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adam
Moderator
 
05/13/2020 06:18PM
A brief update for Wed, May 13th.

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.

Today the Governor announced on May 18th the stay at home order is lifted. This is allowing many businesses to open. It seems likely the BWCA will allow overnight camping based on this, but that is not 100% clear or certain, although it seems likely.

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.

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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thegildedgopher
distinguished member(685)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 06:27PM
Fingers crossed! I hope the USFS is able to quickly issue a press release with an official update. My only concern here is that he’s still asking people to stay near home, which doesn’t exactly align with inviting people from all over the world to come visit MN. Like I said, fingers crossed.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(685)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 06:27PM
dreaded double post
 
93july
 
05/13/2020 06:29PM
Great to see this update. Been considering a June 17th-21st trip with a few friends, but I am unsure about it with the fire ban. Any insights into what that its about, is it related to COVID, or is it really dry? Is there any chance of that being lifted? The thought of taking a trip without a fire doesn't sound nearly as pleasant, especially with the potential for heavy mosquitoes during June.
 
adam
Moderator
 
05/13/2020 06:38PM
93july: "Great to see this update. Been considering a June 17th-21st trip with a few friends, but I am unsure about it with the fire ban. Any insights into what that its about, is it related to COVID, or is it really dry? Is there any chance of that being lifted? The thought of taking a trip without a fire doesn't sound nearly as pleasant, especially with the potential for heavy mosquitoes during June."

Assuming we get rain it will be lifted.
 
adam
Moderator
 
05/13/2020 06:39PM
thegildedgopher: "Fingers crossed! I hope the USFS is able to quickly issue a press release with an official update. My only concern here is that he’s still asking people to stay near home, which doesn’t exactly align with inviting people from all over the world to come visit MN. Like I said, fingers crossed."

I don't think the FS will do any announcement affirming this. They may address the fire ban, but they already changed the date to the 18th last week
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(685)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 06:42PM
adam: "thegildedgopher: "Fingers crossed! I hope the USFS is able to quickly issue a press release with an official update. My only concern here is that he’s still asking people to stay near home, which doesn’t exactly align with inviting people from all over the world to come visit MN. Like I said, fingers crossed."


I don't think the FS will do any announcement affirming this. They may address the fire ban, but they already changed the date to the 18th last week"



You’re probably right, just wish you weren’t. With the way they left the last announcement til the very last second, I guess I feel they owe folks a bit of reassurance here. BUT I think falls under the heading of pontification so I’ll stop :)
 
OMGitsKa
senior member (81)senior membersenior member
 
05/13/2020 06:57PM
The executive order is allowing dispersed and remote camping for single household use. Both private and public campgrounds remain closed.

"Dispersed and remote camping sites for single household use. A dispersed
campsite is a single campsite, not in a developed campground, used for
overnight camping. A remote campsite is a designated backpack or watercraft
campsite, not in a developed campground, used for overnight camping. Both
private and public developed campgrounds remain closed to recreational
camping. "
 
portagemonkey169
 
05/13/2020 06:58PM
Just heard the governor say that this most recent change will allow remote camping!
 
scotttimm
distinguished member (349)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 06:58PM
He said BWCA and remote camping allowed?!?!
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(685)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 06:58PM
OMGitsKa: "The executive order is allowing dispersed and remote camping for single household use. Both private and public campgrounds remain closed. "

During the q&a session Walz specifically mentioned “remote camping” and the BWCA. Promising.
 
scotttimm
distinguished member (349)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 07:04PM
scotttimm: "He said BWCA and remote camping allowed?!?!"

He said, "in this order, it does allow remote camping...we start to think Boundary Waters and those types of things..."
 
gopher2307
distinguished member (145)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 07:21PM
Boom
 
05/13/2020 07:22PM
scotttimm: "scotttimm: "He said BWCA and remote camping allowed?!?!"


He said, "in this order, it does allow remote camping...we start to think Boundary Waters and those types of things...""



I need to start packing!
 
scotttimm
distinguished member (349)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 07:30PM
From the order:

Outdoor recreational activities and associated facilities. Notwithstanding
Executive Orders 20-04, 20-08, and 20-18, the below facilities are permitted to be
open and do business, provided that they adhere to paragraph 6 of this Executive Order and the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines available at DNR’s website (https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/covid-19.html). This permission does not extend to charter boats, launches, or facilities that involve prohibited gatherings or people in groups or close proximity (e.g., mini golf, pools, commercial outdoor racetracks, and concert venues). Indoor facilities associated with outdoor recreational facilities covered by Executive Orders 20-04, 20-08, and 20-18, must comply with those Executive Orders, and all indoor facilities associated with outdoor recreational facilities must also conform with the provisions of paragraph 7 of this Executive Order. I encourage public outdoor recreational facilities be open for families and children, and direct all individuals utilizing such facilities to follow the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines. All outdoor recreational activities and facilities must comply with Minnesota law, including but not limited to license and permit requirements, invasive species regulations, and park rules:

L. Dispersed and remote camping sites for single household use. A dispersed
campsite is a single campsite, not in a developed campground, used for
overnight camping. A remote campsite is a designated backpack or watercraft
campsite, not in a developed campground, used for overnight camping. Both
private and public developed campgrounds remain closed to recreational
camping.
 
