BWCA Openings and Closings Due to Pagami Fire

     Last week we received information regarding summer canoe travel in the Boundary Waters.  The USFS made changes to entry point permit quotas and campsites due to last year’s Pagami Fire.  None of these changes involved the Gunflint Trail side of the BWCA.

      There were 23 lakes with campsites that were affected including Lakes One, Two, Three, Four, Hudson, Insula, Horseshoe, Brewis, North Wilder, South Wilder, Harbor, Clearwater, Gull, Pietro, Hudson Pond, Baskatong, Bog, Isabella Lake, Isabella River, Kawashong, Quadga and Rice.  The reductions range from 1 campsite removed up to 13 on Insula. 

     In order to prevent crowding in this area of the Boundary Waters the USFS has reduced quotas for entry point lakes.  According to their document there will be no quota for Little Isabella River, Bog Lake or Island River and the Pow Wow Hiking Trail is closed until further notice.   Isabella Lake will have 1 permit a day as will Snake River.  All of these areas have restrictions regarding day use and directions which one may go so be sure to check with an outfitter or the USFS before traveling.  Lake One lost 4 permits a day but gained 2 permits called Lake One Restricted.  

     This week we were told about areas in the Pagami Fire area that are open for winter recreation.  You win some you lose some I guess.

The area inside the Pagami Creek Fire perimeter within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness remains closed to all public use for safety reasons with the following exceptions: 
·        The portage from Isabella Lake Entry Point (Entry Point 35) is open to provide access to Isabella Lake. Access beyond Isabella Lake is prohibited. 
·        The following lakes are open for winter travel because they can be accessed without crossing burned portages: Lakes One, Two, Three and Four. The southern part of Insula Lake is also open if accessed from the north. Leaving the lakes and entering the burned area is prohibited.
·        Travel on portages between Clearwater, Camdre, Pietro, and Gull Lakes is allowed.