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      Officials taking steps to improve LNT     
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Grandma L
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01/18/2021 12:19PM  
"After a surge of visitors brought an increase in litter and damage to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness last year, officials are taking steps to head off similar problems this year."
Is it possible?
 
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Grandma L
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01/18/2021 12:21PM  
MPR article - improve LNT in BWCA for 2021
Check it out - now sure how and if it will work. More Rangers in the BWCA would help?
 
mschi772
distinguished member(542)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/18/2021 12:28PM  
Sounds like the only thing they're doing is verifying that someone watches the video before printing their permit. Not a very ambitious step toward improving education and enforcement. I'm not surprised; I expect to be disappointed by the USFS.
 
01/18/2021 12:41PM  
Yea, seems to be a bandaid put on the tracks in front of a freight train. But hey, it's something I guess
 
martian
senior member (88)senior membersenior member
 
01/18/2021 12:52PM  
Unfortunate it comes to this. The video education is better than nothing at all. In the end we live in an ever growing society with a bunch of folks who simply don't care. It should be a no-brainer not to cut live trees and pick up after yourself. We stewards will continue to pick up/carry out trash and turn in those we can catch. Without serious violation enforcement I'm not sure how this changes. That takes more forest service personnel which is already under funded.
 
01/20/2021 01:15PM  
Grandma L: " MPR article - improve LNT in BWCA for 2021
Check it out - now sure how and if it will work. More Rangers in the BWCA would help? "


Agreed. Public education via the mandatory videos will help though.
 
schwartyman
senior member (51)senior membersenior member
 
01/20/2021 01:51PM  
Atleast there are steps being taken. I thought last year was very bad as far as LNT violations, and some reaction is better than none IMO.

I really hope outfitters continue to, and even step up communicating the importance of LNT to their customers. All these people coming for their first time need to rent gear from somewhere, and those places have a chance to properly portray the rules while they are renting this gear. There should be no excuses if someone rents gear from an outfitter and they claim they "didn't know" a rule or regulation.

We as experienced trippers can continue to help by kindly educating and helping people understand the importance of these rules. Whether it be in conversation outside of the wilderness, or noticing a violation while within. Its everyone's area, lets enjoy, protect, learn together!
 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member(776)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2021 03:48PM  
I wonder if the problem people from 2020 will only be emboldened by last year's free-for-all and return in 2021, with gusto.

This proposal isn't even a band-aid. It's just the USFS saying "this time we're really serious about the video, and you gotta sign a piece of paper!"

The only way around the mess is more rangers with citation authority, and officials at the EPs checking permits, group size, and to insure there are no cans and bottles.

Do experienced trippers start to video rule breakers? I dunno.

Mike
 
01/22/2021 04:35PM  
Yeah hard to fix this problem. Self control and doing the right thing is about all you can ask for. But the importance of the rules is lost on those breaking it. It's pretty rare to find a site unmarred, in fact I'm not sure I've ever stayed at one over the last decade of trips.
But just because you cannot fix stupid doesn't mean we should stop trying. One day we may cure cancer too.
 
mjmkjun
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01/24/2021 06:34PM  
cyclones30: "Yea, seems to be a bandaid put on the tracks in front of a freight train. But hey, it's something I guess "
hahaha Love this! To those folks who trash and litter....... it'll be just another blah blah blah video to ignore. Waste of time and resources. Fines work bcuz they hurt.
 
firemedic5586
distinguished member (187)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/27/2021 10:31PM  
So if I understand this new LNT policy:

Outfitter "A" doesn't issue permits, I can watch the required vids on Youtube and the USFS issues the permit via e-mail. = (VIRTUAL ONLY - PERMIT EMAILED BY USFS UPON COMPLETION OF LNT REQUIREMENT.)

Outfitter "B" does issue permits, I watch Vid #3 there prior to getting my permit.. (ISSUING PERMITS IN-PERSON WITH SOCIAL DISTANCING.)

If this is how its working this year. How does Uncle Sam verify that I watch the 3:38 vid.
 
