(photo/U.S. Forest Service website)
By The Skanner News
Published: 11 December 2020

Portland, Ore. – It’s that time of year to visit your national forest and find the perfect holiday tree for your home!

Most national forests issue permits for visitors to cut their own holiday tree. As guidelines vary from forest to forest, visitors should contact their local national forest office for information on permits, areas to harvest, maps, and other important details.

usforest service christmas tree(photo/U.S. Forest Service website)Visitors may now purchase permits online through www.recreation.gov. Permits are also available at many local vendors and community businesses. Visitors are encouraged to check with their local national forest for options to purchase permits in-person, over the phone, or at local vendors.

This year, all fourth graders with Every Kid Outdoors passes are eligible for a free holiday tree permit. To obtain a free holiday tree permit, visit Recreation.gov to apply using the Every Kid Outdoors pass by entering the voucher or pass number. For more information, visit www.everykidoutdoors.gov.

Some recreation sites, trails, and roads may be temporarily closed for due to recent wildfires. Visitors are encouraged to check online or with local units for updates on temporary closures or other restrictions.

Holiday tree permits cost $5. Visit www.recreation.gov/tree-permits to choose your forest, purchase a permit, and make new family memories.

Holiday Tree Guidance and Safety Tips

  • First, purchase a permit at www.recreation.gov, a local vendor, or a national forest office.
  • Check the weather forecast and road conditions before traveling.
  • Dress for the season. Always be prepared for the cold and snow.
  • Start tree hunting early in the day to have plenty of daylight hours.
  • Bring emergency supplies, including water, food, and a first-aid kit.
  • Remember to tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
  • Bring a map and compass. Your cell phone may not work on many forests.
  • Bring a rope and tarp to move your tree to your vehicle.
  • The tree you choose must be at least 200 feet from main roads, recreation sites and campgrounds. Stay away from areas along the sides of streams, rivers, and lakes.
  • Select a tree with a trunk smaller than six inches in diameter and cut the tree no more than six inches above ground level.
  • Remember, you are responsible for your own safety and for the safety of those around you.

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