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Boundary Waters permitting system delayed until March

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. WTIP file photo
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. WTIP file photo

If you were hoping to book your permit next week for the 2019 paddling season in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, it turns out there’s no rush.

The date to reserve BWCA permits for the upcoming season is being pushed back to March.

In what is now an issue likely to have canoeists, outfitters and resort owners from Ely to the Gunflint Trail and down to the Twin Cities question what comes next, Forest Service officials are claiming the BWCA permit reservation system will go live at 9 a.m. Monday, March 4.

The March date follows the initial crash of the system from late January, an event that essentially forced the Forest Service to cancel a collection of issued permits that did process on the opening day.

The relaunch was originally planned for next Wednesday, Feb. 27.

Superior National Forest Supervisor Connie Cummins said in a released statement that between now and March 4 they will continue website testing and conducting training with cooperators to ensure the website meets Forest Service and public needs.