Christmas Tree Permits Offered by Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests

By: Alan Grinberg

Permits to cut Christmas trees on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests are now available at multiple locations in Colorado and Wyoming.

Each permit costs $10 and allows for the cutting of one tree on National Forest System Lands. There is a limit of five permits per household. Trees must be for personal use, not for resale. The permit must be clearly displayed around the stem of the tree before leaving the cutting area.

For the third consecutive year, the Every Kid in a Park (EKiP) initiative is offering one free Christmas tree permit to fourth-graders that have a valid EKiP pass. Vouchers for an EKiP pass can be obtained at www.everykidinapark.gov. In order to obtain the free Christmas tree permit, bring your fourth-grader to one of the District offices listed below and present their EKiP pass or voucher. These free Christmas tree permits are not available at locations other than U.S. Forest Service District offices.

Some areas of the Forest are off limits to tree cutting or may be difficult to access. Please contact the Ranger District in the area where you will be cutting your tree for site-specific information, including road status and area restrictions.

The Forest Service would like to emphasize that cutting trees is prohibited in all Wilderness areas on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests. Additionally, tree cutting is not allowed in any part of the Pole Mountain Unit of the Laramie Ranger District.

The threat of falling trees continues to increase; therefore, all forest visitors are reminded to pay attention to weather forecasts, avoid areas with beetle-killed trees on high wind days, be aware of their surroundings, and check maps to know their location. Weather conditions can change quickly, so be prepared. Dress for winter conditions and have your vehicle equipped adequately.

Christmas tree cutting has taken place on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests for many decades and there remains an abundance of young trees for visitors to obtain. Tree cutting regulations have been established to maintain a healthy forest environment and sustainable forest management program.

 

Some regulations to remember when cutting your tree 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, so contact district offices for details.
  • Visitors are encouraged to choose a tree that is growing with other trees in a cluster and not choose the “perfect” 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.
  • Maximum tree diameter is six inches at the stump.
  • Cut the tree to a stump height of six inches or less, or below the lowest living branch, whichever is lower. 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, please choose a taller tree than needed (maximum 20 feet) and use the lower branches for boughs. Please do not cut boughs from other living trees.

 

For more information and alternate sales locations, such as select Bureau of Land Management and Chamber of Commerce offices, contact your local Forest Service office or visit www.fs.usda.gov/goto/mbr/christmastrees. Forest Service sales locations are listed below.

 

 

Laramie Ranger District Office

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

2468 Jackson Street

Laramie, Wyo., (307-745-2300)

  • Centennial Visitor Center open 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Sat. & Sun., Nov. 11-Dec. 17.

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