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adam
Moderator
 
05/11/2020 08:45AM
A brief update for Monday, May 11th.

Based on the changes last Monday, the BWCA overnight permits were canceled through May 17th with May 18th being the new date which the BWCA is currently set to open for overnight camping. This followed along with the Governor extending the stay at home order through the 17th.

Day permits either of the motor or non-motor variety are allowed, and a number resorts have opened or are opening while some are remaining closed along with the stay at home order.

There is still a fire ban in effect which does not allow campfires, but does allow camp stoves.

I would not anticipate any change until Thursday when the Governor speaks.

Please use this thread to ask for clarifications and information which is helpful for your planning. Please do not use this thread to complain, debate, pontificate, etc.


 
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Blatz
distinguished member(1320)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/11/2020 08:54AM
According to Rec.gov Your confirmation letter will act as your permit. I assume I'm reading that right. I made a res for Moose River North for the 18th back in January
 
adam
Moderator
 
05/11/2020 09:00AM
Blatz: "According to Rec.gov Your confirmation letter will act as your permit. I assume I'm reading that right. I made a res for Moose River North for the 18th back in January"

Yes, that is how it is currently written. However, if you have a motor permit, which I know doesn't apply to this entry point, it is more involved.
 
illini79ps
member (36)member
 
05/11/2020 09:03AM
Thanks for the continued great work on this site, Adam.
 
TaylorRN
member (7)member
 
05/11/2020 10:50AM
Please let this date stick
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(605)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/11/2020 11:21AM
illini79ps: "Thanks for the continued great work on this site, Adam."

X2 Adam.

Fingers and Toes crossed.
 
campNgirl
senior member (94)senior membersenior member
 
05/11/2020 12:35PM
Me too, see you there !
 
tom9
 
05/11/2020 03:49PM
I have a planned trip for the 20th. Do you guys think the fire ban will be lifted by then? We really don't want to take a 6 day trip knowing we won't be able to have 1 single bonfire.
 
nofish
distinguished member(2673)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/11/2020 04:03PM
tom9: "I have a planned trip for the 20th. Do you guys think the fire ban will be lifted by then? We really don't want to take a 6 day trip knowing we won't be able to have 1 single bonfire. "

Only time will tell. However, it wouldn't surprise me if they leave the fire ban in place even once overnight camping opens up in order to reduce as much risk as possible. Sort of a phased reopening. Day trips first, then overnight trips, then removing the fire ban. The question is how long between phases. I know the last thing the FS would want right now is to fight a fire amid covid-19 and the safety requirements needed to avoid spreading it. If a fire starts and crews start getting hit with covid it could be a bad situation. Honestly wouldn't be surprised if a ban stays in place all season unless it ends up being a very wet summer.
 
Justwannafish
member (8)member
 
05/11/2020 06:41PM
I'll third the sentiment...thanks Adam for all of your efforts, not just during this recent turn of events, but all that you and the other moderators do to help us plan our trips or share our memories.
 
lindylair
distinguished member(2295)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/11/2020 08:14PM
If by chance the BWCA opens to overnight camping on 5/18 then the fire ban should also be amended to allow campfires, either all day or at least some hours...unless there is a significant moisture related/fire danger condition that puts the area at risk similar to past fire bans.

I get the concerns about folks having to deal with fires or medical situations in the wilderness and putting themselves at some risk. But in MN summer recreation is why we live here and paramount to people's mental and physical health and critically important for the common good. Just like the front line workers in the medical field or the "essential" retail workers like grocery stores who are putting themselves at those risks on a daily basis, so should the forest service own up to their responsibility to provide a critically important service if in need.

A Fire ban should be related to conditions in the forest, like they always have been, not some other hidden agenda. I wish no one any harm of course but sometimes when you sign on for something, you gotta follow through.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(605)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/11/2020 09:32PM
adam: "
Please use this thread to ask for clarifications and information which is helpful for your planning. Please do not use this thread to complain, debate, pontificate, etc”
 
WoollyBear
member (13)member
 
05/12/2020 12:18AM
Fire danger for most of the BWCA ranges from some where between High to Very High.

