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Chop your own tree

Nicole Frey

AVON- For the more adventurous types, finding the perfect Christmas tree can become a backcountry experience hosted by the U.S. Forest Service.”It’s a recreation, public service type of thing,” Forest Service spokeswoman Kristi Ponozzo said. “The forests are everybody’s land, and if people want to get a Christmas tree, they should be able to get a tree off public land.”Tree cutting permits are available for $10 at Eagle and Holy Cross ranger districts on the White River National Forest. The Holy Cross Ranger District is at 24747 U.S. Highway 6 in Minturn and the Eagle Range District is at 125 W. Fifth Street in Eagle. Permits can be purchased Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Holy Cross office will be open on additional Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Dec. 10 and Dec. 17. Harvested treed must be less than 15 feet tall and six inches in stump diameter. Individuals are allowed five permits, and the trees are not available for resale. Cutting is not permitted in wilderness areas, commercial timber sale locations, ski areas, administrative areas, Glenwood Canyon, No Name area near Camp Hale and areas adjacent to main roads. Maps are available at ranger stations. “As the Forest Service, getting people out into the forest gets them to appreciate the forest a little bit more or the tree a little bit more because they know where it came from,” Ponozzo said. For more information, call the Eagle station at 328-6388 or Holy Cross station at 827-5715. Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14621, or nfrey@vaildaily.com. Vail, Colorado


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