Four Rivers Boating Season Wraps with ePermitting Declared a Success

By admin  -  On 20 Oct, 2010 -  0 comments

WASHINGTON, November 20, 2010 – Boating season officially ended for the season on November 20th with ePermitting declared a success in the Four Rivers Recreation Area.  ePermitting is an eGovernment initiative designed to modernize the permit process for navigation on the thousands of miles of white water rapids in the Four Rivers Region.

Every year approximately 17,000 applications are submitted for navigation on the Main Salmon, Snake, Middle Fork Salmon, and Selway Rivers.  Historically, the Four Rivers Lottery has been labor-intensive. The process required manual application collection and data entry into the computer-generated random drawing, depositing of fees, and communicating of results to thousands of applicants.  Rafters would submit a paper application and fee to Idaho’s FourRivers Lottery and await the results of the drawing.

In 2009, the U.S. Forest Service introduced online permitting from December 1st to January 31st. The public quickly embraced the process, as 60% of those who applied did so via theinternet, 58% paid by credit card, and 2% paid by eCheck. The U.S. Forest Service mailed the results to all lottery applicants in March 2010. Hard copy applications mailed or faxed were still accepted, but the online system reduced errors, delays, and the rejection of applications by checking and confirming data.

Implementation of a web-based application process is a function of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s compliance with the eGovernment Act of 2002. The program showcases the key long-term capability of the U.S. Forest Service to implement FS services using an online transaction process that includes sales and collection technologies.

ePermitting does more than simplify the lottery process for applicants. It allows agency personnel to redirect their efforts toward more mission critical activities. The U.S. Forest Service looks forward to providing additional improvements during the 2011 season.

If you would like more information about this topic, or schedule an interview, please call Donna Savarese at (703) 741-7861 x847 or email.