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html
 
lindylair
distinguished member(2295)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/12/2020 05:40AM
Sorry, I pontificated...missed that.
 
kickapooviking
member (29)member
 
05/12/2020 08:56AM
How about National Forest campgrounds?
Will they be opening too?
 
CampSR
senior member (74)senior membersenior member
 
05/12/2020 09:49AM
thegildedgopher: "illini79ps: "Thanks for the continued great work on this site, Adam."

X2 Adam.

Fingers and Toes crossed."


Yes, thank you Adam - very mych appreciated!

Also - that picture is really cool! How did you do that?
 
OMGitsKa
senior member (61)senior membersenior member
 
05/12/2020 01:17PM
Walz will be discussing both Shelter In Place & Peace Time Emergency possible extensions tomorrow.

Walz Set To Make Announcement
 
bombinbrian
distinguished member (181)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/12/2020 03:05PM
Walz is going to extend the stay at home order until May 28th, I believe. I know someone that knows someone at the Capital.
 
A1t2o
distinguished member(959)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/12/2020 04:07PM
By the time he gives us the bad news, I'll be on the Gunflint Trail.

Given his behavior and personality though, I would not be surprised if he waited a few more days though. Walz seems to go with the mentality that good news should be given immediately and bad news should wait as long as possible.
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(576)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/12/2020 04:57PM
A1t2o: "By the time he gives us the bad news, I'll be on the Gunflint Trail.


Given his behavior and personality though, I would not be surprised if he waited a few more days though. Walz seems to go with the mentality that good news should be given immediately and bad news should wait as long as possible."


I have a permit for the 18th. I fully realize getting a permit for the 18th was a gamble, and perhaps naive. I'm self employed, so I'll just work if I can't go.

Of course, what Walz does is independent of what the Forest Service decides to do. To date, the BWCA closure has followed in step with the governor's orders and dates. I can't see them cancelling again all the permits issued since May 5 considering the last fiasco. Yes, again likely naive. I just hope they don't wait until I'm driving up to Kawishiwi Lake to cancel, eight hours before the BWCA is supposed to open.

Hopefully the USFS will make the call early, if they close the BWCA again. That way I can stop packing and clean up my basement floor!

Mike
 
GopherAdventure
distinguished member(625)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/12/2020 06:09PM
MikeinMpls: "A1t2o: "By the time he gives us the bad news, I'll be on the Gunflint Trail.



Given his behavior and personality though, I would not be surprised if he waited a few more days though. Walz seems to go with the mentality that good news should be given immediately and bad news should wait as long as possible."



I have a permit for the 18th. I fully realize getting a permit for the 18th was a gamble, and perhaps naive. I'm self employed, so I'll just work if I can't go.


Of course, what Walz does is independent of what the Forest Service decides to do. To date, the BWCA closure has followed in step with the governor's orders and dates. I can't see them cancelling again all the permits issued since May 5 considering the last fiasco. Yes, again likely naive. I just hope they don't wait until I'm driving up to Kawishiwi Lake to cancel, eight hours before the BWCA is supposed to open.


Hopefully the USFS will make the call early, if they close the BWCA again. That way I can stop packing and clean up my basement floor!


Mike"


I hear you Mike. I have a permit for the 18th as well. I don’t want to find out on my way to Ely that it’s closing. It would be a major headache. I’m kind of half-heartedly packing. Waiting to hear what the Gov says tomorrow. I hope we got to go overnight, but if the USFS calls it off, I’ll still head up and do day trips instead.

Tony
 
MackinawTrout
senior member (77)senior membersenior member
 
05/12/2020 08:59PM
I heard from a reliable source he will announce tomorrow that the stay at home order will be extended to June 12 with some more exceptions added.
I understand if you don’t believe it in this time of mass misinformation. What I want to know is if it will include the BWCA? My guess is Canada will extend another 30 days as well. I’m really getting tired of all this:(
 
BWPaddler
distinguished member(9196)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
05/12/2020 09:10PM
Ugh. Feels like the pastime that is the very definition of social distancing should be the first one re-instated.

