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      Anyone else get the BWCAW permit email?     
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MikeinMpls
distinguished member(674)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2020 11:26AM
I received an email this morning from the USDA asking me to call the Forest Service office nearest my entry point "to find out if you went on your BWCAW trip or not. This information will help us make sure we have an accurate count of visitors this year. "

Once you call "Our staff will ask you a few quick questions to confirm and/or update your trip information in the reservation system. Please have your permit number(s) ready when you call."

I dunno why I'm skeptical, but I am.

Mike
 
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naturboy12
distinguished member (257)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2020 11:33AM
Yes, received it a few days ago. I also have not responded as I'm not sure I get what they are trying to find out. Maybe it's poorly worded?
 
andym
distinguished member(4836)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/15/2020 12:04PM
In most years they know if you picked up your permit and how many people went. Given the problems this year they be hoping to collect the same info from people who printed their emails out at home. It would help them estimate the actual usage rather than just the permit reservations.

At least they aren’t asking you to call some random number. So it sounds legit.
 
09/15/2020 12:11PM
I called, the FS officer asked that I call again after the trip. He answered a couple of my questions. Very polite, as usual.
 
KarlBAndersen1
distinguished member(1252)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2020 12:20PM
I would give them all the information we can. They know this year was a veritable disaster and are hoping to avoid it again.
 
adam
Moderator
 
09/15/2020 01:40PM
I called. Gave them my permit number and said I used it.

Takes 30 seconds.
 
Blatz
distinguished member(1446)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2020 02:03PM
I called also. No big deal
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(756)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2020 02:27PM
Did not receive an email.
 
moosewatcher
distinguished member (145)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2020 03:23PM
I called this morning. Talked to Melissa for about a half hour. Pleasant conservation. We talked a lot of BWCA stuff. I enjoyed it.
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(674)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2020 03:52PM
OK, thanks everyone. I will call when I am able. If it may help to alleviate the mess of 2020, and prevent the same in 2021, I'm all for it.

Mike
 
dew042
distinguished member (256)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/16/2020 12:21PM
This all sounds like a great purpose for Survey Monkey or something. Not sure why I need to call and speak to a person. All the data would be already entered and ready to use. Making it a manual process just complicates it all.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12725)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/16/2020 12:32PM
naturboy12: "Yes, received it a few days ago. I also have not responded as I'm not sure I get what they are trying to find out. Maybe it's poorly worded?"

It is general info about how many permits were actually used this year with the system being used and it is always nice to communicate and exchange ideas what can make the BWCA a better experience.

Absolutely get back to them. They are just trying to make things run more smoothly and better.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12725)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/16/2020 12:36PM
moosewatcher: "I called this morning. Talked to Melissa for about a half hour. Pleasant conservation. We talked a lot of BWCA stuff. I enjoyed it."

Good and thank you.
 
Blatz
distinguished member(1446)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/16/2020 07:45PM
An unintended consequence of this. I got my $16 refund for being a solo paddler
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12725)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/16/2020 07:58PM
Blatz: "An unintended consequence of this. I got my $16 refund for being a solo paddler"

See- nobody is out to get you.
 
MN_Lindsey
distinguished member(2133)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/16/2020 08:23PM
dew042: "This all sounds like a great purpose for Survey Monkey or something. Not sure why I need to call and speak to a person. All the data would be already entered and ready to use. Making it a manual process just complicates it all."

+1
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12725)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/16/2020 08:55PM
MN_Lindsey: "dew042: "This all sounds like a great purpose for Survey Monkey or something. Not sure why I need to call and speak to a person. All the data would be already entered and ready to use. Making it a manual process just complicates it all."


+1"
Data entered and used does not tell if you used the permit or not and suggestions to make your experience better.
I think its great to talk to a real person.
 
martian
member (45)member
 
09/16/2020 09:22PM
Received the email today but haven't made the call.
Looks like I'm to call on Saturday. Should be good.
 
coffeetalk
member (11)member
 
09/17/2020 10:25AM
I got a phone call instead of an email. I may be a special case because I took six solo trips this season and the automatic $16 refund was not working. I was in contact with a number of forest service staff early on in the summer to get it sorted out and, while they were able to issue the refunds manually, it never got fixed. By the fourth trip I decided it was worth $16 to me not to have to talk to anyone about it again, so I ate the combined $48 and forgot about it.

