Cut your own Christmas tree this year; permits now available
What: Cut your own Christmas tree.
Where: White River National Forest.
When: Permits are available through Dec. 23.
More information: Visit the local Holy Cross Ranger Station in Minturn or the Eagle Ranger Station (limited dates); or visit www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver and get a mail-ordered permit.
EAGLE COUNTY — It’s almost time to get in the holiday spirit, and nothing says Christmas like cutting down your own tree to celebrate the season.
Christmas tree permits are now available for the White River National Forest at the Holy Cross Ranger Station in Minturn and the Eagle Ranger Station (select days). Permits cost $10, and there’s a maximum of five permits per person.
Trees must be less than 15 feet tall from the stump, no greater than 6 inches in diameter at the base and the stump height should be no greater than 6 inches high. Trees are for personal use only and can’t be resold. Tags must be attached to the tree at the cutting location and must be left on until it arrives at its final destination.
Christmas tree cutting is allowed in most areas of the White River National Forest with the following exceptions: wilderness areas; scenic byways; Glenwood Canyon; Maroon Bells scenic area; commercial timber sales areas; recreational and ski areas; campgrounds; trailheads; developed sites; and administrative areas.
Trees may not be cut within 100 feet of any road or trail. Maps showing where tree cutting is allowed are available at all offices where permits are sold and will be provided with permits along with a regulations list.
GET YOUR PERMITS
The Holy Cross Ranger Station in Minturn is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. It will also be open Saturdays Nov. 26, Dec. 3 and Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Payment of permits can be with cash, check or credit card.
The Eagle Ranger Station has been closed to the public but will reopen to sell permits (via cash or check only) on Fridays Nov. 25, Dec. 2 and Dec. 9 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. It will be open Saturdays Dec. 3 and Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Permits are also available at the ranger stations in Aspen, Sopris, Blanco, Dillon and Rifle as well as the supervisor’s office in Glenwood Springs.
Mail-order permits are also available by check or money order. The form is online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/whiteriver under the “Passes and Permits” link. Mail-order permits are to be sent to the supervisor’s office in Glenwood Springs and the permits will be mailed within two to three business days.
The Forest Travel Management Plan closes many forest roads prior to or on Nov. 23, and the officials do not recommend traveling on roads that have not been recently plowed.