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FISHING — Procrastinators lose in the quest to bunk in a Forest Service cabin along the St. Joe River, float a prized Idaho wilderness river or backpack through certain prized wilderness areas.
This is the season for thinking ahead to summer adventures that require a special permit or reservations.
However, not every choice destination is onboard with the national online system.
Entering the lottery for reserving the Red Ives Cabin on the St. Joe River requires a letter of application to the ranger district.
- Applications must be postmarked by Thursday Feb. 28!
Red Ives cabin reservations are assigned in a lottery drawing. Applications are accepted early January through Feb. 28. The application is available from Forest Service offices or online at www.fs.usda.gov/ipnf; click on the Red Ives Quick Link. Successful applicants will be notified by the end of March.
More than 500 applications were received for the 2012 season but only 50 applicants could be selected for reservations. Info: (208) 245-2531.
PUBLIC LANDS — Here's another wake up call for anyone contemplating a summer Forest Service cabin or lookout rental.
The rental season for the former ranger home along the St. Joe River is Memorial Day weekend through September.
Most federal lands cabin and fire lookout rentals as well as camping reservations are handled online or by phone through Recreation.gov, the national first-come-first served reservations system.
For example, the Surveyor's Ridge Lookout rental in the mountains high above the St. Joe is handled by the national system, allowing reservations to be made up to 180 days in advance.
However, the Red Ives Cabin, which includes a former ranger home, is handled locally in a lottery drawing.
More than 400 applications were submitted for 50 reservations in 2012 (and 500 applications for the 50 slots in 2013), said District Ranger Wade Sims.
Click here for a previous post on renting the popular Kelly Creek Cabin and other sites on the Clearwater National Forest.
Read on for details on applying for the Red Ives Cabin, Surveyor's Lookout and the Clarkia Bunkhouse.
NATIONAL FORESTS — The lottery drawing is coming up for summer reservations at a popular Forest Service “cabin” on the St. Joe River.
Applications for staying at the former forest service employee home at Red Ives from Memorial Day weekend through Sept. 30 must be received by Feb. 28 at the St. Joe Ranger District, Avery Office, 34 Hoyt Dr., Avery, ID 83802.
High demand prompted officials to book the facility on the upper region of the popular fishing and floating river rather than put it on the national public lands reservation system.
More than 400 applications were received for the 2010 season, but only 50 applicants were granted reservations before the open season was filled, officials said.
Red Ives Cabin lottery applications are available online. For information, call (208) 245-4517.
Rental dates not booked through the lottery will be available on a “first-come” basis and posted on the cabin web site the first week of April.
Other rental opportunities on the St. Joe Ranger District include:
- Clarkia Bunkhouse – Reservations and info at (208) 245-2531.
- Surveyor’s Lookout – Reservations through the National Recreation Reservation System, or call (877) 444-6777.
Find details about these and other rental options on the Idaho Panhandle Natioanl Forests website.