October 13, 2023, KAMIAH, Idaho:—Are you looking to find the perfect Christmas tree this holiday season? At more than 4 million acres, the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests are likely to have your ideal tree. On October 12, the forests began issuing Christmas tree permits which will be available until the end of 2023. Permits are available at local forest offices in person or online through this link: https://www.recreation.gov/tree-permits/0422847b-e7d4-11ea-8710-eabd4664df5f. Each tree costs $5 and individuals can harvest up to three trees. Past permit holders have left enthusiastic reviews of their experience, calling it the “Best Christmas present ever!!! We have loved our family tradition of traversing the beautiful national forests of Idaho each year with our kids to find that just “perfect” tree.”
No special areas on the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests are designated for Christmas tree cutting. Please cut your tree at least 200 feet from well–traveled roads, flowing water, campgrounds, and recreation sites, and do not harvest within designated Wilderness areas or Wild and Scenic River corridors. Select your tree from thickets and overstocked areas and choose a tree that is the right size for your needs. Be aware of winter driving conditions while searching for your tree; pack tire chains, a first aid kid, and other emergency equipment. Dress in layers and bring plenty of food and water for the whole family.
Besides the joy it brings to families across the nation, harvesting a Christmas tree from a National Forest also improves forest health. The permit system helps to thin densely populated stands of small-diameter trees. Removing these trees helps other trees grow larger and can open areas that provide forage for wildlife.
If you have questions about harvesting a Christmas tree on the National Forests, please contact your local Forest Service office. Contact information and hours of operation for Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests offices is available online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/nezperceclearwater/about-forest/offices.
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