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Savage Voyageur
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01/21/2022 08:42AM  
Here’s an article about the resent permit reduction changes.

Outfitters Upset
 
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billconner
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01/21/2022 09:12AM  
Interesting. First I heard of increase of rangers in the park. Not sure it's enough but almost double is a good start.

I wonder if the changes will reduce visitors or just spread them out to other less used EPs and perhaps earlier and later.
 
schweady
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01/21/2022 11:06AM  
billconner: "Interesting. First I heard of increase of rangers in the park. Not sure it's enough but almost double is a good start."
"The increase will place 21 rangers in the wilderness this year compared to 11 in 2020." Double is good, but it still seems minuscule for an area with 65 or so entry points.
 
01/21/2022 12:22PM  
schweady: "billconner: "Interesting. First I heard of increase of rangers in the park. Not sure it's enough but almost double is a good start."
"The increase will place 21 rangers in the wilderness this year compared to 11 in 2020." Double is good, but it still seems minuscule for an area with 65 or so entry points.
"


That is a good move, and never thought they culd get the money for such a increase.

Just a thought,all permits are for unlimited days, maybe a certain percent should be limited days?

Of all area that needed reduction it was Moose lake, I do't think there was any there?

I hope the plan is flexible and can be reviewed quite often.
 
Gaidin53
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01/21/2022 01:00PM  
Moose should have taken a hit of at least 2 permits a day. Snowbank should have taken a hit of at least 1 I’d say.

I’m not a fan of limiting trip time so I wouldn’t be for that. Most people are do8 g shorter trips. I don’t think it’s longer trippers that are creating the issues.

Ryan
 
01/21/2022 01:25PM  
Gaidin53: "Moose should have taken a hit of at least 2 permits a day. Snowbank should have taken a hit of at least 1 I’d say.


I’m not a fan of limiting trip time so I wouldn’t be for that. Most people are do8 g shorter trips. I don’t think it’s longer trippers that are creating the issues.


Ryan"
I just threw that out for thought> Also some suggest a nightly fee for each night spent there. ThaI really don't think I would like,but maybe a one time bump in prices say after 3 nights. Problem is we don't really want to make it more complicated than it is now.

I will say overall compared to 30 plus years ago a very high percentage of the people do much better than the past. Way back in the late 60's it was common to find a pile of cans or jars thrown behind the camp.
 
MikeinMpls
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01/21/2022 02:37PM  
More rangers is a nice start. I'd like to see 50, but 21 is better than 11.

I have some questions about rangers. Does anyone know if the "seasonal rangers" are the volunteer type, or USFS employed rangers? Would it make a difference? I assume full-time rangers have more authority than volunteer rangers. Do USFS rangers have the authority to level fines, kick people out, etc? How is or can be a party with no permit be sanctioned?

I'm thinking back to Michael Furtman's book "A Season in the Wilderness." With his wife, they spent the summer as volunteer rangers based near LBF. I know the USFS was looking for volunteer BWCA rangers this year, too. I'm wondering what a volunteer ranger could do to help with the problems.

Just thinking aloud.

Mike
 
Gaidin53
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01/21/2022 03:04PM  
They absolutely need to be able to level some fines and force those that they catch without permits out of the park. I’m saying a clear violator not someone Who accidentally ruined it. I forgot I put mine in a leg pocket on my first trip when they handed it to me at Northern tier that morning. Need to put it in my map case but forgot with everything going on. I had an absolutely completely wet permit. That evening at our first camp. We dried it out and eventually what was left when in the map case as proof.

Yeah they need to be able to enforce! Level fines! People that break the rules won’t change or adhere if it doesn’t hurt them in some way!

Ryan
 
01/21/2022 03:31PM  
Pinetree: "

Just a thought,all permits are for unlimited days, maybe a certain percent should be limited days?




I do think there is potential that longer than normal trips are having an effect on campsite availability. We went through a stretch where many people had extended time off from work, had an extra $600 a week, and had nothing they needed to be back for. Weddings, softball games, etc were all canceled. Canada was closed, and they were less inclined to travel abroad. It created a perfect storm for not only increased demand on the boundary waters, but increase in length of stays.

I have no proof of that, but lets just take an example.

Lets say you had a route like LIS N, which allowed 6 groups a day ( I think it's 4 now).

In example 1, lets say every day is completely booked from day 1, and everyone is staying 5 days.

Day 1. 6 groups enter. 6 total groups in the area.
Day 2. 6 groups enter. 12 total in the area.
Day 3 . 6/18
Day 4 6/24
Day 5 6 enter, 6 leave, so we level out at demand for campsites at 24 in that general area. I realize some have dispersed far away, but just bear with me.

Example 2, lets say every day is completely booked from day 1, however everyone is staying 10 days.

day 5, 6 enter. 30 groups total in the area.
day 6, 6 /36
day 7, 6/42
day 8, 6 /48
day 9, 6/54
day 10, 6 groups enter, and 6 leave, so we flatten out at 54 groups using campsites in that area.

We went from 24 to 54, because everyone stayed 10 days instead of 5, and we didn't change the number of entries. We just changed how long people stayed.

