Christmas tree permits go on sale Nov. 1
Permits to cut Christmas trees on the Carson and Bridgeport Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest will be available for purchase beginning Nov. 1. The U.S. Forest Service Christmas Tree Program is designed for families, businesses, and institutions wishing to cut their own trees for decorating.
Christmas tree permits must be purchased in person and are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis for $10 each, with a limit of 2 trees per household. Permits are nonrefundable and nontransferable, and only valid through Christmas Day. The Carson Ranger District has a limited amount of Christmas tree permits available, and once those allotted permits are sold, no more will be available.
Permits for the Carson Ranger District are available at the Markleeville General Store and Hope Valley Café in addition to the Ranger District’s Office, 1536 S. Carson St., in Carson City.
“New this year, the public can now purchase Christmas tree permits for the Carson Ranger District at Scheels in Sparks and Sportsman’s Warehouse in Carson City,” said Duncan Leao, Vegetation Program Manager for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.
Permits for the Bridgeport Ranger District are available at the Buckboard General Store in Smith and at the Walker General Store in Coleville, in addition to the Forest headquarters in Bridgeport.
Each Christmas tree permit is valid for the cutting of one tree on lands managed by the Ranger District for which the permit was purchased. A map and cutting rules and regulations will be included with the permit. The permit does not authorize cutting on private, state, or other federal lands. Christmas trees also cannot be harvested within developed campgrounds, administrative sites, or designated wilderness areas.
The topping of Christmas trees has resulted in serious problems in previous years by leaving behind high tree stumps. Please ensure that the maximum height of the stump left behind is no taller than six inches above bare soil with no live branches left on the stump. Remember topping trees is not permitted. Also attach the Christmas tree permit securely to the tree so it is visible during transportation. Remember to bring a rope and tarp to pack your tree in or on your vehicle for the trip home.
“Keep your family and your own safety in mind as you head out to look for a Christmas tree on National Forest lands,” said Leao. “Dress warmly, fill your gas tank, and bring along a saw, shovel, tire chains, map, food, water, warm drinks, blankets, and first-aid kit. Also, make sure relatives or friends know where you are going and when to expect you home.”
Getting your tree early before the snow falls usually means better access on forest roads. High-clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicles and traction devices are recommended when driving on mountain roads at this time of year. Vehicles with inadequate tires and/or no chains have caused extensive problems in the past, blocking roads and preventing other drivers from being able to enter or leave the cutting areas.
Remember, most forest roads are not plowed in the winter, so access may be limited due to seasonal road closures. Leave early in the day to allow for maximum daylight. Be prepared for unpredictable weather, check road conditions before leaving, and always use caution when emerging onto main roads.
The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is also pleased to announce that all fourth graders are eligible for a free Christmas tree permit, while supplies last, through the Every Kid in a Park initiative. Every Kid in a Park is a nationwide call to action to build the next generation of conservationists. All fourth graders are eligible to receive a fourth grade pass that allows free access to federal lands and waters across the country for a full year. In support of this initiative, the Forest Service is making available a free Christmas tree permit to every interested fourth grader with a fourth grade pass or paper voucher.
For additional information about the initiative and how to obtain a pass, visit http://www.everykidinapark.gov. To be eligible for a free Christmas tree permit from the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, all fourth graders must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and present their fourth grade pass or paper voucher.