01/28/2021 07:23AM  
I don't know firemedic, but I'm in "Outfitter A" group. I reserved a permit yesterday and immediately watched all 3 videos. No permit has yet been emailed to me and I have found no specific information regarding it. I followed instructions here= to print permit but the "print" option does not show on my reservation. Other information I found "Some permit locations require you to pick up your permit in person or do not allow printing until a specific number of days before the permit entry date."

So I'm waiting to see. It's a long way away yet . . .
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1000)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/28/2021 08:31AM  
firemedic5586: "If this is how its working this year. How does Uncle Sam verify that I watch the 3:38 vid."

I'm not privy to their actual strategy, but the links to the videos in the email sent out by rec.gov after purchasing a permit yesterday appear to have user information embedded in them. Instead of linking directly to YouTube, there is some rec.gov coding including a unique "account id" embedded in the HTML. My guess is that they can tell who has clicked their unique link and who has not. Which doesn't necessarily tell you who has watched the video or not.

Again, I don't know their system, but we use something similar at the U of M. When we get a student who misses a deadline and whines "but I never got the email!" it's satisfying to be able to check the database and tell them the exact date and time they opened the email, clicked the link, etc.
 
mjmkjun
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01/28/2021 09:29AM  

delivers the message....maybe not nail it to a tree. :)
 
billconner
distinguished member(7610)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/28/2021 01:58PM  
I would prefer everyone had to meet face to face with a ranger before entering - not just leaders but everyone. That won't happen in a pandemic and maybe never, but I think it would help. Some rangers might need a little continuing education on talking to john q public, but that's not hard.

Second to that, the Scouts BSA has (or use to) training videos with quizzes. Youth protection, water safety, and many others. You might game them a little but I thought pretty well done - later iterations at least. Require all members of the group to register and take the required course or courses and pass the quiz.

Frankly, things were not great and wonderful before last year, but by many reports, got pretty bad. I think you do everything and hope enough works.
 
dentondoc
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01/28/2021 02:32PM  
An e-mail exchange today with a member of the US Forest Service office in Duluth produced the following results:

"The Forest Service is approaching, but has not yet released the process for what virtual issuance in 2021 will look like. Stay tuned to the Forest News and Events Page, Twitter, or Facebook for these details when they come out."

The most current "News" page (1/27/2021) contains the following:

"Virtual LNT education will be offered every day of the permit season starting April 30. On the week of their entry date, permit holders will receive an e-mail invitation with a link to access the required LNT education online and view the third video. After the LNT requirement has been met, permit holders will receive their permit via email on the entry date or one day prior. Those picking up their permit in-person will view the third LNT educational video on-site."

So, it looks like we are in a holding pattern for virtual permits until April 30.

dd

 
Voyager
distinguished member (213)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/28/2021 03:05PM  
Obviously, they will have to modify the plan to only let you watch the LNT video the week before your permit, and to email you the permit the day before or the day of your permit. If you're camped in some remote campground it won't be possible to watch the video or print your permit. I'll bet the phones are ringing off the wall in the ranger stations with questions. I know what they say about hindsight, BUT, they could have posted something somewhere to avoid the confusion.
 
schweady
distinguished member(7210)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/28/2021 04:33PM  
thegildedgopher: "firemedic5586: "If this is how its working this year. How does Uncle Sam verify that I watch the 3:38 vid."


I'm not privy to their actual strategy, but the links to the videos in the email sent out by rec.gov after purchasing a permit yesterday appear to have user information embedded in them. Instead of linking directly to YouTube, there is some rec.gov coding including a unique "account id" embedded in the HTML. My guess is that they can tell who has clicked their unique link and who has not. Which doesn't necessarily tell you who has watched the video or not."

Agreed. I got 3 permits yesterday and went back to hover over the video links received for each one. Each permit's links had unique account id strings. I guess that I'll plan to watch one set completely and then (at the very least) click on each of the others and let the videos play through.
 
