MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s federal lawmakers are expressing outrage that a new system for BWCA permits crashed on its very first day. Those trying to log onto the new system got a message citing technical difficulties, and that reservations were closed.

The new system, which has been in the works for 14 months, replaced the lottery system that allows day permits to boaters.

Rep. Pete Stauber says his constituents, including outfitters, drove for miles in negative 40-degree weather Wednesday to access high speed internet to try to make and accept reservations.

“I met with the Forest Service today in Duluth, Minnesota and talked about the frustration, that this has to be rectified. I have spoken to the second in command in the United States Forest Service in D.C. This is unacceptable,” Stauber said.

Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith wrote a joint letter to the U.S. Forest Service demanding answers.

The Forest Service issued a statement Wednesday saying it is “developing a detailed strategy to reopen the permit process”

The website says it will provide a 48 hour notice before the website goes live.

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