06:26PM
ozarkpaddler: "Bushpilot: "DrBobDerrig: "
dr bob"
I couldn't agree more. It used to be anything the government stuck their fingers in ended up bad. Now it is also the contractors. In most case you can follow the contractors connection back a politician.
This reservation center should have been located in Minnesota with people that care about Minnesotans. We do need jobs in northern Minnesota!!"



Exactly right. I would bet every penny in the bank that EVERY gov't "Contractor" could be traced back to a politician?"


If you think you've met an honest politician, you've never met a politician......
 
ozarkpaddler
distinguished member(5285)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
04/20/2019 01:01AM
nooneuno: "ozarkpaddler: "Bushpilot: "DrBobDerrig: "
dr bob"
"



If you think you've met an honest politician, you've never met a politician......"


Heheh, AMEN!
 
Captn Tony
distinguished member(1339)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/20/2019 06:22AM
I knew an honest politician, he was only elected one term because the electorate didn't want to hear the truth!
 
The Great Outdoors
distinguished member(5570)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
04/20/2019 07:38AM
thegildedgopher: "How long have the outfitters known about the new system and all associated requirements and costs? Yet this outfitter stayed in the system as a cooperator and led their customers to believe they could pick up their permits there, surely helping to generate revenue for their business?
You can gripe about the usfs all day, but don’t forget to send a big thank you to this outfitter who took your money and failed to live up to their end of the deal.
I’m not saying the forest service is perfect. But unless this outfitter attempted to be removed from the list of pickup locations on recreation.gov BEFORE permits went on sale, then I think they should be held accountable as well."


Until you have run a tourism business near the BWCA and other similar areas, you will never understand. Government (both state and federal) rules, regulations, and new expenses can pop up at any time, surprising both the business and ultimately, the customer. The state of Minnesota stopped allowing sales at operations that didn't sell enough licenses (I believe $3,500) for the year, and removed their licensing equipment. The deposit for those businesses to use that equipment was $200.

I have previously posted that more changes will come to BWCA users, such as cooperators dropping out, less permit numbers, limiting party numbers, tow boats eliminated, etc.

With this said, please halt your criticism of a small business just trying to make it in an area that for over 50 years has been economically depressed by government regulations!
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member (256)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/20/2019 11:05AM
TGO— if the usfs told this outfitter only after booking all their customers that they would not be allowed to offer permits this year, then shame on the usfs for pulling a stunt like that on both paddlers and outfitters alike.

I haven’t seen any proof that was the case. Feel free to enlighten me.

The “you’ll never understand” argument gets tiring.

I value the usfs and the outfitters and all of the work done by both to help us all enjoy this wilderness. I am completely willing to be objective and to listen to both sides. I am completely unwilling to listen to one party constantly complain about the other.
 
The Great Outdoors
distinguished member(5570)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
04/20/2019 12:13PM
I assume the one party complaining about the other is you vs the Outfitter in question.
The you'll never understand argument is far more irritating to those trying to operate a business in an area heavily regulated, than it should be to the person complaining. (BECAUSE YOU'VE NEVER DONE IT) Want to prove me wrong, get in the business and let me know how easy it is! The outfitter DID NOT SAY the Forest Service wouldn't allow them to issue permits at their business, they said the hoops they must jump through and cost made them quit. I'm surprised more outfitters haven't said adios to the FS permit system
If you need proof, go back in this forum and look at all the complaints as a result of the Government's permit system crashing earlier this year, and people having to reapply for permits they already were supposed to have verified. Then apply this to all the hoops that the outfitters must go through to issue permits. Not that easy as sitting at home and blasting some small business caught up in a poor system. Why not just stop at the Forest Service and pick up your permit, and save yourself an ulcer!!
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12665)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
04/20/2019 12:31PM
Always zero problem and very efficient picking my permit up at the Forest centers. Alsolike it for a little up to date info-like fire situation. Yes just like your outfitter you make friends with the same Forest service worker. Some been there 30 years plus.
 