I read a number of trips where people stayed 14 days. Some guys even talked about 28 day trips. While not everyone extended their trips, I do think many did. I don't think there's any question it increased the demand for campsites.

I went on a moose, ensign, jordan, frasier, kek, vera loop last year in mid june, and I can tell you it was very crowded. We left Kek heading north mid trip, it was 730 am, and there were 3 groups ahead of us, already at the portage. We ended up paddling all the way out (14 hour day). We saw 1 campsite available from Kek to Ensign. ONE. It was the one most west on Vera. There were a few available on Ensign near the vera portage, but we made the mistake of thinking we'd grab something in the narrows of Ensign. They were all full. Like 15 straight campsites on Ensign were taken.

Having said all that, I don't want to see restrictions on length. I think that will settle down. I think it was just a situation where the govt was handing out stimulus, and alot of people who don't normally go to the bwca, had money to go, and many who would normally go somewhere else (like the Quetico), couldn't. I think it will somewhat return to normal in another year or two. People couldn't even go to Twins games in 2020. It'll mellow.
 
01/21/2022 04:00PM  
I wonder if the data is out their on trip length over the years if it has changed>

One thing which is a good thing I think more entire families are going. I wonder becaus lot of young kids, many do not go into the BWCA to far.

People overall are getting outdoors now. years ago some state parks were almost void of people. Now reservations are filling the entire park many moths ahead of time.
Seen a tremendous amount of ice fishing in the winter now also.
 
pswith5
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01/21/2022 05:49PM  
I thought they said there would be no math!
 
pswith5
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01/21/2022 05:51PM  
Bottom line... many of these changes (in moderation) should have a positive effect. People that are passionate about using the wilderness will understand this. I, for one, am not too concerned about giving Rangers-or volunteers too much power. If I am obeying the rules I don't have to worry. I know someone who said " common sense isn't common" but I don't believe that. If your doing something wrong you probably know it. Pay a little more? Ok. Let a few less people in? Ok I will just have to plan better.
 
01/21/2022 06:04PM  
MikeinMpls: "More rangers is a nice start. I'd like to see 50, but 21 is better than 11.


I have some questions about rangers. Does anyone know if the "seasonal rangers" are the volunteer type, or USFS employed rangers? Would it make a difference? I assume full-time rangers have more authority than volunteer rangers. Do USFS rangers have the authority to level fines, kick people out, etc? How is or can be a party with no permit be sanctioned?
Mike"


Mike, this is a little out of my pay grade since it has been 18 years since I worked for the Superior NF. I will try to dig into the cobwebs of my memory.

Generally there are two types of Law Enforcement Officers working for the USFS.
Level 1 and Level 2.
Level 1 LEO's have the authority to arrest and detain a person, enforce state laws and carry a firearm, level 2's do not have this authority. Level 2 LEO's are what people mostly encounter in the BWCA, they are called FPO's (Forest Protection Officers), and enforce regulations like entering the BWCA without a permit, having a fire during a fire ban. FPO's do not have authority to write tickets for MN state fishing violations and such. I had two FPO's working on my fire engine when I was stationed at Isabella.

Many of the FPO's are seasonal, I would doubt there are very many volunteers with FPO authority. Probably a good mix would be to have one FPO, ranger in a canoe with one volunteer, this would expand the Level 2 FPO's rangers coverage area.

Link, Ranger Rick and FPO for the USFS.
 
01/21/2022 06:40PM  
Decades ago I know like Mn. Fisheries staff didn't have authority to write a ticket but had the authority to issue some type of violation to the guilty party,then was it handed of to Conservation officers. As laws got more complex MN DNR stopped that.
 
tumblehome
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01/21/2022 09:31PM  
billconner: "Interesting. First I heard of increase of rangers in the park. t”

Bill, with a bear claw you are doing an intentional disservice to the novice forum reader and wilderness camper. Is your paddle an oar?

Calling a wilderness a park is not just semantics. I know you live far away from the BWCA but I can tell you with certainty that Minnesotans do not call it a park. None of us.

Tom
 
santacruz
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01/22/2022 07:32AM  
I agree with the Forest Service decision, step in the right direction for thinning out the herd. I still fail to see why more campsites cannot be built in the BWCA?
 
01/22/2022 09:23AM  
santacruz: "I agree with the Forest Service decision, step in the right direction for thinning out the herd. I still fail to see why more campsites cannot be built in the BWCA?"much the same reason permits were cut. Protect the BWCA and keep as pristine as possible or minimum people contact.

Start putting more campsites in, you won,t have any shoreline or areas to paddle along without seeing people. Also, it's nice fishing areas without fishing in front of someone else's campsite.
 
TreeBear
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01/22/2022 09:47AM  
Pinetree: "santacruz: "I agree with the Forest Service decision, step in the right direction for thinning out the herd. I still fail to see why more campsites cannot be built in the BWCA?"much the same reason permits were cut. Protect the BWCA and keep as pristine as possible or minimum people contact.


