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Forest Service Relaunching Online BWCA Permit Reservations

The Forest Service says it will reopen the BWCA online reservation process on March 4. The Forest Service says it will reopen the BWCA online reservation process on March 4. |  Photo: WDIO-TV/File

Baihly Warfield
Updated: February 21, 2019 09:48 PM

The Forest Service says the process to make Boundary Waters permit reservations online will reopen on March 4. 

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It had originally opened on Jan. 30, but the Forest Service says "unforeseen technical issues" prevented most people from reserving a permit. The small number who could were canceled and refunded.

A Superior National Forest representative said the online reservation process will reopen at 9 a.m. on Monday, March 4 on recreation.gov. But an alert on the website also indicates a tentative Feb. 27 on-sale date. 

Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Hermantown) held a listening session about the crash on Feb. 9 in Ely.

Stauber issued a statement  about the relaunch Thursday, saying his office was "inundated" with calls when the original system failed. And Stauber seemed to think the new date isn't coming soon enough. 

"While I understand and appreciate that the USFS wants the relaunch of this new reservation system to be a successful one, we are another week closer to the busy season at the BWCA," Stauber said in the statement. "I am concerned this delay will compound the damaging failures by recreation.gov already endured by our local economy." 

The Forest Service said in its press release, "The technical issues with the BWCAW permit sale software have been addressed and additional testing has been completed by reservation system programmers." 

The press release went on to say that they are confident the reservations will work properly and that everyone will have equal access to buy permits. 

The permits may be reserved from March 4 through Sept. 30. 

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Baihly Warfield

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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