Whatever your holiday tradition, one that’s sure to bring a smile to your child’s face is taking a trip to the woods and cutting your own family holiday tree.
Holiday tree permits are
officially available starting Monday, November 18, at Forest Service and
Bureau of Land Management Offices, as well as at numerous vendor locations in
southwest Oregon (see vendor list at http://www.fs.usda.gov/rogue-siskiyou.)
Some locations may offer tree permits a little later than the official start
date; we recommend you call the local office to check permit availability.
The permits allow for the cutting of personal-use trees for Christmas and other
holiday events. A permit is required for the harvest
of each individual tree.
The permits sell for $ 5.00 per
tree and are non-refundable. There is a limit of five
tree permits per person. The permits cover a large area that includes the Rogue
River-Siskiyou National Forest and the Coos Bay and Medford Districts of the
BLM, where lands are open to personal use tree harvesting. Maps
with directions to cutting areas will be provided at time of purchase.
The Christmas tree permit tag is
validated after harvesting your tree by cutting out the date, month and year on
the tree tag and securely attaching it to the cut tree in a visible location
before transporting it.
tree harvest is not allowed in wilderness areas, campgrounds, developed
recreation areas, National Monuments, Research Natural Areas, Areas of Critical
Environmental Concern, or within fences or posted tree plantations, within 200
feet of state highways or on private lands. Christmas tree cutting is
also not permitted within the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, the Wild and
Scenic Rogue River corridor and Recreation Areas. This stresses the
importance of having your tree permit map with you, along with a local Forest
or BLM map, and a good understanding of your location prior to cutting.
Traveling safely on public lands is very important for you
and your family’s health and safety. Keep in mind that roads on public
lands administered by the Forest Service and BLM are not plowed in the winter
and can present some situations that quickly become dangerous if you are not
On any outing to the forest this time of year, be prepared
for winter weather and check weather conditions prior to departure. It is
strongly encouraged that you take a reliable map of the area (Forest Service or
BLM map in addition to your tree permit map) with you and travel with a full
tank of gas. Bring along adequate supplies such as warm clothing, blankets/sleeping
bags, high energy food, water, warm beverages, first aid kit, flashlight,
whistle, mirror, shovel and chains.
Always let someone know where you plan to harvest your tree
and when you expect to return. Consider going out with a more
experienced friend if you are new to this activity or unfamiliar with the area
in which you will be travelling.
The Bear Camp
Coastal route is open but not recommended for travel this time of year, as the
route is not maintained for winter travel from mid-November through the end of
May. Be safe, and happy holidays!