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Beginning next week, people who use Eglin to get closer to nature will have an easier path to get their outdoor fix.

A new web-based electronic permit system, called iSportsman, will debut online Tuesday and brings a slew of changes for the more than 17,000 permit holders of Eglin’s Outdoor Recreation Program, managed by Jackson Guard.

“For the first time ever, users will be able to create a personal account online and purchase their annual outdoor recreation permit using their credit or debit card,” said Chris Johansen, 96th Civil Engineer Group outdoor recreation program manager.

The new annual permit will now be valid for one year from the purchase date and no longer based on the fiscal year.

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According to Johansen, another benefit is a simplified permit fee schedule.

“We’ve reduced the number of options from 27 to nine,” he said. “A general sportsman permit will cost $55, as compared to $65 last fiscal year.”

Another change is the consolidation of the program’s 31-by-45-inch Outdoor Recreation, Hunting and Freshwater Fishing Map and Regulation Product into a travel-friendly, booklet with a fold-out map for easier usage, said Johansen.

Implementation of the iSportsman program is a Department of Defense initiative already in place at many installations across the country, as well as private and state facilities.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Scenic Northwest Florida views will be along the trails of the 6th Ranger Training Battalion Swamp Run scheduled for May 6. The 6th RTB, stationed at Auxiliary Field 6 on the Eglin Air Force Base military reservation, will be hosting a 5k and 10k race in conjunction with the Ranger Camp’s annual Open House event. Demonstrations will include rappelling, weapons, parachute as well as boat and reptile displays. Those interested in the open house or the run can find more information as well as pre-registration information at www.swamprangers.com and click on the “Ranger Run” tab. Participants can pre-register on-line or by mail before April 30 for $15. After pre-registration deadline, participants can still register until race time for $20. (Photo by U.S. Army Capt. Kevin Capozzoli)

(Photo by U.S. Army Capt. Kevin Capozzoli)

Those not comfortable with conducting transactions online shouldn’t stress, according to Johansen. He assures users the Permit Sales Office at the Niceville Jackson Guard building will continue to sell permits the old-fashioned way – in person.

To open an account, users may go to https://eglin.isportsman.net. Those interested in more information on Eglin’s Outdoor Recreation Program may call Johansen at 883-1152.

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