Changes to Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Lottery


Duluth, MN   Jim Sanders, Forest Supervisor for the Superior National Forest has decided to implement changes to US Forest Servicethe lottery and reservation system for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). 

For 2012, the lottery will be retained for Fall Lake entry points D and 24 and Moose Lake entry points F, G and 25. The lottery applications for these five entry points can be made from December 19, 2011 to January 19, 2012. The lottery will be run on January 20th.  Reservations for remaining permits for these five entry points along all other BWCAW entry points can be made on a first-come, first-served basis starting January 25th at 9:00 am central time.  

The Forest Service is making this change based on several months of evaluation.  Forest managers originally planned to eliminate the lottery entirely in 2012 and only run the first-come, first-served system for reserving wilderness permits for all entry points.  However, based on comments received and the results of a test of the first come, first served process, Forest Supervisor  Sanders has decided to retain the lottery for five entry points where most or all of the permits have historically been reserved during the lottery.  For all other entry points, historic data shows there are permits available both after the lottery and throughout the season.  Therefore, it is not necessary to run a lottery for all other BWCAW entry points

The Forest Service will continue to work with cooperators, visitors and Reserve America during the coming year to determine if there are other changes we could make to improve the reservation system.  The intent is to offer a permit reservation process that is easy to use, fair to all users, and consistent throughout the BWCAW.  BWCAW lottery applications and reservations can be made at

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