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Forest Service Moves Forward with Four Rivers Lottery Despite Challenges 2-4-15

While reviewing the Four Rivers lottery results on February 2nd, Forest Service employees discovered a number of applications that were accepted after the January 31, 2015 deadline. While most of the application gateways were closed on the midnight Eastern Time zone deadline, one access point remained open, the “Enter a Lottery” page links. These links took the applicants directly to the river’s application form, without displaying the information page for the respective lottery with the deadline notice at the top of the page.

This resulted in 92 additional applications submitted in the Four Rivers Lotteries after the deadline and before the lotteries occurred. There were an additional 49 Middle Fork of the Salmon River applications, 23 Wild Main Salmon River applications, 10 Snake River-Hells Canyon applications, and 10 Selway River applications included in the drawings. Some of these late applications were successful; 3 for the Middle Fork, 2 for the Main Salmon, and 5 for the Snake River. The Selway did not have any successful late applicants. In addition, there were eight (8) applications that were submitted after the lotteries were run, which will be voided and refunded.

In an effort expedite and continue implementing the 2015 Four Rivers Lottery process, the Forest Service decided to honor all successful applications on the Middle Fork, Salmon and Snake rivers. The Forest Service acknowledges that this was not an easy decision as it affects all boaters who submitted their applications before the January 31st deadline. The rationale for this decision was that it is important to move forward with the Four Rivers Lottery Process to ensure a successful 2015 boating season. Reversing the process, reopening the application period, and having additional lotteries would not be in the best interest of the public at this time. Due to these reasons and one previous technical glitch the Forest Service staff opted for consistency when there is a technical glitch to not penalize applicants if the lottery system accepts the application.

The Forest Service will continue the Four Rivers Lottery process in the future and will work with the contractor to ensure that the January 31st application deadline is working properly. The Four Rivers Lottery Group apologizes to all our unsuccessful applicants for this error and will work to prevent any problems in the future.

Questions can be sent via email to fourriverslottery@fs.fed.us.


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