Four Rivers Lottery results not expected until sometime in March
This is first year Forest Service outsourced permit process to private
Pete Zimowsky - Idaho Statesman
Edition Date: 02/28/07
If you applied for a river permit for one of Idaho's wilderness rivers
this year and are wondering whether you got a permit, you'll have to
The Four Rivers Lottery is stalled; results are not expected until
sometime in March, according to the U.S. Forest Service, which has
outsourced the lottery to a private contractor. This is the first year
the Forest Service has done that.
"It seems that the Four Rivers Lottery system has been privately
contracted this year and is a terrible mess," said Leslie Ray, a river
runner from McCall.
"No one knows when permitees will be notified," she said.
The staff at Forest Service ranger districts across Idaho on Tuesday
did not know what was going on with the lottery.
The application deadline for river permits was Jan. 31, and river
runners traditionally have heard by Feb. 14 whether they were successful.
The Forest Service said the lottery has not been run and the personnel
at district Forest Service offices have not been able to get any
answers from the contractor.
Staff members at the Middle Fork Ranger District in Challis were out
of the office this week until Monday for meetings, adding to the
confusion. The Middle Fork of the Salmon River traditionally gets the
About 10,000 people apply each year for a limited number of permits
for the Main Salmon, Middle Fork of the Salmon, Selway and Hells
Canyon of the Snake River.
The number of river runners is limited in the peak summer season on
The delay in the lottery is causing applicants to delay vacation
plans. Normally, successful river runners have to confirm their
permits by March 16.
Staffers at several ranger districts did not know the name of the
contractor on Tuesday. Calls made to officials at the Salmon-Challis
National Forest, which oversees the Middle and Main forks of the
Salmon River, were not returned to the Statesman on Tuesday morning.
The answering machine at the Middle Fork Ranger District in Challis
said results would be out "hopefully sometime in March."
Contact reporter Pete Zimowsky at [email protected]