BUT, I get the complexity of it all... the travel involved for most (gas/food/lodging) and the competing desires of folks up north (don't bring us germs but bring us your dollars). Just a lot of hard things to balance. Still, I love many many people that are at risk, and Minnesota seems to be dry tinder in some places...

I am just about ready to sleep out in my yard, which is not very private at all, lol.

 
martian
member (34)member
 
05/12/2020 10:23PM
MackinawTrout: "I heard from a reliable source he will announce tomorrow that the stay at home order will be extended to June 12 with some more exceptions added.
I understand if you don’t believe it in this time of mass misinformation. What I want to know is if it will include the BWCA? My guess is Canada will extend another 30 days as well. I’m really getting tired of all this:( "


Wow, that's a bummer. I'm hoping that's untrue but you're probably right. My HS senior daughter and I were expected to be there June 6th-12th. We'll need to find another time. I'll hold out hope and not putting the gear away just yet.
Maybe I'll solo in September/October, though that might not be as memorable.
Might be for the best who knows.
Martian
 
airmorse
distinguished member(2586)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/12/2020 11:35PM
MackinawTrout: "I heard from a reliable source he will announce tomorrow that the stay at home order will be extended to June 12 with some more exceptions added.
I understand if you don’t believe it in this time of mass misinformation. What I want to know is if it will include the BWCA? My guess is Canada will extend another 30 days as well. I’m really getting tired of all this:( "


If that is the case then I'll have to cancel my solo trip. Which i was expecting to do anyway. Really sucks, can't work because of the virus, and can't play either. But if staying at home means potentially not spreading the virus or catching it, I'll make that sacrifice.
 
OMGitsKa
senior member (61)senior membersenior member
 
05/13/2020 07:25AM
June 12th is the rumored for the Peace Time Emergency extension. Not necessarily the shelter in place extension. Its probable it will be as well but this just gives the gov. the authority to extended and modify it throughout that time period.
 
TGovert
member (16)member
 
05/13/2020 07:43AM
lindylair: "If by chance the BWCA opens to overnight camping on 5/18 then the fire ban should also be amended to allow campfires, either all day or at least some hours...unless there is a significant moisture related/fire danger condition that puts the area at risk similar to past fire bans.


I get the concerns about folks having to deal with fires or medical situations in the wilderness and putting themselves at some risk. But in MN summer recreation is why we live here and paramount to people's mental and physical health and critically important for the common good. Just like the front line workers in the medical field or the "essential" retail workers like grocery stores who are putting themselves at those risks on a daily basis, so should the forest service own up to their responsibility to provide a critically important service if in need.


A Fire ban should be related to conditions in the forest, like they always have been, not some other hidden agenda. I wish no one any harm of course but sometimes when you sign on for something, you gotta follow through. "


I completely agree! the fire ban has always been based on soil moisture and actual fire potential, not political undertones. Let's not start a bad precedent now!
 
bbarker189
member (19)member
 
05/13/2020 09:39AM
TGovert: "lindylair: "If by chance the BWCA opens to overnight camping on 5/18 then the fire ban should also be amended to allow campfires, either all day or at least some hours...unless there is a significant moisture related/fire danger condition that puts the area at risk similar to past fire bans.



I get the concerns about folks having to deal with fires or medical situations in the wilderness and putting themselves at some risk. But in MN summer recreation is why we live here and paramount to people's mental and physical health and critically important for the common good. Just like the front line workers in the medical field or the "essential" retail workers like grocery stores who are putting themselves at those risks on a daily basis, so should the forest service own up to their responsibility to provide a critically important service if in need.



A Fire ban should be related to conditions in the forest, like they always have been, not some other hidden agenda. I wish no one any harm of course but sometimes when you sign on for something, you gotta follow through. "


I completely agree! the fire ban has always been based on soil moisture and actual fire potential, not political undertones. Let's not start a bad precedent now!"


