Lottery losers may get a break on Idaho rafting permits

175px-usfs_logosvg.pngThe U.S. Forest Service is considering upping the odds for unsuccessful lottery permit applicants hoping to float Idaho’s popular Selway and Middle Fork of the Salmon rivers.

Starting in 2015, lottery losers would receive duplicate applications for rafting permits if applying for the same river or rivers for 2016. If they still don’t come up with a permit, they would receive two duplicates if they entered again the following year.

The agency said the number of duplicates would increase each year until an applicant won a permit or stopped entering the lottery.

The agency said it’s taking public comments on the plan through March 15.

Access is controlled on both rivers during the busy summer season. The odds of winning are about one in 25 for the Middle Fork and one in 47 for the Selway.

Besides managing those two rivers, the Forest Service also manages the main Salmon River and the Snake River in Hells Canyon through the Four River lottery system. Between Dec. 1 and Jan. 31, rafters and kayakers pay a small fee to enter the lottery.  (AP)

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