Looking for an outdoor adventure to cut your own Christmas tree this holiday season?
Utah’s national forests are beginning to offer permits to cut your own tree on public land. This process begins as soon as Friday at a close-to-the-Wasatch Front destination.
Here are a few rules to start, courtesy of Forest Service public affairs specialist Kathy Jo Pollock.
• Those going out to cut trees must stay on designated roads and trails.
• Let someone know where you are planning to go and when you hope to return and carry a cellphone.
• Bring additional warm clothing, gloves, boots, a container of hot liquid, water and a lunch or snack.
• Trees must always 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.
• No cutting is allowed within 200 feet of riparian areas, roads, campgrounds, picnic areas, administrative sites, summer homes or within designated closed areas shown on the tree-cutting maps.
Here’s more information for the individual forests as provided by the federal agency. Note that in the Heber-Kamas Ranger District, trees will be sold only this Friday and Saturday. Nontransferrable wristbands will be issued to the first 1,000 individuals in line starting at 6 a.m. both days.
Ashley National Forest
Holiday tree permits will go on sale Wednesday, Nov. 15, at Forest Service offices and local vendors. Tree permits are $15; limit one tree per household.
More information • www.fs.usda.gov/ashley or 435-789-1181
• Flaming Gorge-Vernal Ranger District: (435) 784-3445
• Duchesne-Roosevelt Ranger District: (435) 738-2482
Dixie National Forest
• Cedar City Ranger District (435-865-3200 and 435-865-3700): Permits will be available starting Monday, Nov. 6, and can be purchased at office and local vendors. Permits are $10 for a tree up to 10 feet and $20 for a tree 11 to 20 feet; one permit per household, and two trees maximum. Only subalpine fir, white fir, pinyon pine and juniper trees can be cut.
• Escalante Ranger District (435-826-5400): Permits now available for $10, one permit per household, one tree only. All species of tree may be cut, except bristlecone pine.
• Powell Ranger District (435-676-9300): Permits now available for $10 for a tree up to 10 feet and $20 for a tree 11 to 20 feet. All species of trees can be cut, except bristlecone pine.
• St. George Public Lands Information Center (435-688-3200): Permits will be available Monday, Nov. 13, for $10. Pinyon pine and juniper are the only species of trees that may be cut. One individual can buy up to five tags.
Fishlake National Forest
Tree permits sell for $10 and must be obtained in person. Most species of trees on the National Forest may be cut, except for ponderosa pine. Permits may be bought at any of the Fishlake National Forest offices and local vendors. Check offices for dates. More information • www.fs.usda.gov/fishlake or 435-896-9233.
• Richfield Ranger District: 435-896-9233
• Fremont River Ranger District: 435-836-2811
* Fillmore Ranger District: 435-743-5721
• Beaver Ranger District: 435-438-2436
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Dates and $10 permit rules vary; check ranger districts for details.
• Heber-Kamas Ranger District: 435-654-0470 and 435-783-4338
• Evanston/Mt. View Ranger Districts: 307-789-3194 and 307-782-6555
• Spanish Fork Ranger District: 801-798-3571