I believe it is to prevent from having seasonal fire fighter's come in from across the country to support the local fire department. The concern being, bringing in people from across the country and spreading the virus. That is my understanding.
 
nofish
distinguished member(2673)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 11:33AM
TGovert: "


I completely agree! the fire ban has always been based on soil moisture and actual fire potential, not political undertones. Let's not start a bad precedent now!"


I'm not sure how politics would influence a fire ban, Im sure all fire bans are based on risk assessment. There is more than one type of risk to account for when analyzing this fire season. You have the actual risk of a fire spreading based on conditions of the forest. You also have the risk posed to the crews that would need to be brought in to fight a fire if one were to start as well as the risk to other individuals that would need to interact with those crews. To ignore either one of those risks seems foolish to me.

 
pitster
member (11)member
 
05/13/2020 12:28PM
I have to ask because I haven't seen an answer yet...

If you have a day use motor permit for the week, how do you use your confirmation letter for the permit? You reserve one (1) day for that particular week, so what's to stop someone from using that single day use permit for that week, every day of the week?

I have a VM into the USFS to make sure that if we decide to go, we will have the proper docs on us by just having the confirmation e-mail.

 
WoollyBear
member (13)member
 
05/13/2020 12:45PM
TGovert: "lindylair: "If by chance the BWCA opens to overnight camping on 5/18 then the fire ban should also be amended to allow campfires, either all day or at least some hours...unless there is a significant moisture related/fire danger condition that puts the area at risk similar to past fire bans.



I get the concerns about folks having to deal with fires or medical situations in the wilderness and putting themselves at some risk. But in MN summer recreation is why we live here and paramount to people's mental and physical health and critically important for the common good. Just like the front line workers in the medical field or the "essential" retail workers like grocery stores who are putting themselves at those risks on a daily basis, so should the forest service own up to their responsibility to provide a critically important service if in need.



A Fire ban should be related to conditions in the forest, like they always have been, not some other hidden agenda. I wish no one any harm of course but sometimes when you sign on for something, you gotta follow through. "


I completely agree! the fire ban has always been based on soil moisture and actual fire potential, not political undertones. Let's not start a bad precedent now!"


Again, the fire risk for most of the BWCA is somewhere between "High" and "Very High" as of today, May 13th.

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/firerating_restrictions.html
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(605)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 12:48PM
pitster: "I have to ask because I haven't seen an answer yet...


If you have a day use motor permit for the week, how do you use your confirmation letter for the permit? You reserve one (1) day for that particular week, so what's to stop someone from using that single day use permit for that week, every day of the week?


I have a VM into the USFS to make sure that if we decide to go, we will have the proper docs on us by just having the confirmation e-mail.


"


My outfitter told me that if you plan to use your email confirmation as your permit, you need to contact your permit-issuing cooperator at least 7 days in advance to tell them exactly what date you will be using the DM permit. At that time they will send you a new confirmation email that has that specific date on it, as opposed to the whole range of the week. HOWEVER -- if your outfitter/cooperator remains open for business and you are comfortable picking up your DM permit in person, then you can get your DM permits just as in the past, on the day of entry or up to 24 hours in advance.

 
pitster
member (11)member
 
05/13/2020 12:57PM
"My outfitter told me that if you plan to use your email confirmation as your permit, you need to contact your permit-issuing cooperator at least 7 days in advance to tell them exactly what date you will be using the DM permit. At that time they will send you a new confirmation email that has that specific date on it, as opposed to the whole range of the week. HOWEVER -- if your outfitter/cooperator remains open for business and you are comfortable picking up your DM permit in person, then you can get your DM permits just as in the past, on the day of entry or up to 24 hours in advance."

Do you know if that is actually posted anywhere? I've tried searching with no luck.

