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      Without an RABC permit, how much more crowded in the BW?     
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3Ball
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03/30/2020 11:16AM
Assuming that the RABC permits are not available for some or most of the summer, I also assume that the BW will be more crowded.

I do not know how much of a difference that will make on crowding, finding campsites, waiting for portages etc. What do you think?
 
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03/30/2020 11:49AM
Not much, probably as many people will decide to stay away . . .
 
nofish
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03/30/2020 12:14PM
If RABC permits remain unavailable it means the pandemic is continuing which means that the shelter in place and social distancing guidelines are likely also still in place. If those are still in place the BWCA will likely be a very quiet place. There will be no effective way to completely close the BWCA if this thing continues to get worse but you'll be unlikely to be able to pick up permits in person and outfitters will likely be closed.

I'd also say that if that all turns out to be what happens then if you're not from the area immediately surrounding the BWCA it might be best to sit this season out. Lots of people flooding to the BWCA won't help the situation but could make it much worse in the area given there is no large scale medical infrastructure nearby and the resident population tend to be older and likely more at risk of serious complications.

As hard as it is if things continue on the current path going to the BWCA is likely not the best thing to do for yourself or others in the area.
 
andym
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03/30/2020 12:23PM
Even if everyone with an RABC went to the BW it shouldn't have too much impact. The annual usage of Quetico is 10% of the usage of the BW. And the RABC users are just a part of the Quetico usage. There are also Canadians and people who cross at one of the Ranger stations without an RABC.

As pointed out above, the other factors surrounding the pandemic will have more of an impact on the BW.
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
03/30/2020 01:37PM
I'm wondering if there will be an influx of permits requested for the northern Q entry points.
 
TominMpls
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03/30/2020 01:38PM
If I recall correctly, Quetico gets a tenth the visitors of the BWCA, and less than half of those come through the BWCA on an RABC. So all other things being equal, we would expect it to add at the most 5% to overall BWCA usage. You shouldn't notice the difference.
 
Banksiana
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03/30/2020 05:02PM
Jackfish: "I'm wondering if there will be an influx of permits requested for the northern Q entry points."

Unlikely. RABC will be issued if border is opened. If border isn't open northern entry points are just as inaccessible as southern. I suppose you could get some increase from people who don't have time to to get RABC if the window between the opening of the border and their trip is small.
 
bobbernumber3
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03/30/2020 05:11PM
Banksiana: "Jackfish: "I'm wondering if there will be an influx of permits requested for the northern Q entry points."
Unlikely. RABC will be issued if border is opened. If border isn't open northern entry points are just as inaccessible as southern..."

+1

Remote crossing or northern entry will be restricted to the same degree, I would expect.
 
billconner
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03/30/2020 06:19PM
+2 Quetico is closed as us the border. I'm sure if border opens RABCs will be available again. I don't expect them to open till June, but ymmv.
 
03/30/2020 07:16PM
My guess is if RABC permits are not available, the BWCA will not be open.
 
jhb8426
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03/30/2020 11:54PM
Frenchy19: "My guess is if RABC permits are not available, the BWCA will not be open. "

How so? Border crossing and BWCA permits are two different things. We already know the border is closed but no word on BWCA permits.
 
Argo
senior member (61)senior membersenior member
 
03/31/2020 06:38AM
billconner: "+2 Quetico is closed as us the border. I'm sure if border opens RABCs will be available again. I don't expect them to open till June, but ymmv."

I'm of the same opinion, Bill. The park will reopen no later than the border and probably earlier. But the decision to reopen the park is independent of the border. Its a provincial government call.

The feds decide when the border gets reopened. And when conditions are sufficient to do that, the decision to reopen the park will have likely been confirmed. Ergo, if your destination is Quetico, the border reopening is likely your only concern.

I'd like to leave you with some hope but I'm afraid about the last element to be withdrawn in the battle against this flu is non-essential international travel.
 
Minnesotian
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03/31/2020 07:18AM
nofish: "If RABC permits remain unavailable it means the pandemic is continuing which means that the shelter in place and social distancing guidelines are likely also still in place. If those are still in place the BWCA will likely be a very quiet place. There will be no effective way to completely close the BWCA if this thing continues to get worse but you'll be unlikely to be able to pick up permits in person and outfitters will likely be closed.

