Boundary Waters Permit System, FROZEN?

We’re blaming the Polar Vortex on a number of things going on right now so we may as well blame the epic failure of the BWCA permit reservation system on it too. It’s really not a funny situation but sometimes you just have to laugh. Every Boundary Waters Canoe Outfitting Company has to work closely with the USFS in a number of ways. It can often be a very frustrating relationship especially since Forest Rangers and Supervisors come and go every couple of years. Promises made in 1993 aren’t remembered, round table resolutions in 2001 are long forgotten, “gentleman” agreements in 2008 are over a decade old and in 2019 there probably isn’t a person left in the Grand Marais USFS office that could identify all of the business “cooperators” on the Gunflint Trail.  Yes, since 1993 we’ve seen the reservation system change from something as simple as making a phone call to Ely to reserve a permit to something that crashes a computer system in less than an hour.

I would like to say I’ve been sent a statement or an announcement from the USFS about what is going on with the permit system and when we’ll be able to reserve permits. But as a BWCA Cooperator for over 20 years I’ve yet to be contacted. According to the Superior National Forest Website nothing is wrong and Reserve America says to just keep checking back for status updates. We’ll let you know if and when we hear something.

  • Due to technical difficulties, reservations for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness are closed. We are diligently working to correct the problem. Please check back for status updates. We will give advanced notification of at least 48 hours or more prior to the system going live.

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