Christmas tree permits available online

By Esther Godson
San Juan National Forest 

Christmas tree permits will be available to purchase with local vendors and online through Recreation.gov beginning Nov. 12. Details about designated cutting areas, dates and types of trees that may be cut can be found on the San Juan National Forest’s Christmas Tree Permit webpage on Recreation.gov.

“For many families, venturing into a National Forest to cut their Christmas tree for the holidays is a treasured tradition carried on for generations,” said Kara Chadwick, San Juan National Forest supervisor. “For families creating new traditions, a trip to their local forest to cut their own Christmas tree may be a thrilling experience as they discover the joy of hiking through the forest in search of the perfect holiday centerpiece.”

It is important to carefully read the overview and need-to-know information prior to purchasing the permit. Visitors will also need to set up or login to a Recreation.gov account to complete the transaction. Online permits are $8 plus a $2.50 fee to Rec.gov. 

Cutting a Christmas tree also improves forest health. Local forest health experts identify areas that benefit from thinning trees that tend to be the perfect size for Christmas trees. Removing these trees in designated areas helps other trees grow larger and can open areas that provide forage for wildlife. 

Do not cut ponderosa pine or Douglas fir trees. There are specific areas off limits on the forest. Trees may not be cut within 100 feet of a county road, highway or developed campground. Please review the San Juan National Forest Christmas tree cutting guidelines and rules thoroughly.

All offices on the San Juan National Forest are conducting business and providing visitor services virtually. For information on the San Juan National Forest, call 247-4874.

This story was posted on November 14, 2020.