Not happy about that "at least 7 days" guidance, especially when trying to gauge spring weather in MN.
 
adam
Moderator
 
05/13/2020 01:27PM
 
pitster
member (11)member
 
05/13/2020 01:47PM
I just ended up contacting the issuing station and got a hold of someone to pick the day we think is good, they in turn will e-mail the permit change for that specific date. In the event of bad weather or an unforeseen issue, they explained that they will do their best to change it and e-mail it out.

The person I talked to was actually getting ready to call all the permit holders for the next week to start that process...so it looks like they are on top of it.

 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(605)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 02:44PM
adam: "It is on recreation.gov. The motor permit bit.


https://www.recreation.gov/permits/233396?q=Boundary%20Waters%20Canoe%20Area%20Wilderness"


It's a bit confusing to be honest. They have one clear section that says:

Visitors have (2) options during the modification period for quota permits:
1. Print their Reservation Confirmation Email at home and use this as their permit.
2. Pick up permit in person at a cooperating business that remains physically open.


And then they have a whole separate section down the page that says:
Day Use Motor: Day Use Motor visitors must contact their issue station no later than one week prior to their trip to designate the day of the week they will enter the BWCAW (may be changed later if needed). The confirmation email is only a valid permit when the entry date is entered into the system and is printed on the confirmation email (entry date is located in the top left corner under Order Information). You must use the updated confirmation email as your permit.


To me that made it seem like DM permits could ONLY be done via email a week in advance. But speaking to my outfitter on the phone, I was assured that they would be open for physical pickup and I could still get my DM permits that way, on the day before or day of.
 
HoneyGuy101
member (40)member
 
05/13/2020 06:17PM
Best thing I've heard all year about this closure! Hoping to hear from the USFS soon about their plan now!
 
Justwannafish
member (8)member
 
05/13/2020 06:19PM
HoneyGuy101: "Best thing I've heard all year about this closure! Hoping to hear from the USFS soon about their plan now!"
Exactly!!
 
scotttimm
distinguished member (292)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 06:23PM
HoneyGuy101: "Best thing I've heard all year about this closure! Hoping to hear from the USFS soon about their plan now!"

I think we need to wait and see what comes out of the Q&A session in 20 minutes...
 
LindenTree
distinguished member(2415)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 06:25PM
Justwannafish: "HoneyGuy101: "Best thing I've heard all year about this closure! Hoping to hear from the USFS soon about their plan now!"
Exactly!!"


It is hard to guess how and when the Superior NF will interpert this new direction.
Will they open up the Superior NF and BW to camping or keep it closed for now.

" Quote, The stay-at-home order is expiring and the dials are turning, but that doesn’t mean we are carefree and can return to the way things were,” Walz said. “It means we have to stay safe, take care, care for our own health and care for our neighbor.”

Stay safe Minnesota, his talk this evening seemed to encourage people to stay at home as much as possible. I'm guessing when Mn state parks are open to camping the USFS will follow their lead.
 
Justwannafish
member (8)member
 
05/13/2020 06:26PM
Where could I stream that. I'm not local and I just listened to the Gov anouncment on KTTC online
 
scotttimm
distinguished member (292)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 06:32PM
Justwannafish: "Where could I stream that. I'm not local and I just listened to the Gov anouncment on KTTC online "
I think I hopped on through here: https://ccxmedia.org/news/mn-governor-walz-to-issue-update-on-stay-at-home-order-covid-19-update/
 
Justwannafish
member (8)member
 
05/13/2020 08:10PM
I was able to listen to it, thanks
 
HoneyGuy101
member (40)member
 
05/13/2020 08:38PM
If you look at this photo, it clearly states that dispersed campsites and watercraft campsites will be open. This is a list of things that are considered open. So the BWCA looks very much so that it is opened.

 
kansascamper
member (15)member
 
05/14/2020 06:39AM
Wow, this is good news. Could you share the link to that pls??
 
jhb8426
distinguished member(993)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/14/2020 11:02PM
kansascamper: "Wow, this is good news. Could you share the link to that pls??"

New order

But the klinker is that the FS determines when the BWCA opens.
 
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