KAMIAH - Harvesting a Christmas tree on National Forest System lands is a popular annual tradition which, for many, marks the beginning of the holiday season. This year, the Forest Service is offering permits to harvest Christmas trees online through Recreation.gov. Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests Christmas tree permits are now available to purchase online at http://bit.ly/NPCChristmasTrees.
Christmas tree permits are free in 2020, except for a small fee to use the Recreation.gov website. Customers are limited to one permit each, but each permit is good for harvesting up to three Christmas trees. Take the time to review the information on the webpage prior to purchasing your permit, as it will outline regulations related to the permit, how to use the permit purchased online, and best practices for having a safe and fun Christmas tree hunt. You are also encouraged to contact your local Forest Service office for local area conditions and anything else you may need to know before heading into the forest.
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.
The Forest Service decided to move permit sales to Recreation.gov as an added convenience for visitors, as well as provide an alternative to in–person transactions at offices that may remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An option to purchase a permit from a local Forest Service office may become available later in the season. For the latest information, please contact your local ranger station.
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.