Start putting more campsites in, you won,t have any shoreline or areas to paddle along without seeing people. Also, it's nice fishing areas without fishing in front of someone else's campsite."


Yep, and it should be reiterated there are more than enough campsites for nearly 10 days worth of permits, but it's about how to force groups to disperse enough to use all the sites. To a point, if every site on a lake fills up, it fulfills that purpose. If the sites fill then people should move on to the next lake, but that doesn't always work. Besides, some of the entry lakes have already exceeded their quota of decent campsite spots. Lakes like Perent, Polly, or truly most of the numbers chain comes to mind. Sure you might be able to squeeze another site in here or there, but would it be a site someone would want to stay at? And, at some point, it's just time to push groups on to the next lake.

But there is a legitimate discussion about adding campsites to areas that don't have them. For instance, why aren't there campsites between Brant and Bat? That's a busy enough area and that stretch is a haul late in the day. There are plenty of route sections like this where the "just push the traffic to the next lake" breaks down. A lot of groups looking for a campsite are going to choose sleeping on a portage over going 3,4, or 5 more portages to get to a campsite. And that's a problem I don't have a great answer for, but I think the answer is likely similar to the discussion about PMA's. When the PMA's were created, a whole slew of portages and campsites were closed to make way for it. One staring at the boundary waters today with concerns about people dispersal may think "well, more routes would mean more people dispersal, wouldn't it? But the general consensus is that the majority of groups are always going to stick to the easiest routes and the most popular routes. The same people that were happy enough to go down a few tough portages to get to a more remote campsite (what a lot of the PMA routes were) are the same people that are willing to go further for a campsite. And even if we had those alternate routes with alternate campsites, one tough portage or an extra half mile is often enough to make people not consider it. As for me, the wilderness is what it is. As much "wild" as we can try to leave in it, the better.
 
01/22/2022 10:05AM  
Do FPO's camp overnight in the bwca when they're working?
 
01/22/2022 10:17AM  
analyzer: "Do FPO's camp overnight in the bwca when they're working? "Depends on how far they're in the BWCA. Often the answer is yes.
 
bottomtothetap
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01/22/2022 10:41AM  
Savage Voyageur: "Here’s an article about the resent permit reduction changes. Outfitters Upset "

Did you mean "recent" permit reduction or are you comenting about what the quoted outfitters think of these changes? :)
 
Savage Voyageur
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01/22/2022 11:24AM  
bottomtothetap: "Savage Voyageur: "Here’s an article about the resent permit reduction changes. Outfitters Upset "


Did you mean "recent" permit reduction or are you comenting about what the quoted outfitters think of these changes? :)"


Yah the article says they are pretty upset at the recent permit quota reductions. Why didn’t the Forest Service at least have a zoom meeting with the outfitters at the end of the season to get their input? I would think the outfitters would have some great advice. Outfitters talk to their customers after the trip and get a feel of what’s going on. Most outfitters I’ve talked to know the area like it was their back yard.

To the question of do the rangers stay in the BWCA, I’ve talked to many of the rangers that have stopped by. I ask where they are staying and they usually say close by for 1-2 weeks at the same site.
 
santacruz
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01/22/2022 11:46AM  
TreeBear: "Pinetree: "santacruz: "I agree with the Forest Service decision, step in the right direction for thinning out the herd. I still fail to see why more campsites cannot be built in the BWCA?"much the same reason permits were cut. Protect the BWCA and keep as pristine as possible or minimum people contact.



Start putting more campsites in, you won,t have any shoreline or areas to paddle along without seeing people. Also, it's nice fishing areas without fishing in front of someone else's campsite."



Yep, and it should be reiterated there are more than enough campsites for nearly 10 days worth of permits, but it's about how to force groups to disperse enough to use all the sites. To a point, if every site on a lake fills up, it fulfills that purpose. If the sites fill then people should move on to the next lake, but that doesn't always work. Besides, some of the entry lakes have already exceeded their quota of decent campsite spots. Lakes like Perent, Polly, or truly most of the numbers chain comes to mind. Sure you might be able to squeeze another site in here or there, but would it be a site someone would want to stay at? And, at some point, it's just time to push groups on to the next lake.

But there is a legitimate discussion about adding campsites to areas that don't have them. For instance, why aren't there campsites between Brant and Bat? That's a busy enough area and that stretch is a haul late in the day. There are plenty of route sections like this where the "just push the traffic to the next lake" breaks down. A lot of groups looking for a campsite are going to choose sleeping on a portage over going 3,4, or 5 more portages to get to a campsite. And that's a problem I don't have a great answer for, but I think the answer is likely similar to the discussion about PMA's. When the PMA's were created, a whole slew of portages and campsites were closed to make way for it. One staring at the boundary waters today with concerns about people dispersal may think "well, more routes would mean more people dispersal, wouldn't it? But the general consensus is that the majority of groups are always going to stick to the easiest routes and the most popular routes. The same people that were happy enough to go down a few tough portages to get to a more remote campsite (what a lot of the PMA routes were) are the same people that are willing to go further for a campsite. And even if we had those alternate routes with alternate campsites, one tough portage or an extra half mile is often enough to make people not consider it. As for me, the wilderness is what it is. As much "wild" as we can try to leave in it, the better."

