BWCA It’s been five years, what’s changed? Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
Chat Rooms (0 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Trip Planning Forum
      It’s been five years, what’s changed?     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

YaMarVa
distinguished member(882)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/07/2021 12:49PM  
Well, I decided to make this post anyway, even though my 8/30 trip was canceled due to the recent BWCA closure and I ended up trout fishing in Montana instead. This was supposed to be my first trip back to the BWCA after a five year hiatus. Previously, I annually made about three trips a year since 2001. My question was going to be, what’s changed and what should I know after being out of the canoe wilderness for a half decade?

Michael Furtman has always been my inspiration, but his book was written over 30 years ago and the world has changed mightily, especially in the last five years.
 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
09/07/2021 01:22PM  
The permit lottery was eliminated.

The number of visitors decreased each year from 2016 through 2019 and then increased by 16% in 2020 compared to 2019 (source: BWCAW Superior Nat'l Forest Permit and Visitor Use Report 2016-2020, page 3).

The number of visitors may be as high or higher in 2021 compared to 2020.
YaMarVa
distinguished member(882)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/08/2021 06:45AM  
Ausable: "The permit lottery was eliminated.


The number of visitors decreased each year from 2016 through 2019 and then increased by 16% in 2020 compared to 2019 (source: BWCAW Superior Nat'l Forest Permit and Visitor Use Report 2016-2020, page 3).


The number of visitors may be as high or higher in 2021 compared to 2020."


I am this statistic!
After 20+ trips I had a hard stop on my trips in 2017. My reason was changing interests and a growing family. I also got a little worn by the recent expansion of social media and it’s soliciting of quiet, wild places. I no longer wanted to be part of the problem. This last year I realized that this was a stupid position and that I should focus on my own interests and not the concerns of others. I was very excited to get back to the place that made my identity for almost 15 years.

Are there any reasons why the decline from 2016-19?
09/08/2021 08:54AM  
The 2016-2019 trend was not unusual. The report that I have for 2009-2015 showed similar year over year declines. The exceptions were an upward tick in visitors in 2015 and 2016. The later report included a breakdown in visitor age groups for 2016-2018: adults (age 18 and older) decreased slightly, youth decreased slightly, senior pass holders increased slightly.
09/08/2021 09:49AM  
Hey YaMar, welcome back! I completely get your sentiment about not wanting to contribute to a problem and removing yourself from the equation, but it sucks that the equation was the wilderness. It's good you re-evaluated your situation and was able to find some space for quiet places.

I think technology in the wilderness is a losing battle, but that doesn't mean solitude and quiet cannot still be easily found or preserved. The good news is many still do not venture more than a couple lakes or portages in, and then you tend to be around others who are looking for the same things as you.

I hope that there's a conversion rate in some of the newbies that have been coming in the past 18 months into regular visitors. Downwards trends in visitors certainly make it more likely to find the quiet and solitude, but too few coming in will make the powers that be question if the need still exists. I trust that of the ones who choose to come back, they're of similar mind and will try to introduce others to this place that we cherish.

See you on the water sometime!
09/08/2021 10:41AM  
Lakes are still wet. Trees are still green. Rocks are still hard
cyclones30
distinguished member(3895)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/08/2021 01:06PM  
Blatz: "Lakes are still wet. Trees are still green. Rocks are still hard"

Yep....in 5 years not much has changed when it comes to that stuff. Other than if you find some of the fresh burns from this year which aren't many luckily yet.

But I'd say 98% is the same as 5 years ago. Still canoes, still paddles and portages. Campsites marked are the same save for one or two
YaMarVa
distinguished member(882)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/08/2021 01:34PM  
So has the tent pad debate been settled?

Is the BWCA a park yet?

Is Mooseplums still around?

Can you get cell service on Fall Lake now?

This is the important info I seek!
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2872)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/08/2021 05:39PM  
No, No, Yes, Dunno...but some are getting cell service out in places not able to connect 5 yrs ago.