BigFlounder
member (49)member
 
05/13/2020 07:31PM
YAHOOOOOOOO! Looks like my June 6th entry might happen after all. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks for keeping us updated Adam!
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(640)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 07:55PM
And it looks like my May 18 entry is a go!

First ones in (hopefully) will be quite a treat.

Mike
 
CoffeeInTheWoods
distinguished member (121)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 08:27PM
Clarifications needed:

1. Does “single household use” mean no camping with people outside your household? Not sure if that terminology.

2. Will campgrounds like Kawishiwi or Baker open up? We have a permit for Sawbill on the 22nd and had planned on staying at Sawbill or elsewhere on the 21st. Since that’s more developed, it sounds like that won’t be open.

scotttimm: "From the order:


Outdoor recreational activities and associated facilities. Notwithstanding
Executive Orders 20-04, 20-08, and 20-18, the below facilities are permitted to be
open and do business, provided that they adhere to paragraph 6 of this Executive Order and the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines available at DNR’s website (https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/covid-19.html). This permission does not extend to charter boats, launches, or facilities that involve prohibited gatherings or people in groups or close proximity (e.g., mini golf, pools, commercial outdoor racetracks, and concert venues). Indoor facilities associated with outdoor recreational facilities covered by Executive Orders 20-04, 20-08, and 20-18, must comply with those Executive Orders, and all indoor facilities associated with outdoor recreational facilities must also conform with the provisions of paragraph 7 of this Executive Order. I encourage public outdoor recreational facilities be open for families and children, and direct all individuals utilizing such facilities to follow the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines. All outdoor recreational activities and facilities must comply with Minnesota law, including but not limited to license and permit requirements, invasive species regulations, and park rules:


L. Dispersed and remote camping sites for single household use. A dispersed
campsite is a single campsite, not in a developed campground, used for
overnight camping. A remote campsite is a designated backpack or watercraft
campsite, not in a developed campground, used for overnight camping. Both
private and public developed campgrounds remain closed to recreational
camping. "
 
05/13/2020 08:38PM
CoffeeInTheWoods: "Clarifications needed:


1. Does “single household use” mean no camping with people outside your household? Not sure if that terminology.


2. Will campgrounds like Kawishiwi or Baker open up? We have a permit for Sawbill on the 22nd and had planned on staying at Sawbill or elsewhere on the 21st. Since that’s more developed, it sounds like that won’t be open.


scotttimm: "From the order:



Outdoor recreational activities and associated facilities. Notwithstanding
Executive Orders 20-04, 20-08, and 20-18, the below facilities are permitted to be
open and do business, provided that they adhere to paragraph 6 of this Executive Order and the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines available at DNR’s website (https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/covid-19.html). This permission does not extend to charter boats, launches, or facilities that involve prohibited gatherings or people in groups or close proximity (e.g., mini golf, pools, commercial outdoor racetracks, and concert venues). Indoor facilities associated with outdoor recreational facilities covered by Executive Orders 20-04, 20-08, and 20-18, must comply with those Executive Orders, and all indoor facilities associated with outdoor recreational facilities must also conform with the provisions of paragraph 7 of this Executive Order. I encourage public outdoor recreational facilities be open for families and children, and direct all individuals utilizing such facilities to follow the Outdoor Recreation Guidelines. All outdoor recreational activities and facilities must comply with Minnesota law, including but not limited to license and permit requirements, invasive species regulations, and park rules:



L. Dispersed and remote camping sites for single household use. A dispersed
campsite is a single campsite, not in a developed campground, used for
overnight camping. A remote campsite is a designated backpack or watercraft
campsite, not in a developed campground, used for overnight camping. Both
private and public developed campgrounds remain closed to recreational
camping. "
"
\

Well, since we are also now allowed to gather in groups of ten or less (including with non-household members), would seem odd that they would allow for that but not allow you to do it at a remote campsite. Unless, maybe they don't want those groups of 10 or less being together for multiple days overnight since it would be impossible to maintain social distance? Seems a little nit-picky. My money is betting there's clarification in the next couple of days and we'll be able to be with groups including non-household members. Wouldn't be the first time I've bet wrong though... :-)
 
airmorse
distinguished member(2650)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 08:41PM
I have the same question as Mr. Coffee. What does "single household use" mean.
 
heelix
senior member (79)senior membersenior member
 
05/13/2020 08:54PM
I'm not hopeful about the fire ban lifting late May. My brother is one of the guys doing firefighting, and the hotels are all closed. He got the room above a funeral home, with his crew staying in an insurance company building. May be a bit before the normal operations can resume for the forest service.

Looking forward to going Memorial weekend, even if it is a no fire trip! Been there, done that - can cope with a stove and a lantern.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(685)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/13/2020 09:03PM
I understand having hopes for your trip, etc. “Single household use” seems like about the clearest, least ambiguous term in the whole thing. What else could it possibly mean other than they don’t want camping groups to consist of anything but people who live in your household?
 
05/13/2020 09:15PM
Did anyone hear/see what he said about youth sports? They cut out right when that question was asked and I can’t find that info in any of the summaries I’ve found.
 
Mooseboy68
 
05/14/2020 08:25AM
It had been exceedingly dry until last night (5/13) when we when we got a good rain storm. My understanding was that the ban was based on a combination of this and the fact that the emergency teams had not yet been gathered as well as not wanting to risk close quarters firefighting because of COVID. We’ll see how that pans out as things get less dry.
 
CityFisher74
distinguished member (467)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/14/2020 08:46AM
I know we're all getting anxious but does anyone have intel on when the USFS will make a decision? Have they had any announcement patterns, such as weekly?
 
neveragoosechase
member (25)member
 
05/14/2020 08:54AM
Mooseboy68: "It had been exceedingly dry until last night (5/13) when we when we got a good rain storm. My understanding was that the ban was based on a combination of this and the fact that the emergency teams had not yet been gathered as well as not wanting to risk close quarters firefighting because of COVID. We’ll see how that pans out as things get less dry."

Yes, that has been my understanding, and frankly, I’m sympathetic to it. My enjoyment of a BWCA trip does not hinge on campfires whatsoever, although I would much prefer it for when I want to cook fish. Anyway, if that’s the only atypical stipulation for my solo trip (Monday- 4 days from now), I don’t care. What I do care about is the FS taking 4 days to make their follow-up announcement, like last time. We all know how popular that was.

I am optimistic they’ll let us in and I’ll tell you why. The official announcement from 5/4 states at the outset: “.... Overnight use of the BWCAW will continue to be restricted through May 17, 2020, aligning with Minnesota Governor Tim Walz extended the State’s Stay at Home Emergency Order 20-48,...” So if they’re going to keep BW locked down, they’ll have to state a different reason. And if they did that, it would seem a bit more arbitrary, like they’re just looking for reasons to hide behind, and there would be a lot of ‘splaining to do.

Still, it’s not official until it’s official.
 
neveragoosechase
member (25)member
 
05/14/2020 09:05AM
CityFisher74: "I know we're all getting anxious but does anyone have intel on when the USFS will make a decision? Have they had any announcement patterns, such as weekly?"

I tried to call the office in Duluth yesterday, just to ask when they’d make their own announcement. Never did get through to anybody. Hope it doesn’t take 4 days again.
 
adam
Moderator
 
05/14/2020 09:45AM
There is no need for the FS to make an announcement. They set the current rule to open on the 18th. Could they make an announcement? Yes. Could they move out the date? Yes.

I don't know why they would not allow it to open unless they are ill prepared or the local communities are telling them not to.
 
CityFisher74
distinguished member (467)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/14/2020 10:17AM
adam: "There is no need for the FS to make an announcement. They set the current rule to open on the 18th. Could they make an announcement? Yes. Could they move out the date? Yes.


I don't know why they would not allow it to open unless they are ill prepared or the local communities are telling them not to."


In your OP you said "It seems likely the BWCA will allow overnight camping based on this, but that is not 100% clear or certain, although it seems likely."

Has anything changed since your OP?
 
neveragoosechase
member (25)member
 
05/14/2020 10:28AM
adam: "There is no need for the FS to make an announcement. They set the current rule to open on the 18th.

This of course is true. Unfortunately, it leaves everybody waiting until 12:01 am Monday to know for sure. I just hope they realize that an absence of clarification can discourage our valid, lawful use of the resource. Not to mention the fact that if I knew for sure, I could confidently go ahead with my plans, which includes patronization of at least 2 Gunflint area businesses.
 
OMGitsKa
senior member (81)senior membersenior member
 
05/14/2020 10:47AM
Just received this email from the forest service, stay tuned apparently.