Grandma L
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01/28/2021 04:40PM  
Voyager: "Obviously, they will have to modify the plan to only let you watch the LNT video the week before your permit, and to email you the permit the day before or the day of your permit. If you're camped in some remote campground it won't be possible to watch the video or print your permit. I'll bet the phones are ringing off the wall in the ranger stations with questions. I know what they say about hindsight, BUT, they could have posted something somewhere to avoid the confusion."

Good point! several of us travel for days to get to the BWCA and don't have internet to watch the video or be able to print out the permit. Better rethink this part of the plan!
 
01/28/2021 05:41PM  
It definitely wouldn't work for me and is exactly the scenario I feared . . .

Doesn't anyone have a link for commenting on that plan?
 
01/28/2021 07:40PM  
I have emailed them detailing my basically untenable situation.

I enter (Tue) 9/14. If my entry week begins on the 13th or even 12th, I will already be on the road with limited internet access and no ability to print before I enter. I cannot fathom the logic behind such a short timetable. I suppose I could try to switch to a cooperator who will issue in person, but a convenient one may be difficult to find. Obviously it would not be the Ranger Station.
 
Boppasteveg
senior member (84)senior membersenior member
 
01/29/2021 05:13AM  
I am very thankful that I grew up camping with a family (My first night in a tent was in 1962) that practiced LNT. I joined a Minneapolis scout troop in 1972 as well. We always made sure to leave an area cleaner than when we arrived. Some people just don't care. They never will. That's the bottom line.
 
Wharfrat63
senior member (86)senior membersenior member
 
01/29/2021 08:48AM  
boonie: "I have emailed them detailing my basically untenable situation.


I enter (Tue) 9/14. If my entry week begins on the 13th or even 12th, I will already be on the road with limited internet access and no ability to print before I enter. I cannot fathom the logic behind such a short timetable. I suppose I could try to switch to a cooperator who will issue in person, but a convenient one may be difficult to find. Obviously it would not be the Ranger Station. "
\

Hello, I am from the government and I am hear to help. Forest Service - Is that an oxymoron? Postal workers and Military have to do their job with a Pandemic and limited funds. I just don't get it.
 
01/29/2021 09:00AM  
I don't mind doing it virtually, as long as it doesn't have to be last minute. I've never used the Ranger Station anyway.
 
01/29/2021 03:38PM  
Received a reply today:

Thank you for contacting Superior National Forest.

The information outlined in the January 26 press release from Superior National Forest provides some general information about the educational component to visiting the BWCAW this summer. As you may have noticed, the paragraph you included in your email does not answer all questions or outline in full what the process will be. More information is coming regarding the virtual Wilderness permit issuance process for this season. Stay tuned to the Forest News and Events Page, Twitter, or Facebook for these details when they come out.

With that in mind, it is likely that permit holders without the ability to access the virtual Leave No Trace education online may contact a Forest Service office by phone to complete the LNT requirement or select an issue station that is issuing permits in-person when making reservations. Although there is no rule for when Leave No Trace education needs to take place (aside from every BWCAW going through the education at least once per season), permits cannot be issued any sooner than one day prior to entry date. This means the education does not need to occur within a certain time of a permit entry date. It would just have to be any time before the first visit of the season. Historically it has simply made the most sense for these education times to occur at the time of permit pickup while also getting informed on fire danger, bear activity, and regional notes that might be important to visitors.

For those who desire to print a paper version of their permit, once they receive it, they are welcome to do so and carry it with as they travel the BWCAW. If individuals/groups cannot or do not desire to print their permit, electronic versions of the permit are considered ok. However, it is the permit holder’s responsibility to make sure that their phone (or whatever means they have for showing their permit) is functioning and/or has the battery to show the permit to law enforcement upon request in the BWCAW.

I hope this gives some context for the information that is still forthcoming. Again, please look for the additional information to come from Superior National Forest in the future.

Although not all info is solidified at this point, if I can clarify any of the above information or be of any further assistance, please don’t hesitate to let me know
 
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