BWCA Anyone else get the BWCAW permit email? Boundary Waters Listening Point - General Discussion
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Listening Point - General Discussion
      Anyone else get the BWCAW permit email?     

Author

Text

MikeinMpls
distinguished member(892)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
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
naturboy12
distinguished member (317)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(5074)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(1304)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.
 
09/15/2020 02:03PM  
I called also. No big deal
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1181)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/15/2020 02:27PM  
Did not receive an email.
 
moosewatcher
distinguished member (147)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(892)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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
09/16/2020 07:45PM  
An unintended consequence of this. I got my $16 refund for being a solo paddler
 
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.
 
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
 
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
distinguished member (116)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished 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 (17)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(2104)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(638)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.
 
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(5074)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.
 
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.
 
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(7412)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(876)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.
 
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?
 
10/06/2020 04:41PM  
I just called in. They already had my information in their system. They just confirmed the number of people that went on the trip. They also asked about exit date.

I delayed calling because the email said something about having your reservation number ready. Turns out they didn't need the reservation number.
 
10/06/2020 04:56PM  
I got an email a few days ago asking me to respond by email (not phone, although there was a phone number) telling them how many adult, youth, senior/pass on the trip. I responded with 1, my permit #, and my senior pass number. I also asked how I could get the refunds the outfitter usually processes. Only took a couple minutes. The next day I got an email confirming my refund for $24.
 
10/06/2020 05:03PM  
I did in person permit pick up at outfitter and just got an email asking how my experience was for my e.p.
 
Duboly
distinguished member (346)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/06/2020 05:52PM  
I made the call, verified all my trips and got all my refunds credited to my credit card the same day.
 
fishonfishoff
distinguished member(650)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/06/2020 06:29PM  
Blatz: "An unintended consequence of this. I got my $16 refund for being a solo paddler"
I also got my $16 refund because of this!
:)
FISHONFISHOFF
 
10/08/2020 10:28AM  
Replying via email or online is much quicker for busy folks.
 
landoftheskytintedwater
distinguished member(925)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/08/2020 03:16PM  
Blatz: "An unintended consequence of this. I got my $16 refund for being a solo paddler"

Same here. I'd totally forgotten about the refund because it always happens automatically.
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
10/08/2020 05:05PM  
Thanks to this thread, I responded to the Forest Service's second request for information. (I had deleted the first one.)

Yes we went with this permit number. There were two adults. Then I hit "send". Pretty easy.
 
10/08/2020 05:17PM  
Yes, got the E-Mail, responded that I went solo and did my permit on-line, I asked for my refund since I paid for two. My refund came a day or two later from the CC company.
 
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member(1026)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/08/2020 10:00PM  
Blatz: "An unintended consequence of this. I got my $16 refund for being a solo paddler"

+1
 
PineKnot
distinguished member(1946)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/09/2020 01:10PM  
straighthairedcurly: "Blatz: "An unintended consequence of this. I got my $16 refund for being a solo paddler"


+1"


+2. Received three $16 refunds for my 3 solo trips this season...smile.
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(892)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/27/2020 03:21PM  
As the OP, here's an update: I didn't think responding the the permit email was mandatory. It apparently is, or at least it's mandatory for them to stop sending emails. 18 emails I've received in October alone, and three today. I finally just replied. Not a big deal.

And interestingly, 48 minutes later, I get my permit refunds for the year. That cannot be coincidene. Looks like they were holding my permit refunds hostage until I responded to the email. If that's the case, it would have been the honest thing to do to tell me.

Anyway, I'm irritated about it, but no big deal in the grand scheme of things.

Mike
 
10/27/2020 04:37PM  
Mike,

I doubt if they were holding your refund hostage as much as verifying that you were solo, which is what they (or the cooperator) would have done normally. I'm glad you got your refund.
 
MidwestFirecraft
distinguished member(677)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/28/2020 07:15AM  
coffeetalk: "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."
Printing the permit at home was the best part for me this year. I'm 4.5 hours away and leave in the morning. It was such a blessing to not have to waste an extra hour detouring to get a piece of paper I can print at home. It really sucks if you need a PMA permit and get to the Ranger station after 5, have to wait till 7:00am the next day, then drive to the entry point. I was really hoping this was a common sense fix, like how all these office mangers had to finally admit that there employees can actually work at home and don't really need them!
 
Jasonf
senior member (61)senior membersenior member
 
10/28/2020 05:56PM  
MidwestFirecraft: "coffeetalk: "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."
Printing the permit at home was the best part for me this year. I'm 4.5 hours away and leave in the morning. It was such a blessing to not have to waste an extra hour detouring to get a piece of paper I can print at home. It really sucks if you need a PMA permit and get to the Ranger station after 5, have to wait till 7:00am the next day, then drive to the entry point. I was really hoping this was a common sense fix, like how all these office mangers had to finally admit that there employees can actually work at home and don't really need them!"


Agreed, It was so nice this year heading straight to the launch with permit already in hand.
 
andym
distinguished member(5074)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/28/2020 08:43PM  
Beyond making sure that newcomers have seen the video and understand the rules, to keep up printing at home they would need to add some things to the system such as notifying people of fire bans in a way that is obvious on the permit and the person has clearly agreed that they have seen the notice.
 
10/28/2020 11:27PM  
Easy phone call and easy to do survey. I liked that they did this as some of the time they took to do this would have been wasted by inactivity at the various locations as a lot of people did the virtual thing. Helped with the info needed and probably kept the staff busy and on the payroll too.
 
pswith5
distinguished member(3501)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
11/01/2020 08:39AM  
I even got a refund because I took this survey. I had forgotten that my spring trip was actually originally scheduled for 3 people. Score
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next