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Wharfrat63
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06/14/2021 08:08AM  

June 1st, Boulder Bay.

Seven canoes and at least thirteen people in this pic. Traveling from Stuart, our group was looking to stay on Boulder Bay. We passed them at about 11:00am. All sites on Boulder and Tiger Bay area were filled. We grabbed an island site on the way to Iron. This group passed by our site about 1:00pm. Ugggg.
 
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Savage Voyageur
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06/14/2021 10:09AM  
Unless this was an emergency there is zero excuse for this. I just wonder where are the rangers? How about any outfitter that may have outfitted this group?
 
06/14/2021 10:49AM  
Judging by the kids fishing and a couple other just kind of standing around, I doubt this was an emergency - but could be wrong.... Is this a portage? I count 4-5 grown men, that should know right from wrong... it's just getting crazy out there now.
 
06/14/2021 11:28AM  
This is why I await the reopening of Quetico.
 
eagle98mn
senior member (99)senior membersenior member
 
06/14/2021 12:14PM  
So I’m typically anti-cell service in the wilderness, but I wonder if it would be beneficial to be able to report this type of thing in the moment? I’m guessing cell service is only a matter of time as technology and range improve, regardless of my preferences, so maybe being able to call these yahoos in will be a silver lining when that day comes? Then the forest service can send a ranger in that direction and clear it up with a citation.

Also, although I love my country, I don’t love the visual noise of our flag in wilderness. Looks like a state park campground (which I also enjoy!) rather than an untrammeled wilderness. There’s a time and a place for declaring patriotism. Almost anywhere else! In the wilderness, I prefer to declare we are the visitors by keeping our visual profile to what is needed to recreate safely and responsibly.
 
MikeinMpls
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06/14/2021 12:17PM  
I saw similar on Fourtown last July. A sizeable group of about 14-15: kids playing in one spot, teens hanging in another, dads standing around talking with their hands in their pockets...it looked like a BWCA block party. It did not appear as if the group was camping together. Instead, it looked to me like several families decided to camp at a couple Fourtown sites and hang out with each other during the day. Considering the small daily quota from Mudro and Mudro's popularity, I doubt each group had a permit.

This s&%t is out of control. No respect for others, no respect for the land, no respect for the rules and the process... it pisses me off.

Mike
 
06/14/2021 12:21PM  
I’m not a genius, but 99 percent sure that group is all together... same canoes, looks like social interaction taking place... inexcusable and borderline appalling. If everyone ignored the rules like this then the wilderness aspect would disappear. End of rant
 
06/14/2021 12:37PM  
I hope you paddled close enough to take some good pics of them and the canoe registration to turn into the USFS. Maybe a pic of the outfitter logo on their canoes?

I would have...strike up some small talk to try and get some intel out of them... all the while discreetly taking pictures to pass along to the USFS.
 
06/14/2021 01:11PM  
Is it possible - just possible - that this is a case of a boy scout or church group that put in and each group went in a loop in opposite directions and this is the one time that they came together before they continued on the loop? I know this has happened before for years in the BW.

I know you're not supposed to gather more than 9 people at a time and yes, the adults should know and practice that. Not making excuses but things aren't always what they appear.
 
06/14/2021 01:51PM  
I didn't see any tents, tarps or packs on shore. Small amount of gear like day trippers would have. Not good but not as bad as if they all were camping together on one site. My guess would be a scout or church group led by uninformed, volunteer dads that need to be educated ( second offence= shot and hung after torture)
Do day use permits require the LNT videos? If not it could explain their ignorance. A loop hole that needs to be addressed.
 
yogi59weedr
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06/14/2021 04:52PM  
Good question. Never thought about a video for day trippers.
I quess ya can't educate all the public.
All the time.

Kinda like people driving alone down the interstate with a mask on
 
yogi59weedr
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06/14/2021 04:52PM  
Good question. Never thought about a video for day trippers
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1181)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/14/2021 05:09PM  
I've never been asked to watch the video when picking up a day use permit, 2 different outfitters gunflint side and 1 in Ely.
 
mschi772
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06/14/2021 06:25PM  
eagle98mn: "So I’m typically anti-cell service in the wilderness, but I wonder if it would be beneficial to be able to report this type of thing in the moment? "

I'd happily send a satellite text message to the USFS if they have a number or email they check often enough to be able to act realistically quickly on.
 
06/14/2021 07:06PM  
mschi772: "eagle98mn: "So I’m typically anti-cell service in the wilderness, but I wonder if it would be beneficial to be able to report this type of thing in the moment? "


I'd happily send a satellite text message to the USFS if they have a number or email they check often enough to be able to act realistically quickly on."


