U.S. Forest Service Launches Christmas Tree Cutting Permit Website

With Thanksgiving now behind us, the U.S. Forest Service is turning its attention to Christmas, which is less than a month away, launching a new “Open Forest” website aimed at making it easier for Americans to obtain a permit to cut down Christmas trees “in some national forests, following certain rules and regulations.”

The website currently covers only four locations: Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests in north central Colorado, Flathead National Forest in western Montana, Mt. Hood National Forest near Portland, Oregon, and Shoshone National Forest in northwest Wyoming.

The site walks users through the process, “whether it’s your first time, or a long-standing family tradition,” providing both the relevant rules and regulations specific to each forest before allowing users to pay for and obtain the appropriate permit. The site also provides maps, information on hours and dates of operation, and helpful tips for selecting the correct type and size of tree.

Although the site only covers certain areas at the moment, other national forests might also offer similar options through individual ranger district offices, with each forest setting its own license rates, as well as appropriate limits on the number of trees one permit covers, the types of trees, and where in the forest the trees may be rightly obtained.

The U.S. Forest Service will also soon put the final touches on the “People’s Tree,” the 75-foot fir tree that will sit outside the U.S. Capitol, having yesterday completed its 3,000 mile westward journey from Willamette National Forest in Oregon, just two days before the 2018 National Christmas Tree Lighting, a tradition that dates back nearly 100 years to the Coolidge administration, when First Lady Grace Coolidge “gave permission for the District of Columbia Public Schools to erect a Christmas tree on the Ellipse south of the White House.”

tree

The Forest Service has handled the selection and transportation of the tree for nearly five decades, bringing in trees from as far as Alaska.

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