Yes, it is nice to have as much quiet as possible, paddling the BWCA for over 40 years, I have been by many shorelines from west to east, where a few more campsites would work, it's big country up there.
 
01/22/2022 12:03PM  
Back in the 60's they use to close certain campsites to let them heal and get like grass to grow etc.. Then and now some sites are just dirt.

Whatever is done will not please everyone.

 
01/22/2022 02:10PM  
There's been lots of discussion on this and other threads about groups taking longer trips. With a reduction in permits, but extended trip length, shouldn't the outfitters come out about even?

TZ
 
01/22/2022 02:42PM  
Pinetree: "analyzer: "Do FPO's camp overnight in the bwca when they're working? "Depends on how far they're in the BWCA. Often the answer is yes." Yes, usually. The seasonal FPO's work a 10 days on 4 days off schedule most/all of the time.
 
yellowhorse
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01/22/2022 05:54PM  
Am I the only one who thinks doubling the rangers might have future negative consequences? I recall a ranger falling our camp around on a sheep hunt in AK. . He literally followed us around for 10 days and practically ruined the trip. I'd rather further restrict usage to more naturally reduce the wear and tear but not confident how much of a problem we're trying to fix. (My 2021 trip was similar to any other season so no negative experiences to relate)
 
Savage Voyageur
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01/22/2022 09:02PM  
yellowhorse: "Am I the only one who thinks doubling the rangers might have future negative consequences? I recall a ranger falling our camp around on a sheep hunt in AK. . He literally followed us around for 10 days and practically ruined the trip. I'd rather further restrict usage to more naturally reduce the wear and tear but not confident how much of a problem we're trying to fix. (My 2021 trip was similar to any other season so no negative experiences to relate)"

The rangers do a lot more than follow people around in canoes. They do trail maintenance, dig latrines, set fire grates, clean up messy campsites, and a few hundred other things. The number of rangers has been too few for many years.
 
01/22/2022 09:45PM  
Savage Voyageur: "yellowhorse: "Am I the only one who thinks doubling the rangers might have future negative consequences? I recall a ranger falling our camp around on a sheep hunt in AK. . He literally followed us around for 10 days and practically ruined the trip. I'd rather further restrict usage to more naturally reduce the wear and tear but not confident how much of a problem we're trying to fix. (My 2021 trip was similar to any other season so no negative experiences to relate)"


The rangers do a lot more than follow people around in canoes. They do trail maintenance, dig latrines, set fire grates, clean up messy campsites, and a few hundred other things. The number of rangers has been too few for many years. "


You aren’t probably the only one, but you would be in the minority. There is no way a ranger would follow you around like that in the BWCAW. They cover a lot of territory out of necessity and as SV stated they have way too much to do just focus on one group.

T
 
Hammertime
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01/22/2022 11:56PM  
Savage Voyageur: " The rangers do a lot more than follow people around in canoes. They do trail maintenance, dig latrines, set fire grates, clean up messy campsites, and a few hundred other things. The number of rangers has been too few for many years. "

There were rangers digging us a fresh latrine at our campsite last year. That certainly made the rest of our time there a treat.

Based on the fact that these kids were barely (if at all) out of college I would guess they were the volunteer type? I handed them our permit without being asked, he took down some info, we BSed for 5 minutes and they left us alone. We were out fishing before they finished digging the latrine and they were gone when we came back. He did mention they were camped on the next lake over.

 
01/23/2022 07:43AM  
yellowhorse: "Am I the only one who thinks doubling the rangers might have future negative consequences? I recall a ranger falling our camp around on a sheep hunt in AK. . He literally followed us around for 10 days and practically ruined the trip. I'd rather further restrict usage to more naturally reduce the wear and tear but not confident how much of a problem we're trying to fix. (My 2021 trip was similar to any other season so no negative experiences to relate)"
Maybe he was lonely and needed the company! lol
I've never had any issues with rangers at the bdub.
 
timr
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01/23/2022 10:23AM  
First time on the site for awhile and I just wanted to weigh in on the permit reduction issue.

First off, if I was an outfitter, I would be upset. Every outfitter I've ever met has been extremely dedicated to conserving, preserving and educating people about the wilderness. They work long, hard hours to make their business successful, while assisting people who are trying to experience the awesome wilderness resource we have available to us. By reducing the permit quotas, it seems that the outfitters are being punished. For what? Working their tails off? Come on.

I'm thinking about what the effects the permit reduction could have long term. The last two years have been an anomaly as far as the BWCA is concerned. Way more paddlers than usual. How is this not a good thing? We get a number of campers who don't respect the wilderness, but what about the newbies that are spending their first days in the BWCA, soaking it in and developing a love for a place they never knew existed? I would bet that the number of good, respectful new paddlers far outweighs the bad apples. So in my opinion, reducing the permits is like telling people they are not welcome.