+1
 
06/14/2021 08:24PM  
OneMatch: "Is it possible - just possible - that this is a case of a boy scout or church group that put in and each group went in a loop in opposite directions and this is the one time that they came together before they continued on the loop? I know this has happened before for years in the BW.


I know you're not supposed to gather more than 9 people at a time and yes, the adults should know and practice that. Not making excuses but things aren't always what they appear."


Honestly, it doesn’t matter. Rules are rules, at least they used to be. So, if a sapling is in a spot where you want to pitch your tent is it ok to cut it down? If there is a fire ban and your toes are cold is it ok to start a fire? If you love Coca-Cola is it ok to bring in a can of soda? If you don’t feel like hauling out your trash is it Ok to leave it for the next camper to dispose of? No, No, No, and No!

If it was a scout group then they should 100 percent know better. If it was a church group then they could wave as they pass by and talk about it next week after church. It makes no difference. Read the rules , abide by them, or stay home. It isn’t that complicated. They are simple rules really, not asking for anyones first born or anything.....

 
TuscaroraBorealis
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06/14/2021 08:35PM  
Wharfrat63: "
June 1st, Boulder Bay.

Seven canoes and at least thirteen people in this pic. Traveling from Stuart, our group was looking to stay on Boulder Bay. We passed them at about 11:00am. All sites on Boulder and Tiger Bay area were filled. We grabbed an island site on the way to Iron. This group passed by our site about 1:00pm. Ugggg."


Hey, (the silver lining???) now you've got a leg up on the July photo contest! ;-)
 
martian
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06/14/2021 08:45PM  
I agree 100% with the rules are rules observation. Doesn't really matter what they were up to. Supposedly they just watched and passed the LNT video 3 and weren't bright enough to apply what they learned. This is just a continuation of the problems of last year. We did have a pleasant site visit from two Forest Service Rangers while we were in last week. So they are out making inspections and I can only hope busting fools who have no business in the wild. We got a new privy out of the deal as a bonus. Hoping for the best.
 
marrowoflife
member (33)member
 
06/14/2021 08:47PM  
The lack of camping gear is confusing... but I'm fairly certain this is site 1820, an absolutely gorgeous island site, with incredible sunset views over the water (the camping areas are fairly far set back which could explain the gear). I doubt they are day trippers being all the way up in Boulder Bay. But if I had to guess they probably took this site because there is a well traversed trail connecting it to the site next door, 1821. So theoretically two parties could snatch both sites and then socialize (evidently breaking the 9 person limit in the process).
 
06/14/2021 10:58PM  
My guess 2 groups with separate permits, but still travel and gather together. They think they are getting around the rules...

Seen it almost every trip I've done to the BWCA. Groups like this are the specific reason the verbiage: Nine people and four watercraft are the maximum allowed together in the wilderness. You may not exceed the limit as a group at any time or anywhere (on water, portages and campsites) in the BWCAW...was added to the rules.

Would easily be fined if/when the FS see's them but not enough enforcement.

Church groups, Teen groups, large families, sometimes boy scouts do this: To be honest this used to be more common it isn't a new problem probably just more visual since the BWCAW is busier.

T
 
Porkeater
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06/15/2021 11:49AM  
mschi772: "


I'd happily send a satellite text message to the USFS if they have a number or email they check often enough to be able to act realistically quickly on."


Practically speaking, even if you could get a message to the right person, I can't imagine the FS dispatching any sort of emergent response to something like this, and the odds a ranger being in the immediate area are pretty low.

I do like the idea of getting photos of their canoe ID and submitting that. It seems more likely to get follow up.
 
mschi772
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06/15/2021 04:23PM  
Porkeater: "mschi772: "



I'd happily send a satellite text message to the USFS if they have a number or email they check often enough to be able to act realistically quickly on."



Practically speaking, even if you could get a message to the right person, I can't imagine the FS dispatching any sort of emergent response to something like this, and the odds a ranger being in the immediate area are pretty low.


I do like the idea of getting photos of their canoe ID and submitting that. It seems more likely to get follow up. "


Totally understand. Concerns keep circling back to the fact that there just aren't enough enforcers out there. I doubt they'd ever have enough out there to be able to respond anywhere to anything at any time--nor would ANYONE want *that* many patrolling around--but it would be nice for them to have enough enforcers out and about that they'd at least be more common to cross paths with than a moose or bear.

I'd totally understand also sharing info on a violation and them not being able to respond, but I'd still share the info because maybe they *could* respond. Regarding canoe ID, not all canoes in the BWCA display identifiers. I'm from WI, so my canoe has nothing on it, and I imagine that there are many from WI or other areas without such requirements.
 
mjmkjun
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06/15/2021 05:34PM  
Clearly, they are going to Parks & Recreation location instead of a protected wilderness area.
 
lindylair
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06/15/2021 08:12PM  
If the last 3 letters of the OP were WTF, then I have a post for you.

