That's good they got it in writing now, a lot of people still don't know about it. The recreation.gov site talks about 47 miles, put in as Paradise and takeout as Racecreek. They even show a map with "trip starts here" and "trip ends here" at those two locations. I bet you got someone on the phone that didn't know much about the area, or river, or actual permit process. As the process moved to recreation.gov, I bet the office knowledge regarding the permit process is declining.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye