Boundary Waters Canoe Area dropping lottery for allocating entry permits

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Visitors to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area will no longer need to enter a lottery to get permits to enter the 1-million-acre wilderness area in northeastern Minnesota.

The Star Tribune reported Friday that the U.S. Forest Service is dropping the long-used lottery system next year, and will offer permits on a first-come, first-served basis instead.

Superior National Forest supervisor Jim Sanders says the lottery is no longer necessary because of improvements to the reservation system.

The agency had used a lottery from Dec. 1 to Jan. 15 to allocate permits, especially for high-demand entry points and dates.

But Superior National Forest spokeswoman Kris Reichenbach says there were very dates and entry points where permits ran out.

The Forest Service plans to begin accepting reservations online or by phone Jan. 25.