It's odd you made such a sacrifice. Perhaps noble too--but it's sad you denied yourself this gift. Glad you are back on track to renew your spirit.
YaMarVa
distinguished member(882)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/08/2021 05:51PM  
mjmkjun: "No, No, Yes, Dunno...but some are getting cell service out in places not able to connect 5 yrs ago.

It's odd you made such a sacrifice. Perhaps noble too--but it's sad you denied yourself this gift. Glad you are back on track to renew your spirit. "


It wasn’t such an obvious, deliberate choice at the time. Not noble, more like needing something new. I only realized it after sometime had past.
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2872)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/09/2021 04:06AM  
YaMarVa: "mjmkjun: "No, No, Yes, Dunno...but some are getting cell service out in places not able to connect 5 yrs ago.


It's odd you made such a sacrifice. Perhaps noble too--but it's sad you denied yourself this gift. Glad you are back on track to renew your spirit. "



It wasn’t such an obvious, deliberate choice at the time. Not noble, more like needing something new. I only realized it after sometime had past. "


Awww.
Hey, did jackrabbit ever throw you? If so did you land safely, dust yourself off and got back on the saddle?
This is the important info I seek!
YaMarVa
distinguished member(882)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/09/2021 06:15AM  
mjmkjun: "YaMarVa: "mjmkjun: "No, No, Yes, Dunno...but some are getting cell service out in places not able to connect 5 yrs ago.



It's odd you made such a sacrifice. Perhaps noble too--but it's sad you denied yourself this gift. Glad you are back on track to renew your spirit. "




It wasn’t such an obvious, deliberate choice at the time. Not noble, more like needing something new. I only realized it after sometime had past. "



Awww.
Hey, did jackrabbit ever throw you? If so did you land safely, dust yourself off and got back on the saddle?
This is the important info I seek!"


Haha, I’ve rode that jackalope a few times and don’t have too many scars to show for it. If you’re ever in Dubois take the ride!
PeaceFrog
distinguished member (324)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
09/09/2021 07:39AM  
YaMarVa: "Well, I decided to make this post anyway, even though my 8/30 trip was canceled due to the recent BWCA closure and I ended up trout fishing in Montana instead. This was supposed to be my first trip back to the BWCA after a five year hiatus. Previously, I annually made about three trips a year since 2001. My question was going to be, what’s changed and what should I know after being out of the canoe wilderness for a half decade?

Michael Furtman has always been my inspiration, but his book was written over 30 years ago and the world has changed mightily, especially in the last five years.
"


Don't get discouraged. I'm with you. My last trip was 7 years ago and I am so amped about my June 2022 trip I can taste it. My need to be tripping in the BW is so strong; down to my core. No more gaps between trips for me anymore. I'm not getting younger and neither is my buddy who will be a newbie next June. Change in the wilderness is slow (except with fire), It is us that has changed. Happy planning.
Best
09/09/2021 07:50AM  
Ausable: "...senior pass holders..."

Is their a discount on fees for Senior Pass holders?
09/09/2021 09:35AM  
bobbernumber3: "Ausable: "...senior pass holders..."

Is their a discount on fees for Senior Pass holders?"

Yes, the discount is half of the standard adult fee. You have to show the senior pass(es) when you pick up the permit to receive the discount. You may not see the total discount when you reserve the permit on recreation.gov if the total reservation fee is less than the minimum fee required, but you will receive a refund after picking up the permit.
09/10/2021 08:21PM  
YaMarVa: "So has the tent pad debate been settled?


Is the BWCA a park yet?


Is Mooseplums still around?


Can you get cell service on Fall Lake now?


This is the important info I seek!"


Yes, I'm here from time to time
Welcome back...time to get back into the woods!
 
Reply    Reply with Quote    Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Trip Planning Sponsor:
Sawbill Canoe Outfitters