National Forest Christmas tree permits available

District office locations …

Christmas tree permits are available at:

Hahns Peak-Bears Ears District Office

Hours: Mon. –Fri., 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

925 Weiss Drive

Steamboat Springs (970-870-2299)

Yampa District Office

Hours: Mon. –Fri., 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

300 Roselawn Street

Yampa (970-638-4516)

—Permits can be ordered through the mail from the Yampa office

Brush Creek-Hayden Ranger District Office

Hours: Mon. –Fri., 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

2171 State Highway 130

Saratoga, Wyo. (307-326-5258)

Douglas Ranger District Office

Hours: Mon. –Fri., 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (closed 12-1 p.m.)

2250 E. Richards St.

Douglas, Wyo. (307-358-4690)

Laramie Ranger District Office

Hours: Mon. - Fri., 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

2468 Jackson Street

Laramie, Wyo. (307-745-2300)

Parks District Office

Hours: Mon. –Fri., 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

100 Main Street

Walden (970-723-8204)

Christmas tree permits are now available for $10 at all Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest offices in Colorado and Wyoming, the U.S Forest Service announced in a press release earlier this month.

Each permit allows for the cutting of one tree on National Forest System lands. There is a limit of five permits per household and trees must be for personal use, not for resale, according to the release.

The permit must be clearly displayed around the stem of the tree before leaving the cutting area. Anyone planning to cut a tree is encouraged to contact the Ranger District in their desired cut area for site-specific information, including road status and area restrictions, the release stated.

In the release, the Forest Service emphasized cutting trees is prohibited in all Wilderness areas on the Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests. Additionally, tree cutting is not allowed in any part of the Pole Mountain Unit of the Laramie Ranger District.

Those heading to a national forest to cut a tree — as with all forest visitors — are reminded to check weather forecasts, avoid areas with a high volume of beetle-killed or otherwise dead trees on high wind days, and be aware of their surroundings. Also conditions can change rapidly in the mountains, so dress for winter conditions and use an adequately equipped vehicle, according to the release.

Tree cutting regulations have been established to maintain a healthy forest environment and sustainable forest management program while ensuring there remains an abundance of young trees for visitors to establish and continue traditions. Some of those regulations, according to the release include:

• Trees may not be cut within 100 feet of roads or within 200 feet of campgrounds, picnic areas, scenic pullouts, administrative sites, timber sale areas or designated Wilderness areas. Distances may be greater for state highways and scenic byways, contact district offices for details.

• Visitors are encouraged to choose a tree that is growing with other trees in a cluster and not a tree that stands alone. The forest environment benefits by thinning the clusters and allowing the strong trees to remain and provide for a healthy genetic source for the future forest.

• Maximum tree height is 20 feet.

• Cutting the tree to a stump height of six inches or less, or below the lowest living branch, is recommended. If one living branch is left on the stump, the tree will continue to grow, although it will probably become deformed and encourage disease.

• If boughs are wanted, choose a taller tree than needed (maximum 20 feet) and use the lower branches for boughs. Do not cut boughs from other living trees.

On Nov. 24, Dec. 1 and Dec. 15, pending construction completion, permits will be available between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the new Forest Service Centennial Visitor Center. Otherwise the Forest Service office in West Laramie will be open during these dates and times.

Please call the Laramie Ranger District to confirm which location will be open.

Permits will be sold on Dec. 8 at the “Christmas in Centennial” event in Centennial, Wyo.

Permits can also be purchased at various locations, such as select Bureau of Land Management and Chamber of Commerce offices. For more information, contact your local Forest Service office or visit http://fs.usda.gov/goto/mbr/christmastrees.

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