The Great Outdoors
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04/20/2019 01:04PM
AMEN, BRO!!!!! :)
 
Zwater
distinguished member (335)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/20/2019 01:35PM
Pinetree: "Always zero problem and very efficient picking my permit up at the Forest centers. Alsolike it for a little up to date info-like fire situation. Yes just like your outfitter you make friends with the same Forest service worker. Some been there 30 years plus."

+1
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member (256)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/20/2019 03:30PM
The Great Outdoors: "I assume the one party complaining about the other is you vs the Outfitter in question.

Haha. You have years worth of complaining about the government and the usfs archived quite nicely here.

The Great Outdoors: "The outfitter DID NOT SAY the Forest Service wouldn't allow them to issue permits at their business, they said the hoops they must jump through and cost made them quit. I'm surprised more outfitters haven't said adios to the FS permit system.”

You were the one suggesting above using the “allowed” language (“the state of Minnesota stopped allowing sales at operations that didn’t sell enough licenses...”). I was simply asking for clarification on whether that was the case with this outfitter. It sounds like you were talking about fishing licenses, which is irrelevant to the specific discussion.

I’ll say it again — those hoops were well defined months in advance. To allow their customers to make plans and spend money at their business and then pull the rug out after collecting is bad business. I empathize that it’s a tough business and change is hard. All the more reason to treat your customers — and potential customers — like gold.


If you want to have an actual conversation you know where to find me. I’ll refrain from responding to any more of your fabulously biased diatribes.

Good luck with your business ( and I mean that.)
 
04/20/2019 03:54PM
I haven't gotten any notification yet so I'm hoping I won't have to drive to a ranger station. It's an inconvenience if you're at an outfitter that is far from a ranger station and you don't drive up the morning of the trip. In my case, we drive up the night before, arrive at the outfitter around midnight, get a few hours of sleep, then get up early, grab our permit from them, and get on the water. If I was staying with an outfitter on Moose Lake and they told me I had to drive to the Kawishiwi ranger station (and wait for them to open), and all the way back to Moose Lake, therefore putting me several hours behind when I wanted to get on the water, I would be... upset... to put it nicely.

Here's hoping VNO doesn't get screwed and they can issue my permit the morning of the trip.
 
andym
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04/20/2019 08:34PM
Scramble, did you make the reservation and assign it to Echo Trail for pickup or did they make it for you as part of their service?

If it was the first choice, which is what they suggest on their web site, then it could be that they didn’t fully realize the cost of the new credit card processing equipment that they were going to need to use when people picked up their permits. VNO discussed needing to buy that equipment in the discussions of the new permit system.

It would be good if they can get their web site updated. I see that they are still listed as a cooperator on recreation.gov. So this decision may be a work in progress and they notified their existing clients first.
 
Bushpilot
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04/21/2019 07:10AM
thegildedgopher it is no secret Ely businesses feel like they get a bad deal from our public officials. For one example just google up forest service permit problems Ely echo, you will find many hits. I don't have the time to waste, you could answer your own question. Or do like I do listen to my friends that run businesses in Northern Minnesota. In Ely businesses are dropping like flies. Shopko, 2 Gringos,Wilderness Outfitters, etc...…………………Looks like more businesses will also be gone with the new permit system.

As a business owner I can tell you Minnesota is far from best states to own and run a business in. What kind of business could a person open in Ely that would survive?? If I did own a business in Ely I won't bring up any beefs with the forest service on a public form like TGO does. Look what the feds did to TGOs bait shop. They busted up his shop looking for illegal minnows. No illegal bait was found. No reimbursement for property taken or for the property damage.

TGO your 1st hand info is much appreciated as always, Thank You.
Business a usual in Ely.
 
scramble4a5
distinguished member (475)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/21/2019 01:14PM
andym: "Scramble, did you make the reservation and assign it to Echo Trail for pickup or did they make it for you as part of their service?

