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I’m starting a new thread on the need for a new strategy for permits on the MFS (and Selway, and probably Main). This topic came and went in the midst of a ridiculous thread on rollover permits, viruses, and how much everybody hates Idahoans. But none of that is the point.

It is time for EVERYBODY on the river to go through the same process. Apply for a space on the river in a lottery. Get lucky. Plan your own (private) trip, or hire an outfitter to take you. Please, Zach C, I want to know why this won’t work!
 

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Ah, the 4 River Games. Or the Annual Voluntary Donation (AVD) to spin the wheel on rec.gov.

The odds are simply not in your favor and are decreasing yearly. Though it's not impossible to get lucky! 27 years of applying for the Main and Middle and I've been fortunate having drawn twice - once in 2005 and again in 2015. In 2010 the odds were increased when the rivers were split into four separate lotteries, but even that improvement has been swallowed up since that time.

Here are the sobering odds of drawing a permit according to the USFS:
(kudos to them for taking the time to put these facts and others together each year about the 4Rivers)


May the afternoon winds be at your back and the odds of drawing a river permit ever in your favor.
 

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What ever happened to the idea of preference points? I thoughts the FS was considering it at some point.
The FS employees are too busy working on comprehensive forest and river plans and timber sales and other NEPA projects and trying to avoid getting sued and dealing with litter all over the Forests from Covid campers and too busy to rock the boat and try to coordinate all the Forests to change their permit plans in a corresponding manner.
Sleeve Gesture Military uniform Military person Security

Meanwhile, Rec.gov tells the USFS that everything is working well.


It ain't ever gonna change.
 

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This topic came and went in the midst of a ridiculous thread on rollover permits, viruses, and how much everybody hates Idahoans. But none of that is the point.
It's okay. All of us Idahoans know the rest of you are just jealous.
Not jealous or hater. I love you, neighbor!
(Montana sucks and it's great that everyone can visit you in Idaho!!)
 

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During the mass migration currently happening in the west, it's refreshing to hear when a new person says they grew up in Montana. Hope that's a reciprocal feeling neighbor.

I've hashed out my opinion on a weighted lottery system or preference points on the MFS in many threads. I'd caution anyone in favor of it to be careful what you wish for.
 

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I'm a 4th generation Montanan (but we all came from somewhere...Minnesota/Iowa/Canada/Germany/Denmark/England/Norway/Scotland for me)
and if I didn't live in MT, ID would be at the top of my list
 

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During the mass migration currently happening in the west, it's refreshing to hear when a new person says they grew up in Montana. Hope that's a reciprocal feeling neighbor.

I've hashed out my opinion on a weighted lottery system or preference points on the MFS in many threads. I'd caution anyone in favor of it to be careful what you wish for.
There are so many simple possibilities. For example- you go, then you can't for 10 year. Not great but gives more people opportunity. I suspect the limit resource problem has been studied to death......
 

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I think that's a more fair way to do it. But that would really cut back on my trips ; ) Also issues of people who don't go often might remove some of the stewardship with experienced folks taking new folks provide. Might have to up the enforcement contingent to protect it.
 

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Allways feel like locals should get permits first but I guess it'd be only locals then huh? But I bet you guys around there get pretty mad about it. Everytime I hear an out of state hunter brag about a big bull I get quietly angry. I will promise now in front of God that if I get any permit ever I will invite all of you! And I'll go with you too on your 4th of July weekend middle fork trip!
 

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I think that's a more fair way to do it. But that would really cut back on my trips ; ) Also issues of people who don't go often might remove some of the stewardship with experienced folks taking new folks provide. Might have to up the enforcement contingent to protect it.

10 years seems onerous. 5 years?

Or does it just displace the users? If you had a MFS and can't go again until 2031...now you're putting in for every other permit in CO/ID/UT/AZ if you weren't already.

Hell, enforcement is already strapped and not enough of them to enforce current regs.
 

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Could also reduce max group size from 30 to 20 and release 50% more permits (flows and campsite availability permitting)
I COMPLETELY agree! 30 person trips are really not even appropriate for Middle, maybe Salmon its ok, but why do you need such a huge group? Honestly 15-16 would be plenty. Most trips are not that large anyways, but dropping the size would help justify a few more permits for the pheasants.
 
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