 
Wispaddler
 
05/14/2020 12:49PM
I would guess that “single household use“ is a specific effort to continue social distancing in a camping situation. We live in households that can remain safe and healthy if we minimize contact with people outside our households. Gathering people from various households who have had their own contacts (different than and in addition to yours) closely together for many days adds a risk. Is anyone in the group (or even the duo) infected, maybe even without symptoms? Hard to know what to do. I can’t imagine they’ll check if your from the same household, I think the public health officials are just hoping for the best.
 
adam
Moderator
 
05/14/2020 12:51PM
After listening to the interview on WTIP with a representative from the FS, I would definitely stay tuned in the next day to see if they decide to push out the opening date beyond the 18th.

It sounds like they are trying to get their ducks in a row which is good, but it is bad that they didn't have their ducks in a row already.
 
scotttimm
distinguished member (349)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/14/2020 01:56PM
adam: "After listening to the interview on WTIP with a representative from the FS, I would definitely stay tuned in the next day to see if they decide to push out the opening date beyond the 18th.


It sounds like they are trying to get their ducks in a row which is good, but it is bad that they didn't have their ducks in a row already. "

Here is the radio show, in case you missed it:
May 14 FS Update
 
thlipsis29
distinguished member(1224)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/15/2020 08:08AM
I realize this is most likely an auto-generated email, and a case of the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, but just received this from rec.gov 5 minutes ago. As I read it, I have every reason to believe that we will be able to enter as planned on Friday. I know things can change, but it gives me hope.

Reservation Reminder

Hi Dan,

We hope the anticipation is building as you prepare for your trip to Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on May 22 2020, and thought we’d reach out with a friendly reminder and some tips for your upcoming reservation.

As you’re going through final preparations, please take a moment to ensure you pack a few must have items — your reservation confirmation and any permits, passes, or tickets for your trip. Keep in mind, most permit locations require you to print your permit and bring the paper copy with you. It is important that you have all necessary entry documents and the details from your reservation confirmation at the ready when you arrive.

If you haven’t done so already, we also encourage you to review the need to know information and change or cancellation policies in your reservation confirmation email and on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness page on Recreation.gov. This will provide you with helpful tips and details to get the most out of your experience.

You can also review this reservation or any other reservations that you’ve made by visiting the "My Reservations" page on Recreation.gov.

Enjoy your upcoming trip, and we hope you bring home an amazing story!
 
TGovert
member (16)member
 
05/15/2020 08:12AM
thlipsis29: "I realize this is most likely an auto-generated email, and a case of the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing, but just received this from rec.gov 5 minutes ago. As I read it, I have every reason to believe that we will be able to enter as planned on Friday. I know things can change, but it gives me hope.


Reservation Reminder

Hi Dan,


We hope the anticipation is building as you prepare for your trip to Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on May 22 2020, and thought we’d reach out with a friendly reminder and some tips for your upcoming reservation.


As you’re going through final preparations, please take a moment to ensure you pack a few must have items — your reservation confirmation and any permits, passes, or tickets for your trip. Keep in mind, most permit locations require you to print your permit and bring the paper copy with you. It is important that you have all necessary entry documents and the details from your reservation confirmation at the ready when you arrive.


If you haven’t done so already, we also encourage you to review the need to know information and change or cancellation policies in your reservation confirmation email and on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness page on Recreation.gov. This will provide you with helpful tips and details to get the most out of your experience.


You can also review this reservation or any other reservations that you’ve made by visiting the "My Reservations" page on Recreation.gov.


Enjoy your upcoming trip, and we hope you bring home an amazing story!"


I SOOOO hope that this is a positive omen that overnight camping is going to be authorized starting May 18th!!
 
neveragoosechase
member (25)member
 
05/15/2020 08:24AM
Hate to break it to you, but I got the same one Monday. Looks like they send that out 1 week before your (now-valid) permit date.
 
adam
Moderator
 
05/15/2020 12:22PM

Dispersed camping will be allowed in Minnesota State Forests beginning May 18, no reservation required. See the DNR website for more details:

DNR Site
 
thlipsis29
distinguished member(1224)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
05/15/2020 12:33PM
THANK YOU ADAM!!!!!!! (and to the USFS)
 
adam
Moderator
 
05/15/2020 12:38PM

The previous update was for the DNR - State controlled land.

However, please see latest update.

5/15/2020 BWCA update
 
neveragoosechase
member (25)member
 
05/15/2020 12:53PM
thlipsis29: "THANK YOU ADAM!!!!!!! (and to the USFS)"

Yes, read carefully- State Forest land. Does not include Superior NF or any other USFS lands.

If anybody isn’t familiar with dispersed camping, you ought to be. The rules (state or federal) are not easy to find, but should be known and followed. I put this page together, which serves to condense all that info:
Dispersed Camping in MN

If you need help finding parcels of MN’s state forest land, use the Recreation Compass on the MN DNR website. It’s all color coded.
 
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