Christmas tree permits available online from the San Juan National Forest for the upcoming holiday season

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    By Lorena Williams

    Forest Service

    Christmas tree permits are available to purchase 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 Web page on Recreation.gov.

    Please carefully read the overview and need-to-know information prior to purchasing the permit. Visitors will also 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. 

    Recreation managers would like to remind permit holders in search of their perfect tree to please harvest responsibly. To correctly cut a Christmas tree, cut the trunk off as close to the ground as you can, leaving no more than a 6-inch stump. Do not cut ponderosa pine or Douglas fir trees. Christmas tree cutting is not allowed:

    • In Wilderness Areas, recreation areas or research natural areas.

    • Within 100 feet of any developed campground.

    • Within 100 feet of county roads and state or federal highways.

    • In tree plantation and active timber sales.

    • In specific locations identified in the permit, including La Plata Canyon near Durango.

    Please review the San Juan National Forest Christmas Tree cutting guidelines and rules thoroughly. 

    Cutting a Christmas tree can improve forest health. Local forest health experts identify areas that benefit from thinning trees that tend to be the perfect size for Christmas trees. Removing these trees in designated areas helps other trees grow larger and can open areas that provide forage for wildlife. 

    All offices on the San Juan National Forest are currently conducting business and providing services virtually. For information on the San Juan National Forest, call (970) 247-4874.