Cutting down the Christmas tree

All fourth-graders in Idaho can get a free Christmas tree permit.

The Forest Service will be offering fourth-graders a free permit to cut Christmas trees this season if they present a valid “Every Kid in a Park” pass to their local ranger district office.

“Offices that do not issue Christmas tree permits or who have already issued their allotted number are exempt from this program,” a Forest Service news release said.

Christmas tree cutting permits are available for $15 and limited to one per household. Permits can be picked up at the following ranger stations: Ashton/Island Park, Dubois, Montpelier/Soda Springs/Westside, Palisades and Teton Basin. No Forest Service permits are available at the main Caribou-Targhee National Forest office at 1405 Hollipark Drive in Idaho Falls. The Forest Service recommends picking up permits at local vendors who offer longer operating hours. A list of vendors is available on the Forest Service’s webpage at bit.ly/2JSum40 or by calling 208-557-5900.

Free permits to fourth-graders are not available through vendors.

Permits allow for the cutting of trees up to 20 feet tall. Along with a permit, the Forest Service offers safety tips and recommendations on how to properly care for your tree to make it last through the holidays. A map and information sheet is also provided with permits describing where cutting is allowed and motorized travel restrictions in effect. The information also is available on the Forest Service’s website.

“It is suggested to get your tree early,” the release said. “Mountain winter storms and subsequent road conditions could limit access to cutting areas.”

Bureau of Land Management Christmas tree cutting permits are available starting Wednesday from the Upper Snake Field Office at 1405 Hollipark Drive in Idaho Falls and the Pocatello Field Office at 4350 S. Cliffs Drive in Pocatello.

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