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Coast Guard puts BWCAW patrol on hold

The U.S. Coast Guard announced plans to add boundary waters lakes to its patrol area earlier this year, which made local resort owners and outfitters on border country lakes a bit nervous. Such a move would require additional licensing and add costs to doing business.

But now, according to Lt. David French, the Coast Guard’s Ninth District Public Affairs officer headquartered in Cleveland Ohio, the agency is taking public feedback into consideration and may ease some of the requirements that could cause hardships for area businesses.

Coast Guard requirements for commercial boat operators on federal waters include passing a physical, getting CPR training, obtaining a federal license and ID card as well as pay for drug testing. One cost estimate is as much as $1,300, some of which is a recurring expense.

French said they are considering alternatives that would be easier for remote operators to comply with whatever final requirements the service requires.