Cutting a Christmas tree in a national forest is a family tradition for many Utah residents.
Christmas tree permits are available for $10 for trees up to 10 feet and $20 for trees 10-20 feet. Permits must be obtained in person. Mail orders and phone requests will not be accepted. Permits must be securely attached to the harvested tree and remain with that tree during transport. Most species of trees on the National Forest may be cut, with the exception of ponderosa pine.
Forest Service officials would like to remind the public of the following –
• Weather conditions in the mountains are unpredictable – be prepared for winter weather.
• Stay on designated roads and trails.
• Be prepared for slick, snow-packed roads, have chains, a four-wheel drive vehicle or a snow machine available.
• Let someone know where you are planning to go and approximate time you will return.
• Carry a cell phone.
• Take additional warm clothing, gloves, boots, a container of hot liquid, water and a lunch or snack.
• Carry a flashlight, shovel, first-aid kit, matches, a hatchet, ax or handsaw, as well as rope to secure your tree.
• Trees must be cut close to the ground leaving the stump no higher than 6 inches. A shovel will come in handy to dig through the snow to reach the base of the tree.
• Attach the tree permit before leaving the cutting area.
• Tree topping is not allowed.
• Cutting is not allowed within 200 feet of lakes and streams, roads, campgrounds, picnic areas, administrative sites, summer home areas or within designated areas closed to tree cutting, which are shown on maps.
Permits may be purchased at any of the Fishlake National Forest offices. Location and dates of sale are as follows –
• Richfield Ranger District, located at 115 East 900 North, Richfield, will begin selling permits Monday, Nov. 4. Permits can be purchased during regular office hours, which are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, call (435) 896-9233.
• Fremont River Ranger District is located at 138 South Main, Loa. Permits can be purchased during regular office hours, which are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Fish Lake Basin Recreation Area, including Johnson Valley, is closed to tree cutting from the forest boundary on the west to Zedds Meadow on the east. Cutting ponderosa pine is prohibited except on the Boulder Mountain of the Fremont River Ranger District. For more information, call (435) 836-2811.
• Fillmore Ranger District, located at 390 South Main, Fillmore, will begin selling permits Friday, Nov. 1, through Friday, Dec. 20, during business hours, which are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Fillmore office will be open four Saturdays – Nov. 23 and 30, as well as Dec. 7 and 14, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Permit are limited to one per household, yet additional tags may be purchased for neighbors, family members, etc. Suggested cutting areas include – Whiskey Creek, John Williams Canyon, Chalk Creek, Cove Fort, Willow Creek and Wild Goose Canyon. Oak Creek Canyon is closed to live tree cutting. For more information, call (435) 743-5721.
• Beaver Ranger District is located at 575 South Main, Beaver. Permits can be purchased during regular office hours, which are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Blue Spruce trees can not be cut, and tree cutting is not allowed in the Merchant Valley Summer Home area or along the visible edge of State Route 153. For more information, call (435) 438-2436.
As a convenience to the public, permits will be available at –
• Larsen’s Ace Hardware, located at 1155 South Utah State Route 118, Richfield, Monday-Saturday.
• Jorgensen’s, located at 980 South Cove View Road, Richfield, Monday-Saturday.
• Don’s Sinclair, located at 215 West Main Street, Salina, Monday-Saturday.
• Piute County Sheriff’s Office, located at 550 North Main, Junction, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Beaver Sports and Pawn, located at 91 North Main, Beaver, Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Fishlake Lumber, located at 1627 North Highway 357, Beaver, Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Fishlake National Forest will issue a free Christmas tree permit for fourth graders with an Every Kid Outdoors pass while supplies last. The Fishlake offers the free tree permit as part of the United States Forest Service’s Every Kid Outdoors program. The program is part of an interagency call to action to build the next generation of conservationists. All fourth graders are eligible to receive a fourth grade Every Kid pass that allows free access to 2,000-plus federal land and water sites across the country for one full year. Instructions on how fourth graders can obtain an Every Kid pass or voucher is available at everykidoutdoors.gov.