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Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Open for day-use

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Open for day-use

National Forests in Minnesota Temporarily Ban Campfires

DULUTH, MINNESOTA  ~~~ May 4, 2020  (LSN)  On Tuesday, May 5, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) will reopen for day-use.  Overnight use of the BWCAW will continue to be restricted through May 17, 2020, aligning with Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz extended the State’s Stay at Home Emergency Order 20-48, in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Overnight reservations made through May 17, 2020, will receive a full refund, including reservations fees.

This change in the status of the BWCAW aligns with the Governor's request that people recreate close to home and avoid engaging in unnecessary travel.  By allowing only day-use of the BWCAW, the Superior National Forest is providing some additional opportunities for local recreation and businesses. Continuing to restrict overnight use, supports the Governor's goal to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 during the extended Stay at Home order.

"Continuing to restrict access to the Superior National Forest is a particularly difficult decision" explains Connie Cummins, the Forest Supervisor.  "I want people to enjoy their public land and know that re-opening the BWCAW for day-use is a step in that direction. I’m looking forward to the day when we can safely re-open sites for overnight use.”

In alignment with current federal, state and local guidance for social distancing and to ensure the health and safety of its employees, partners and members of the public, the Superior National Forest will use temporary modifications to the permit pick-up requirements beginning May 5, 2020 for all BWCAW day-use motor quota permits and May18, 2020 for all other over-night BWCAW quota permits. For additional information on this process, please visit the Superior National Forest’s website at

National Forests in Minnesota Temporarily Ban Campfires


Cass Lake and Duluth, MN. May 4, 2020 – To enhance visitor’s experience during these evolving times, the Chippewa and Superior National Forests have revised the April 17, 2020 campfire ban to allow for the use of gas stoves and gas grills.

In an effort to minimize the risk to first responders in the event of wildfire on National Forest System lands, the two forests will continue to restrict campfires and the usage of wood burning and charcoal devices.

The Forest Service understands and acknowledges that Tribal members may fulfill their federal 1855 treaty rights within boundaries of their treaty ceded territory and are exempt from the restrictions, but they may be subject to restrictions by applicable tribal authorities.

The Superior National Forest acknowledges that Tribal members may fulfill their federal treaty rights within boundaries of the ceded territory in the 1854 treaty and are exempt from the restrictions and are subject to restrictions by applicable tribal authorities.

When you recreate, please keep in mind to:

  • Avoid visiting the forest if you are sick and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow CDC guidance on personal hygiene and social distancing before and during your visit to the forest. 
  • Take your trash with you when you leave. Trash overflowing the receptacles becomes litter and can be harmful to wildlife and attract predators.
  • Please make arrangements to use the restroom before or after your visit to the forest. Unmanaged waste creates a health hazard for our employees and for other visitors.
  • If an area is crowded, please search for a less occupied location. Also consider avoiding the forest during high-use periods


The Chippewa and Superior National Forests will continue to coordinate their COVID-19 response in alignment with federal, state, tribal,  and local guidance. When visiting your public lands, it is important to be aware of current forest limitations. Everyone is urged to take precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

For up to date information regarding forest closures or restrictions, please visit  the forests’ websites at: or  


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