The Forest Service has lowered quotas for six entry points into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) as a result of damage caused by the Pagami Creek Wildfire last summer.
According to information released by the Forest Service last week, 114 of the Boundary Water’s approximately 2,100 campsites were affected by the fire. Concerns include safety hazards and high potential for erosion, but approximately 63 of those campsites will reopen this spring after light to moderate restoration work.
The remaining campsites and some trails will require more extensive rehabilitation, and some may remain closed for up to a few years for vegetation to return.
Lake One, Island River, Isabella Lake, Bog Lake, Little Isabella and the Pow Wow Trail all have reduced quotas. Snake River entry point will remain open, but travel will not be allowed east of Bald Eagle Lake on Isabella River until the route has been cleared.
Overall, 13 daily permits were removed, but 2 were added to a new entry point on Lake One until the original can be restored. Specific details are available on the Forest Service web site HERE (PDF).
According to a PRWEB article by Sue Prom of Voyageur Canoe Outfitters, a reduction of 10 permits per day does not sound like a lot, but it can represent a significant loss for visitors and outfitters alike. Read Prom’s story HERE.
The Forest Service plans to readjust the quotas as campsites and portages are rehabilitated. They say volunteer help will play a critical role in how quickly areas affected by the Pagami Creek Wildfire can be reopened. Interested volunteers can contact the Forest Service HERE.