If it was the first choice, which is what they suggest on their web site, then it could be that they didn’t fully realize the cost of the new credit card processing equipment that they were going to need to use when people picked up their permits. VNO discussed needing to buy that equipment in the discussions of the new permit system.

It would be good if they can get their web site updated. I see that they are still listed as a cooperator on recreation.gov. So this decision may be a work in progress and they notified their existing clients first. "


I made the reservation and assigned it to Echo Trail. I spoke with Adam at Piragis yesterday and he said I could assign the permit to them and they would take care of it. A very nice offering on their part!
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member (256)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/21/2019 01:28PM
Bushpilot: "thegildedgopher it is no secret Ely businesses feel like they get a bad deal from our public officials. For one example just google up forest service permit problems Ely echo, you will find many hits. I don't have the time to waste, you could answer your own question. Or do like I do listen to my friends that run businesses in Northern Minnesota. In Ely businesses are dropping like flies. Shopko, 2 Gringos,Wilderness Outfitters, etc...…………………Looks like more businesses will also be gone with the new permit system.

As a business owner I can tell you Minnesota is far from best states to own and run a business in. What kind of business could a person open in Ely that would survive?? If I did own a business in Ely I won't bring up any beefs with the forest service on a public form like TGO does. Look what the feds did to TGOs bait shop. They busted up his shop looking for illegal minnows. No illegal bait was found. No reimbursement for property taken or for the property damage.

TGO your 1st hand info is much appreciated as always, Thank You.
Business a usual in Ely."



I really don’t disagree with anything you say bushpilot.

I just think it’d be swell if maybe someday this forum could get to the point where someone could be critical of one specific business in Ely for one specific bad move at one point in time, without having to endure a tirade about how hard it is to run a business in Ely and being told “you don’t understand.” I’m not an idiot. I understand. Ely is not the first or last community this has happened to.
 
andym
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04/21/2019 07:26PM
Thanks, Scramble. Given their system I think they maybe were caught by surprise by the new equipment required. It’s too bad. Glad Adam and Piragis can take care of you.
 
The Great Outdoors
distinguished member(5570)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
04/21/2019 11:04PM
thegildedgopher: "Bushpilot: "thegildedgopher it is no secret Ely businesses feel like they get a bad deal from our public officials. For one example just google up forest service permit problems Ely echo, you will find many hits. I don't have the time to waste, you could answer your own question. Or do like I do listen to my friends that run businesses in Northern Minnesota. In Ely businesses are dropping like flies. Shopko, 2 Gringos,Wilderness Outfitters, etc...…………………Looks like more businesses will also be gone with the new permit system.


As a business owner I can tell you Minnesota is far from best states to own and run a business in. What kind of business could a person open in Ely that would survive?? If I did own a business in Ely I won't bring up any beefs with the forest service on a public form like TGO does. Look what the feds did to TGOs bait shop. They busted up his shop looking for illegal minnows. No illegal bait was found. No reimbursement for property taken or for the property damage.


TGO your 1st hand info is much appreciated as always, Thank You.
Business a usual in Ely."




I just think it’d be swell if maybe someday this forum could get to the point where someone could be critical of one specific business in Ely for one specific bad move at one point in time, without having to endure a tirade about how hard it is to run a business in Ely and being told “you don’t understand.” I’m not an idiot. I understand. Ely is not the first or last community this has happened to."


Unjust criticism is uncalled for.
As for you understanding, you really do not. Ely is not the first or last community that this has happened is true, however Government rules and regulations over the last 60 years have created the situation and this is undeniable.
But let's take it a step further and apply these same regulations to another small mining town, Aspen Colorado. Take away one million acres from private ownership, remove all the resorts and private residences in that area. Then apply a 4,000 foot air ban, eliminate most ski slopes in what some consider wilderness, have a permit system for any ski slope allowed to remain open. Sorry gildedgopher, you really do not understand what one criticism of a small business can do to it's future.
I've lived here for over 70 years, know the history well, and am willing to meet anyone that would like to discuss the history of Ely and it's surrounding area over a cup of coffee when they're in town.
 
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