Weighted Lotteries for the Four Rivers
Dear Four Rivers Lottery Applicant,
The Four Rivers Lottery Group is exploring the potential of moving to weighted lotteries. The goal for our lotteries is to keep the drawings random, yet allow for better odds for those applicants who apply every year.
The contractor is in the early stages of developing the capability to carry out weighted lotteries, and the Four Rivers Group would like to be included in framing how these lotteries may be configured. First of all, there will be no change in allocation; the same number of private permits will be issued as in the past. Second, not all rivers are inclined to move to a weighted lottery. The Snake and the main Salmon rivers do not have as much demand as the Selway and the Middle Fork of the Salmon rivers, so they may keep their lotteries as is. Third, the weighted lotteries the Forests are considering at this time would still be based on a random drawing.
The Middle Fork and Selway Rivers are considering a weighted lottery that, in essence, would add a duplicate application into that river’s drawing for each year the applicant was not previously successful. For example, applicant Joe Boater applies to the Middle Fork and the Selway in the first year of the weighted lottery. Say Joe draws a Middle Fork launch date, but is unsuccessful for the Selway. Joe’s profile will reset to zero for the Middle Fork, however, he will carry one “point” or “extra chance” for the Selway in his profile.
In the next year’s lottery, if Joe applies for the Selway again, the system will accept his application and create a duplicate application, essentially entering two applications into the Selway lottery for him. If again unsuccessful, and if he applies to the Selway again, his application will be replicated twice, giving him three applications for that next lottery. For each year he is unsuccessful, he earns an extra chance; these become extra applications which are duplicates of the one he enters for that year’s lottery. If Joe is unsuccessful for eight consecutive lottery drawings, when he applies for the ninth time on that river, his application will be duplicated eight times for a total of nine applications for Joe.
The rules we are considering are as follows:
Our weighted lottery will add chances (duplicate applications) based on number of years being unsuccessful.
Applicants will be required to enter every year to carry forward their extra chances, no exceptions. Skipping a year will result in all extra chances being zeroed out.
There will be no limit or ceiling on the number of extra chances that can be held.
Extra chances are specific to the river being applied for, no cross-over between rivers.
When an applicant is successful drawing a permit reservation in the lottery, their extra chances will be zeroed out for that river, regardless of whether the reservation is used, no exceptions. Cancelling a reservation due to high or low water, no road access, or smoky conditions will not entitle the person to get their extra chances back.
As of February 2013, it is likely that a weighted lottery could be ready for the 2015 float season’s lottery. The extra chances would begin accruing as of that first weighted lottery, but not for previous year’s entries.
As of now, the Four Rivers Lottery Group is only looking at considering each applicant individually for accruing extra chances. There are no immediate plans to consider all trip participants in any weighted lottery scenarios. At this stage, the group is not planning to utilize any type of wait-out system either.
In a separate document, we have prepared some FAQs for those who have more questions. At the end of the FAQs you will find the application statistics for the past few years.
The Four Rivers Lottery Group wants to know what you think of the idea of moving to a weighted lottery, probably just for the Selway and Middle Fork of the Salmon Rivers in the near future, but potentially for the Salmon and Snake Rivers at some future point.
The best way to share your opinions and ideas is to send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line that starts with “Weighted Lottery”, or you can send us a letter at: Middle Fork Ranger District, HC 63 Box 1669, Challis, ID 83226, or fax it to: 208-879-4198. We hope to submit our weighted lottery requirements to the contractor very soon, so to be most useful to us, please submit your comments by: March 15, 2013.
To help us quantify your responses, please tell us whether you support or disapprove of a weighted lottery as described in this document and identify which river(s) your comments are directed towards.
Some examples might be:
Yes, I want a weighted lottery for the Selway River
No, I do not want a weighted lottery for the Middle Fork of the Salmon River
No to all weighted lotteries; I do not want any of the lotteries to be changed; leave them as they are.
Yes, I want all four rivers to have a weighted lottery.
You may then want to expand on your position and describe what you would like to see happen with the Four Rivers lotteries.
Changing the number of permits available to private boaters is not under consideration; only the type of lottery method for distributing what is currently available is being discussed at this time.
Read the Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Four Rivers group with your input at: email@example.com by March 15, 2013.