Then they called me a couple of weeks ago. I didn't recognize the number so I didn't answer, then they called me again a week later. A friendly gentleman asked me the same questions mentioned here and also asked me if my last three permits had been solo trips. He didn't mention the refunds and I didn't either, but then I saw they had all posted to my account the next day. That's customer service.

So don't worry about it. I can't say big brother isn't real, but the forest service ain't it.

It may be interesting to you all that he mentioned to me their hope/plan is to restore the in-person permitting system next year. I never thought I would be glad to hear that, but I share the opinion with others here that print-your-own has probably been a contributing factor to this years' madness.
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(1708)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/17/2020 11:55AM
KarlBAndersen1: "I would give them all the information we can. They know this year was a veritable disaster and are hoping to avoid it again."

Agreed. The USFS has done an abismal job at managing their wilderness. Unabated over-crowding, overused campsites, unlawfullness. They need to hear from people about it because many of them think everything is just peachy.

I am letting them know. They are the authority having jurisdiction.

Tom
 
TominMpls
distinguished member(629)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/17/2020 01:22PM
Blatz: "An unintended consequence of this. I got my $16 refund for being a solo paddler"
Yeah, me too. I took care of all four of my summer permits in one phone call. In a literal sense, they're issuing the permit when you call, so that their records line up with the reality of what happened this summer.

I imagine people who had an actual permit issued by a cooperator won't get this email, as their permits were actually issued. The rest of us were using our receipt as a "permit", so they're trying to go ahead and issue our permits after the fact so that their records line up as closely as possible with reality.

And the $16 refund for my one solo permit was an unexpected bonus.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12725)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/17/2020 01:51PM
tumblehome: "KarlBAndersen1: "I would give them all the information we can. They know this year was a veritable disaster and are hoping to avoid it again."


Agreed. The USFS has done an abismal job at managing their wilderness. Unabated over-crowding, overused campsites, unlawfullness. They need to hear from people about it because many of them think everything is just peachy.


I am letting them know. They are the authority having jurisdiction.


Tom"

A year like 2020 much of the staff is out west fighting fires. Also in comparison when my brother lived in Ely way back in 1970 The Superior National forest had like 350 employees. This year a skeleton crew. In my opinion they do one heck of a job.
Peoples attitudes-from canoeist is not there fault, but they have do deal with it. Yes need more enforcement at the same time some want less.
Over crowding is a catch 22- some people want more usage(like outfitters-resorts) some want less. Need so much to keep many of the businesses viable.
Also where you choose to go makes a big usage difference.
 
09/17/2020 02:38PM
I Just got my email today and my $16.00 refund I thought was gone.
 
andym
distinguished member(4836)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/17/2020 03:05PM
A reason for the calls and manual entry may be to enter it into the usual permit system. Collecting it all in survey monkey would mean some software development to move the data from the survey into the permit system and that means dealing with contracts because recreation.gov is a contracted system.... sometimes it is just easier to do stuff with the staff you already have. And I’m saying that as a federal employee who deals with software development contracts.
 
MaxG
member (8)member
 
09/18/2020 09:21AM
Got an email. Called in and had a nice chat about the BWCA. I’m all about helping the forest service keep accurate information. In the end, it helps all of us.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12725)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/18/2020 09:33AM
MaxG: "Got an email. Called in and had a nice chat about the BWCA. I’m all about helping the forest service keep accurate information. In the end, it helps all of us. "
agree-I always liked talking to people with similar interests also.
 
schweady
distinguished member(6983)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
09/24/2020 07:48PM
Never got any follow-up contact for either of this year's trips. Was that because I went through an in-person outfitter to pick up my actual permits?
 
GopherAdventure
distinguished member(690)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/24/2020 08:15PM
Blatz: "An unintended consequence of this. I got my $16 refund for being a solo paddler"

+1. Got my “solo” refund this way as well.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12725)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
09/24/2020 08:35PM
schweady: "Never got any follow-up contact for either of this year's trips. Was that because I went through an in-person outfitter to pick up my actual permits?
"


The way it sounds-I would say yes?
 
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