The U.S. Forest Service will once again offer a great way to create holiday memories and enjoy the National Forest while finding this year’s holiday tree for your home! Only this year, permits are available online.
In an effort to promote social distancing and reduce the need for walk-in business at administrative offices, people can easily print their own Christmas tree cutting permits at home from www.recreation.gov. The online permits are free, but there will be a $2.50 administrative fee for the online transaction. You will then need to bring the printed permit with you onto the forest!
There is a limit of three permits per household, and each permit is valid for a one-time use. Those without internet access can call recreation.gov at (877) 444-6777 to order free permits by mail. They can also be obtained through the mail by calling local Forest Service offices.
Winter weather can change rapidly. Most National Forest roads are not maintained for winter driving. Forest staff recommend bringing traction devices and a shovel, extra food, drinking water, winter clothing, blankets, a flashlight, and a first aid kit. Don’t forget a tool for cutting the tree and a rope or cord to secure it to vehicles. Tree cutting and travel may take longer than anticipated, so let a friend or family member know where you are going, get an early start, and leave the woods well before dark.
For more tips and information, and to obtain your permits, visit Idaho Panhandle National Forest Christmas Tree Permits or visit the Idaho Panhandle National Forests website.