I would rather make permit applicants display a fuller understanding of what their responsibility actually is, and then make them accountable if they don't follow the rules. All in all, more people using and enjoying the BWCA should be the goal. This will help garner more support for the resource and keep our outfitters in business!
 
thistlekicker
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01/23/2022 11:26AM  
Hot take: outfitter profitability shouldn't be a primary goal when it comes to managing public lands
 
PineKnot
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01/23/2022 11:34AM  
On my first trip back into the BWCA in summer 2020 after a 10+ year hiatus, I looped in/out off the Gunflint. After almost 2 weeks watching loads of paddlers and sometimes struggling to find decent campsites, I returned to my entry point area and could not find any unoccupied campsites. So I came out a day early. Talked to the outfitter who said they were hearing from a lot of paddlers with similar experiences. The outfitter asked me to contact USFS to ask them to consider reducing quotas. So I did. Interesting to hear some are now upset at the reductions, or at least for being left out of the process.

I don't know the "best" plan to balance the needs of the wilderness with that of the outfitters and the public. But it seems to me that there is a need for more monitoring and enforcement, esp near the EPs, as well as better education for paddlers, esp newbies. And all of this will require substantially more $$.

So, who's willing to pay and how much?

 
01/23/2022 12:28PM  
PineKnot: "The outfitter asked me to contact USFS to ask them to consider reducing quotas. So I did. "

That IS interesting!
 
timr
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01/23/2022 07:12PM  
thistlekicker: "Hot take: outfitter profitability shouldn't be a primary goal when it comes to managing public lands"

I certainly agree with that sentiment. My point is that the overcrowding of the last couple of years will probably not be long term. I'm guessing that a lot of first timers won't be back. It just seems to me like a knee jerk reaction to an unusual situation.

All I'm saying is that the outfitters are paying the price. What happens if they lose their business? Will someone take their place or will it fall by the wayside? Will interest in the BWCA decline?

I'm very concerned about the impact that overuse (or should I say abuse) has on the wilderness. But a few trashy campsites are not going to destroy the resource. Copper mining is what will destroy the resource. That's why I say the more the better. More paddlers that will be stewards of the resource, keep the traditions alive and fiercely protect it. The bad apples will be weeded out and a new generation of paddlers will (hopefully) enjoy the BWCA for years to come.
 
billconner
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01/24/2022 05:23AM  
It seems even with permit reductions, outfitters will still have more business than 2 years ago. I suppose it will slow the increases.
 
01/24/2022 07:32AM  
The article was interesting.

The outfitters put out many options that we have discussed on hear, such as more enforcement and higher fees.

In my opinion the reduced quotas will have no affect on crowding. Not finding a spot on entry lakes has been an issue for 20 years in my experience. I always plan that last night might be me leaving early because I couldn’t find anything at the entry. My first day I usually go 10-20 miles in and never have an issue finding a site because I know most likely there won’t be much available in the entry lakes.

The issue is more and more groups are doing shorter trips, not going in very deep, compounded with more people. There is no issue with finding sites in the interior for the most part. For example, if you want to get a site on Dissappointment Lake…that’s been an issue since the 90’s. It isn’t new to 2020/2021?

I switched most of my trips to The Q instead going to the BWCAW in 2003 due to the crowds. The “find a camp site by noon” routine has no appeal to me. I go to get away from schedules. Not follow a rigid one and worry about campsites.

I wish I had a good answer…I guess I just ranted…but feel better :)
 
mjmkjun
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01/24/2022 09:13AM  
thistlekicker: "Hot take: outfitter profitability shouldn't be a primary goal when it comes to managing public lands"
Thumbs Up!
 
dkraker
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01/24/2022 09:36AM  
Hi all,
I'm a reporter with Minnesota Public Radio News based in Duluth - I'm doing a story that's going to air Wednesday morning (in advance of reservations becoming available), with more reaction to the permit reductions. I'm talking to outfitters, and the FS, but I'm also hoping to get a few perspectives from paddlers for the story.
If you'd be interested in sharing your perspective on the permit reductions, let me know at dkraker@mpr.org, or 218-343-3178. I'd need to do this Monday evening or Tuesday morning.
Thanks!
Dan Kraker
 
uqme2
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01/24/2022 12:40PM  
So, when it airs could you please offer a link here to the audio or a transcript.

TIA!

I've always loved to watch the push-pull between Capitalism and Socialism re: the BW/Q.
 
dkraker
member (5)member
 
01/24/2022 03:52PM  
Happy to! Still hoping a couple paddlers are willing to chat with me :)
 
mgraber
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01/26/2022 01:59AM  
uqme2: "So, when it airs could you please offer a link here to the audio or a transcript.


TIA!


I've always loved to watch the push-pull between Capitalism and Socialism re: the BW/Q."



Not sure I get your point about capitalism and socialism, nether wilderness is profitable. BW loses tons of money every year, and I believe Quetico is run to attempt to break even.
 
billconner
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01/26/2022 07:33AM  
I thought it was you pay for Q but BWCA is paid by taxpayers. You get injured in Q and taxpayers pay your medical costs while in BWCA you are on your own (unless over 65.)
 
01/26/2022 09:22AM  
billconner: "I thought it was you pay for Q but BWCA is paid by taxpayers. You get injured in Q and taxpayers pay your medical costs while in BWCA you are on your own (unless over 65.) "

I think in both areas injuries/extractions are typically free with pay determined by the circumstances. For example there was a family a year or two ago that just decided they had enough, abandoned their canoes and called for a rescue. I believe they were charged eventually or encouraged to pay. If not they should have been. I believe if they were in the Q, the charges would have been higher and would have needed to be paid before being allowed to leave the country. They are a little stricter in the Q, which is not a bad thing. I know someone who was injured and extracted in the BWCAW. It was a serious injury, not something that could not of been avoided they did not have to pay anything.

T
 
uqme2
senior member (85)senior membersenior member
 
01/26/2022 12:13PM  
mgraber: "Not sure I get your point about capitalism and socialism, nether wilderness is profitable. BW loses tons of money every year, and I believe Quetico is run to attempt to break even."
Are you sure? Profitable for whom?

All I know is I had a chat with the then Q Super maybe 10 years ago at Copia. My point was to remind him the cost was getting a little pricey and could be reaching a tipping point. What I was told at the time was Q was a revenue winner and helped support the other less frequented parks. Fair enough.

I also mentioned the cost difference south of the border. His comment about that was interesting to me. It was something like you guys pay for healthcare and we pay for recreation.

It all depends on someone's perspective I guess. Unfortunately, I seem to be stuck paying for both.
 
schweady
distinguished member(7739)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/26/2022 01:07PM  
uqme2: "So, when it airs could you please offer a link here to the audio or a transcript..."
Forest Service slashes BWCA permits to protect wilderness

To hear the story, click 'Listen' under the photo of the dashing young gentleman...
 
billconner
distinguished member(8139)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/26/2022 06:53PM  
timatkn: "billconner: "I thought it was you pay for Q but BWCA is paid by taxpayers. You get injured in Q and taxpayers pay your medical costs while in BWCA you are on your own (unless over 65.) "


I think in both areas injuries/extractions are typically free with pay determined by the circumstances. For example there was a family a year or two ago that just decided they had enough, abandoned their canoes and called for a rescue. I believe they were charged eventually or encouraged to pay. If not they should have been. I believe if they were in the Q, the charges would have been higher and would have needed to be paid before being allowed to leave the country. They are a little stricter in the Q, which is not a bad thing. I know someone who was injured and extracted in the BWCAW. It was a serious injury, not something that could not of been avoided they did not have to pay anything.


T"


Wasnt referring to the evacuation, but the medical costs from providers after evacuation.
 
billconner
distinguished member(8139)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/26/2022 06:53PM  
timatkn: "billconner: "I thought it was you pay for Q but BWCA is paid by taxpayers. You get injured in Q and taxpayers pay your medical costs while in BWCA you are on your own (unless over 65.) "


I think in both areas injuries/extractions are typically free with pay determined by the circumstances. For example there was a family a year or two ago that just decided they had enough, abandoned their canoes and called for a rescue. I believe they were charged eventually or encouraged to pay. If not they should have been. I believe if they were in the Q, the charges would have been higher and would have needed to be paid before being allowed to leave the country. They are a little stricter in the Q, which is not a bad thing. I know someone who was injured and extracted in the BWCAW. It was a serious injury, not something that could not of been avoided they did not have to pay anything.


T"


Wasnt referring to the evacuation, but the medical costs from providers after evacuation.
 
OldScout48
distinguished member (393)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/26/2022 10:02PM  
MikeinMpls: "More rangers is a nice start. I'd like to see 50, but 21 is better than 11.


I have some questions about rangers. Does anyone know if the "seasonal rangers" are the volunteer type, or USFS employed rangers? Would it make a difference? I assume full-time rangers have more authority than volunteer rangers. Do USFS rangers have the authority to level fines, kick people out, etc? How is or can be a party with no permit be sanctioned?


I'm thinking back to Michael Furtman's book "A Season in the Wilderness." With his wife, they spent the summer as volunteer rangers based near LBF. I know the USFS was looking for volunteer BWCA rangers this year, too. I'm wondering what a volunteer ranger could do to help with the problems.


Just thinking aloud.


Mike"


Mike are you thinking of volunteering?
I can just read the headlines "Group of 10 ran out of BWCA by volunteer ranger" He kept saying something about the power vested in me by portage police.
 
carbon1
member (36)member
 
01/27/2022 09:25AM  
uqme2: "mgraber: "Not sure I get your point about capitalism and socialism, nether wilderness is profitable. BW loses tons of money every year, and I believe Quetico is run to attempt to break even."
Are you sure? Profitable for whom?


All I know is I had a chat with the then Q Super maybe 10 years ago at Copia. My point was to remind him the cost was getting a little pricey and could be reaching a tipping point. What I was told at the time was Q was a revenue winner and helped support the other less frequented parks. Fair enough.


I also mentioned the cost difference south of the border. His comment about that was interesting to me. It was something like you guys pay for healthcare and we pay for recreation.


