WASHINGTON, D.C.– Congressman Pete Stauber introduced legislation to return the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) reservation portal, for non-motorized and motorized boats, back to the effective lottery system in place prior to the U.S. Forest Service changing it to a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Letting Outdoor Tourism Thrive for Every Recreation Year, or LOTTERY, Act would require the USFS to switch the current first-come, first-serve reservation system back to a lottery system by 2020.
Originally set for a re-launch Wednesday, February 27th, the USFS has delayed it for another week.
Stauber stated, “Many people were concerned when the USFS made the ill-advised decision to forego the successful lottery system for a first-come, first-serve online system, and rightfully so. When the new reservation system crashed, my office was inundated with calls from constituents who were worried about the severe impact on their small business and the local economy, which is heavily dependent on tourism. The small businesses also expressed frustration that the USFS didn’t listen to their initial concerns and weren’t taking the users seriously.”
The USFS stated that the relaunch of the BWCA system would be February 27th, citing continuation of website testing and conducting training with cooperators.
The agency announced the relaunch date has been delayed again to March 4th.