Heading out from Snipe Lake late May towards Cross Bay. We double portaged and got to the end of the portage only to find a group just pulling up. Ok, not a problem .But...this group is the classic OMG are you kidding me totally unprepared and overmatched group you could possibly find.

Canoe 1 came across the portage while we were heading out and it was a young couple with their act together, came back for their packs and they were done. But their travelling partners were a family of 4, kids in shorts t shirts and flip flops maybe 4-5 years old. They had two of the biggest packs ever known to mankind, the equipment pack was 65 to 70 pounds and the big dude who thinks hes the trip leader bragged about the food pack weighing 80 pounds. Because they were making absolutely no progress I started to help them unload and I can attest to the weight of the packs, whoa way heavy. I took the food pack from big guy and brought it over to a safe spot and it was all of 80 pounds, barely made it.

then for the next 5 minutes they started to throw out all of the loose items in the canoe...unbelievable. Huge pile and finally at the end of this the big guy bragged about how they had 6 lbs of steak for tonights dinner and pulls up, as a trophy, a plastic HyVee bag with the ribeyes steaks in it.

Then big guy starts to talk about how great his canoe is, but unfortunately it weighs 80 lbs. He tried to get it up on his shoulders and damn near fell in the lake. I helped him get it on and he took off, after about 20-25 minutes. The kids took their life jackets and a couple loose items but here was still a big pile of loose stuff. Big guy's wife tried to get the food pack on but wasn't even close to successful, pretty much fell over so I helped her get it on but it was a LOAD. She commented on how she had had surgery not too long ago and didn't have her full strength - are you kidding me? The start of the portage was a short moderate incline and she took 5 minutes to get up there with several stops - I feared chaos and possibly injury on this trip.

They were heading to Long Island Lake which was still several hours at best away, probably much more the way they were travelling and it was after noon when we encountered them. We told them about several campsite options closer because we didn't have much hope for them reaching LIL, hopefully they took our advice.

I have never run into a nightmare group like this that delayed our progress by 30 minutes or so. We tried to be patient, helped out where we could and gave a few pieces of advice. They were nice people, just totally clueless and overmatched - I hope they had a great trip and nobody got hurt. It was frustrating for us to sit and wait while people without a clue clogged up the portage entry and it never even occurred to them to get out of the way. But whatever, we waited it out and it all worked out. If they ever intend to return , I hope they learned SEVERAL important lessons on what to do...and what not to do.
 
jhb8426
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06/16/2021 12:28AM  
thegildedgopher: "I've never been asked to watch the video when picking up a day use permit, 2 different outfitters gunflint side and 1 in Ely."

Those are usually self issued at the entry point. Never saw one issued by an outfitter.
 
santacruz
member (8)member
 
06/16/2021 05:48AM  
It is sad what is happening in canoe country. Understaffed enforcement and a permit system that just is not working. The availability of space versus the number of people is not working, and until they address this , the KOA of the northland will continue.
 
mjmkjun
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06/16/2021 10:46AM  
marrowoflife: "The lack of camping gear is confusing... but I'm fairly certain this is site 1820, an absolutely gorgeous island site, with incredible sunset views over the water (the camping areas are fairly far set back which could explain the gear). I doubt they are day trippers being all the way up in Boulder Bay. But if I had to guess they probably took this site because there is a well traversed trail connecting it to the site next door, 1821. So theoretically two parties could snatch both sites and then socialize (evidently breaking the 9 person limit in the process)."
Excellent insight!
 
yogi59weedr
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06/16/2021 10:51AM  
Geez.
Look at the guy on the right. He's even got an American flag to display at his campsite.
Where are the police when you need them.
 
treehorn
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06/16/2021 11:11AM  
Probably 2 separate groups that wanted to meet up for a "happy hour" or some camaraderie one afternoon while they knew they were both camping on the same lake.

Not legal, not cool, but maybe not as nefarious as some make it out to be.
 
thegildedgopher
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06/16/2021 11:34AM  
jhb8426: "thegildedgopher: "I've never been asked to watch the video when picking up a day use permit, 2 different outfitters gunflint side and 1 in Ely."


Those are usually self issued at the entry point. Never saw one issued by an outfitter."


Sorry, I should have been more specific -- day use MOTOR permit, which have to be picked up at the outfitter/ranger station, and signed for. You have to read and initial 14 bullet points on LNT stuff. I've watched the videos on my own as wel, but the outfitters haven't made me watch it or asked about it.
 
thegildedgopher
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06/16/2021 11:37AM  
yogi59weedr: "Geez.
Look at the guy on the right. He's even got an American flag to display at his campsite.
Where are the police when you need them."


Dispatch, we've got a 1776 in progress on Boulder Bay, all units respond!
 
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