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Southwest Life Health And the West is History Community Travel

Christmas tree permits available from forest

David Crawford, a National Forest Service forester, walks through a wooded area east of Bayfield with a freshly cut white fir tree.

Christmas tree permits are available to buy with local vendors and online through Recreation.gov.

Details about designated cutting areas, dates and types of trees that may be cut can be found on the San Juan National Forest’s Christmas Tree Permit webpage on Recreation.gov.

“For many families, venturing into a national forest to cut their Christmas tree for the holidays is a treasured tradition carried on for generations,” said Kara Chadwick, San Juan National Forest supervisor. “For families creating new traditions, a trip to their local forest to cut their own Christmas tree may be a thrilling experience as they discover the joy of hiking through the forest in search of the perfect holiday centerpiece.”

Visitors will need to set up or log in to a Recreation.gov account to complete the transaction.

Online permits are $8 plus a $2.50 fee to Rec.gov. Permits may also be purchased for $8 at a vendor below:

Dolores: Dolores Outfitters 341 Railroad Ave.Durango: Kroegers Ace Hardware, No. 8 Town Plaza.Lewis: Cox Corner Store, 18794 U.S. Highway 491.Mancos: Cox Conoco, 201 E. Railroad Ave.Cutting a Christmas tree can improve forest health by thinning trees that tend to be the perfect size for Christmas trees. Removing trees in designated areas helps other trees grow larger and can open areas that provide forage for wildlife. Do not cut ponderosa pine or Douglas fir trees. Trees may not be cut within 100 feet of a county road, highway or developed campground. Review the San Juan National Forest Christmas Tree cutting guidelines and rules thoroughly.

All offices on the San Juan National Forest are conducting business and providing visitor services virtually.

For more information about the San Juan National Forest, call 247-4874, visit the forest website or follow us on social media (Twitter and Facebook).