I'd also say that if that all turns out to be what happens then if you're not from the area immediately surrounding the BWCA it might be best to sit this season out. Lots of people flooding to the BWCA won't help the situation but could make it much worse in the area given there is no large scale medical infrastructure nearby and the resident population tend to be older and likely more at risk of serious complications.

As hard as it is if things continue on the current path going to the BWCA is likely not the best thing to do for yourself or others in the area. "


I just want to highlight and agree with NoFish on the points made. If the RABC permits are unavailable, that means the border is still likely closed and that means we will probably be having to worry about other things then if the BWCA is crowded or not.

As crappy as it might seem to think about, I also agree that this might be a season where all the best laid plans for travel gets thrown out the window. I myself have been planning a trip out west to the Cloud Peak Wilderness in August and everyday that trip looks unlikely due to the pandemic as well as employment.

 
billconner
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03/31/2020 11:09AM
As far as I can tell, most of the Adirondack canoeing does not require permits and back country camping is not regulated. I liken it to Canadian crown land or BLM and USFS controlled land - which while "developed facilities" are closed, I think the wilderness and backcountry is open.
 
Marten
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03/31/2020 05:16PM
It will also depend on local towns doing what they can to remain safe. Boat docks from Warroad to International Falls have been closed by local governments to keep outsiders home.
 
Pinetree
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03/31/2020 09:21PM
It will be interesting if Michigan and Wisconsin close the general fishing opener and if they do I bet Minnesota will follow.

As of right now MN governor is promoting outdoor activities-close to home. Would that be to much to ask people to stay and fish close to home,than we will leave seasons open?

I believe it was Todd or Stearns county Sheriffs told two bait dealers to close their door or you will be fined.
Would bait dealers like a open season when they are closed? Resorts closed and having a season-what would resorts think?
 
nofish
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04/01/2020 08:12AM
Pinetree: "It will be interesting if Michigan and Wisconsin close the general fishing opener and if they do I bet Minnesota will follow.


As of right now MN governor is promoting outdoor activities-close to home. Would that be to much to ask people to stay and fish close to home,than we will leave seasons open?


I believe it was Todd or Stearns county Sheriffs told two bait dealers to close their door or you will be fined.
Would bait dealers like a open season when they are closed? Resorts closed and having a season-what would resorts think?"


It will be interesting to see what happens with the fishing opener. A lot of resorts that cater to ice fisherman took a real big hit this season with the bad ice conditions and now they are looking at the potential of taking another big hit with people having to skip the fishing opener. Thats a pretty bad double whammy for them and its likely many of the hardest hit from this winter may not be able to keep things afloat until next season.
 
04/01/2020 08:38AM
jhb8426: "Frenchy19: "My guess is if RABC permits are not available, the BWCA will not be open. "


How so? Border crossing and BWCA permits are two different things. We already know the border is closed but no word on BWCA permits."


Well aware they are two separate things. Speculating that if things stay as they are, the BW will not be open this summer. Just speculation.
 
Pinetree
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04/01/2020 08:58AM
nofish: "Pinetree: "It will be interesting if Michigan and Wisconsin close the general fishing opener and if they do I bet Minnesota will follow.



As of right now MN governor is promoting outdoor activities-close to home. Would that be to much to ask people to stay and fish close to home,than we will leave seasons open?



I believe it was Todd or Stearns county Sheriffs told two bait dealers to close their door or you will be fined.
Would bait dealers like a open season when they are closed? Resorts closed and having a season-what would resorts think?"



It will be interesting to see what happens with the fishing opener. A lot of resorts that cater to ice fisherman took a real big hit this season with the bad ice conditions and now they are looking at the potential of taking another big hit with people having to skip the fishing opener. Thats a pretty bad double whammy for them and its likely many of the hardest hit from this winter may not be able to keep things afloat until next season. "

Yes and if it dragged on into the summer. Its a short tourist season for many.
 
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