It all depends on someone's perspective I guess. Unfortunately, I seem to be stuck paying for both."


Until one knows the amount of money being taken in.

The way that money is allocated.

It is very hard make a determination if they make a "profit" or not.
 
NotLight
distinguished member(1240)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/27/2022 04:15PM  
Every time I drive south on 169, I imagine Shakopee in 40 years with a population of 450,000.

We lived in good times.
 
01/27/2022 05:05PM  
NotLight: "Every time I drive south on 169, I imagine Shakopee in 40 years with a population of 450,000.


We lived in good times.
"


I remember when Anoka was in the country almost. Separated from the Cities. Doesn't matter where you go human expansion and abundance are accelerating.

That is why the BWCA is so important and will get more important. Just think in 100 years of what won't be developed. Not much.
 
01/27/2022 05:55PM  
Pinetree: "NotLight: "Every time I drive south on 169, I imagine Shakopee in 40 years with a population of 450,000.



We lived in good times.
"



I remember when Anoka was in the country almost. Separated from the Cities. Doesn't matter where you go human expansion and abundance are accelerating.


That is why the BWCA is so important and will get more important. Just think in 100 years of what won't be developed. Not much."


Simple math really, it's called compounding. Think compounding interest. It's a fact of life, literally. Be it bacteria or mammals, populations grow until they don't. Then they recede and eventually they go away entirely. New ones take their place. Not much is ever static. We aren't the first species, and hopefully not the last. Just remember, your future will be someone's or something's past.
 
afromaniac
senior member (58)senior membersenior member
 
01/28/2022 01:25PM  
timr: "thistlekicker: "Hot take: outfitter profitability shouldn't be a primary goal when it comes to managing public lands"


I certainly agree with that sentiment. My point is that the overcrowding of the last couple of years will probably not be long term. I'm guessing that a lot of first timers won't be back. It just seems to me like a knee jerk reaction to an unusual situation.


All I'm saying is that the outfitters are paying the price. What happens if they lose their business? Will someone take their place or will it fall by the wayside? Will interest in the BWCA decline?


I'm very concerned about the impact that overuse (or should I say abuse) has on the wilderness. But a few trashy campsites are not going to destroy the resource. Copper mining is what will destroy the resource. That's why I say the more the better. More paddlers that will be stewards of the resource, keep the traditions alive and fiercely protect it. The bad apples will be weeded out and a new generation of paddlers will (hopefully) enjoy the BWCA for years to come.
"
My issue with this whole line of discussion is that the forest service is not directed to protect businesses that serve the wilderness area, the forest service is there to protect the wilderness itself. The idea that interest in the BWCAW may decline as a result only further assists the USFS in the protection of the wilderness. While i don't think that will happen, if it did, it would be a feature, not a bug.

The outfitters only exist because the BWCAW exists, and making a decision on wilderness use should be made only in the interest of the wilderness. No one is saying a place like Tuscarora Lodge can't charge more to make up the difference. They set up a business model that relied on specific numbers coming through, and now that those are changing, they will need to adapt like any other business. Businesses do this all the time. I'll probably still use their bunkhouse the night before our EP this summer, and if they charged me another $50 on top of the fee from a year ago I don't think our party would bat an eye. I know we have a mix of political ideals here, but the idea that the government should make decisions based on a handful of outfitters (when they've already decided to stop a major mining project) seems like it would be short sighted.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member(1304)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/28/2022 02:06PM  
afromaniac: "timr: "thistlekicker: "Hot take: outfitter profitability shouldn't be a primary goal when it comes to managing public lands"



I certainly agree with that sentiment. My point is that the overcrowding of the last couple of years will probably not be long term. I'm guessing that a lot of first timers won't be back. It just seems to me like a knee jerk reaction to an unusual situation.



All I'm saying is that the outfitters are paying the price. What happens if they lose their business? Will someone take their place or will it fall by the wayside? Will interest in the BWCA decline?



I'm very concerned about the impact that overuse (or should I say abuse) has on the wilderness. But a few trashy campsites are not going to destroy the resource. Copper mining is what will destroy the resource. That's why I say the more the better. More paddlers that will be stewards of the resource, keep the traditions alive and fiercely protect it. The bad apples will be weeded out and a new generation of paddlers will (hopefully) enjoy the BWCA for years to come.
"
My issue with this whole line of discussion is that the forest service is not directed to protect businesses that serve the wilderness area, the forest service is there to protect the wilderness itself. The idea that interest in the BWCAW may decline as a result only further assists the USFS in the protection of the wilderness. While i don't think that will happen, if it did, it would be a feature, not a bug.


