Forest Service, BLM offer Christmas tree cutting permits
For those venturing out on public lands to shop for a Christmas tree, the Forest Service has a special deal if you have a fourth grader in your family.
The White River National Forest is offering a free Christmas tree permit to any fourth grade student. The free permits are part of the Every Kid in a Park initiative, and all that’s required is a printed voucher that can be found online and an in-person visit to a Forest Service office.
“Harvesting a National Forest Christmas tree for the holiday season is part of a long-standing tradition on the White River National Forest,” Forest Service spokesperson Kate Jerman said in a news release. “We encourage fourth graders to take advantage of the free holiday tree program.”
The printable Every Kid passes are available online at everykidinapark.gov, and are limited to one permit per student. Each student must present the paper voucher in person at one of the Forest Service’s office locations.
National Forest tree permits without the fourth grader discount are $10, and are available at a number of local businesses.
“We are pleased to continue our partnerships with community vendors to make obtaining a Christmas tree permit more convenient by providing additional purchase locations,” Jerman said.
Forest Service tree permits are limited to five per person and are available at Big John’s Ace Hardware in Glenwood Springs, Timberline Sporting Goods in Rifle, Roaring Fork Valley Coop in Carbondale or Bristlecone Mountain Sports in Basalt. Permits can also be mail-ordered by printing a form from the Forest Service website and mailing it to the White River National Forest office.
blm permits also available
Tree cutting permits are also available for most Bureau of Land Management lands by visiting the Colorado River Valley Field Office in Silt. Each permit is $10 and may be purchased Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
The BLM recommends bringing a handsaw and plenty of rope or twine, plus food, water and blankets when going out to cut down a tree. Emergency supplies, tire chains and a shovel might come in handy as well.
Whether you are searching National Forest or BLM land for trees, officials say it’s a good idea to make sure what roads will be open before starting the trip.