Edit: For people reading this, THIS THREAD is from 2009. Look in the Feature Topics box on the left for the link to current lottery information.
Today I spoke with our contact in Inyo National Forest to collect the last unused permit numbers
of the season.
I asked whether there would be any changes with permits or rules for the Whitney area. There are none.
However, there are several other changes on the horizon. The first is a new Internet server to handle their web pages. Apparently they are running on pretty old equipment, and new servers should make their lives much easier when it comes to updating the web pages. The switch may come right around Lottery time, so brace yourselves. We may need to help get some vital info out.
And the even bigger change, though, is talk of changing the lottery so it is handled by the National Reservation System -- the same people that handle reservations
for camp sites.
There is no way this will occur for the next lottery, but may in the future.
Knowing a little about random selections using computer programs, I thought this would be a monumental task. But it turns out, there is already a computer-run reservation/lottery handling the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
There are lots of differences and many wrinkles to work out, like how to limit the number of choices people can request, and I am sure many more.
But I'll bet the computer can run an entire system in less than an hour! Everyone would get their letter or email the same day. ...what a concept!
If someone wants to check out the BWCAW system and comment here, it would be appreciated. In fact comments might even be seen by Inyo National Forest people.