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Outdoors, Leisure, and Sports

Forest Service to reduce entry permits for Boundary Waters

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DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service plans to reduce the number of entry permits for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness next year, citing damage to natural resources, crowding and congestion.

The Forest Service didn’t say how many permits would be eliminated, nor which entry points into the million-acre wilderness would be impacted.

Superior National Forest spokeswoman Joanna Gilkeson says the reduction will be spread across the entire wilderness, with a focus on more popular entry points and lakes where visitors have complained over the years about resource damage and an inability to find campsites.

Nearly 166,000 people visited the BWCA in 2020, a 16 percent jump from the previous year and the most in at least a decade.