With their new reservation system, I don't think they have full control over what it does or how it does it.

For example, I received this after releasing 3 of the 4 permits I had last year (I don't think I actually got the refund, but I'll check later):

Hi Peter,

You're all set! Your refund for Reservation #6-xxxxxxxx at Mt. Whitney has been processed and is on its way.

This email serves as confirmation that you’ll be receiving a refund for this reservation. Your refund details can be found below:

Reservation ID:
6-xxxxxxxx Original Paid:
$55.00 Total Refund:

Payment Type Amount Refunded

Legacy payment $34.00

Credit / debit card payments will be refunded to the card associated with your reservation, or you will receive a refund check in the mail with the address provided if you paid by cash or check (please allow up to 8 weeks).

Be on the lookout for your refund, and thank you for choosing Recreation.gov.

Thank you,

Either way, I think it's going to be a mess to sort out.