The outfitters only exist because the BWCAW exists, and making a decision on wilderness use should be made only in the interest of the wilderness. No one is saying a place like Tuscarora Lodge can't charge more to make up the difference. They set up a business model that relied on specific numbers coming through, and now that those are changing, they will need to adapt like any other business. Businesses do this all the time. I'll probably still use their bunkhouse the night before our EP this summer, and if they charged me another $50 on top of the fee from a year ago I don't think our party would bat an eye. I know we have a mix of political ideals here, but the idea that the government should make decisions based on a handful of outfitters (when they've already decided to stop a major mining project) seems like it would be short sighted. "


I agree with you that it’s not the forest service’s mission to ensure the bottom line of outfitters. And I honestly don’t see what outfitters have to gain by going public with their frustrations on this. I don’t see any real benefit to them, whereas the image they’re projecting by voicing their concerns will come across to some as an attitude of entitlement and could have potential negative consequences.

The game has always been, and will always be, adapt or die.

On your feature vs bug claim, however, I have to point out that it’s naive to think that human interest in the bwca doesn’t continue to play a role in the preservation of this place. Without human interest, it becomes susceptible to exploitation. And the economic benefits of recreation and tourism are consistently cited in arguments against mining. Would it be nice if the Bwca was less crowded? Of course. But we can’t take it for granted and assume it will be protected forever if we don’t work to promote the economic benefits of recreation at the same time as we work to minimize the environmental impacts of human presence. The two are not mutually exclusive.
 
billconner
distinguished member(8139)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/29/2022 07:34AM  
"The outfitters only exist because the BWCAW exists..."

Let's not forget that the formation of the BWCA wiped out a lot of the businesses that existed previously and generally resulted in economic loss for those that live there.
 
missmolly
distinguished member(7168)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/29/2022 07:51AM  
Well considered and argued, GildedGopher.
 
Mocha
distinguished member(7640)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/29/2022 01:26PM  
To the poster who stated that the outfitters stopped the Mining project…. Do your research, you might discover there were others also opposed, it would take more than a handful of people (outfitter or not) to stop anything.

Until you’ve walked in the shoes of an outfitter you might want to consider what they have to deal with besides guests…. When you partner with the government there are all sorts of rules, regulations and money paid.

Outfitters do NOT get paid to be cooperators with the USFS. Outfitters actually PAY for the privilege of issuing your permit. They pay a specified percent of their gross income that was made from using federal land, they pay for the permit paper, ink for the printer, special credit card machine with special security programming, they must have a computer operating system up to date that can handle the process. And, remember when internet just became a thing and if you lived in a city you had no problems getting connection. Think of the outfitters, most remote and I include Ely in this statement because it took awhile to get internet to Ely.
If you didn’t have an internet connection you couldn’t issue permits.

The cooperator agreement with the USFS is multiple pages with the list of “You will do this…”. Whereas the USFS list is perhaps half a page at most.

It is not glorious being a cooperator. Yes, it is a choice that these people made to work from before sunrise to after sundown because they LOVE the wilderness and want very much to introduce and educate people about the best ways to enjoy the resource. That’s the bottom line.

It is not glorious being an employee at any of these places. It is a choice made because a person LOVES the wilderness. The pay is low, the work is manual labor at a minimum of 8 hours a day, rain or shine, bugs, humidity, sunburn, but the benefits of being on the edge of a place as wonderful as the BWCA is something you can’t put a dollar amount on.

To sum up my ramblings: outfitters are no more special than the average Joe to the USFS. They just pay more and work tirelessly to care for this BWCA-W place so everyone has a place to come explore and reconnect with their “self”.


 
schweady
distinguished member(7739)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/29/2022 05:07PM  
Mocha: "To the poster who stated that the outfitters stopped the Mining project…. Do your research, you might discover there were others also opposed, it would take more than a handful of people (outfitter or not) to stop anything."
Well said - your entire post. But I wanted to snip this part to highlight - anyone who has been paying attention to the struggles on both sides concerning this place since the 1940s (and earlier...) knows that nothing has been "stopped." Struggles will continue, effigies will be hung, livelihoods will be interrupted. All I know is that there is this beautiful place to enjoy and I hope that it stays relatively identical to what I've been privileged to experience for these 40+ years.
 
BWPaddler
distinguished member(9210)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/30/2022 10:26AM  
schweady: "... there is this beautiful place to enjoy and I hope that it stays relatively identical to what I've been privileged to experience ..."

Amen.

And thanks to Mocha for the glimpse into the life of the outfitters.
 
Kendis
senior member (96)senior membersenior member
 
01/31/2022 12:40PM  
TrailZen: "There's been lots of discussion on this and other threads about groups taking longer trips. With a reduction in permits, but extended trip length, shouldn't the outfitters come out about even?


TZ"


One part of their business that wouldn't break even is their meals and accommodations many outfitters offer for visitors the night before their entry date. Similarly, the number of boat tows or vehicle transportation to various entry points. Both of those income streams are directly related to the number of trips, and either loosely or not at all related to the duration of trips.

I have no idea what portion of an outfitter's income comes from those sources versus the revenue from equipment rental and food provisions.
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
01/31/2022 10:28PM  
Great post, Sheryl. Thanks for sharing your perspective.
 
billconner
distinguished member(8139)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
02/01/2022 06:10AM  
Is there any chance that the permit reduction will reduce business to even near pre-pandemic levels? Will there actually be days when no permits are available? I get the outfitters feel ignored but I'm just not sure their input could have made a difference.
 
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