Christmas tree permits go on sale for Deschutes, Ochoco National Forests

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Beginning Tuesday Christmas tree permits can be purchased online and at local vendors around Central Oregon for use on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests.

Permits will also be available for pick-up at the Sisters Ranger District and Madras Chamber of Commerce – Crooked River National Grassland offices.

Christmas tree permits for the 2021 season will be available for purchase online at https://www.recreation.gov/tree-permits (a $2.50 reservation fee will be applied).

Christmas tree permits purchased online will have to be printed to be valid. Traditional Christmas tree permits also will be available at several participating local vendors (https://go.usa.gov/xebfH). Individual Christmas tree permits are $5 each and households can purchase a maximum of five permits.

Fourth graders are eligible for a free Christmas tree permit as a part of the Every Kid Outdoors initiative, which is a national program to encourage children to visit national parks, forests, and public lands.

To be eligible for the free tree permit, the student must have an Every Kid Outdoors pass. Information about getting the Every Kid Outdoors pass can be found at https://everykidoutdoors.gov/index.htm.

Once the student has the pass they can obtain a free holiday tree permit by visiting https://www.recreation.gov/tree-permits.

Using the Every Kid Outdoors pass/voucher the student should check the box indicating they have a pass and enter the pass or voucher number (a $2.50 reservation fee will be applied). To learn more please visit: https://go.usa.gov/xe2b3.

Students using the Every Kid Outdoors voucher can also obtain their free Christmas tree permit at the Sisters Ranger District office, Madras Chamber of Commerce – Crooked River National Grassland office or by calling their local Forest Service office.

Christmas Tree Guidance

·       Check the weather forecast and road conditions before traveling.

·       Dress for the season. Always be prepared for the cold and snow.

·       Start tree hunting early in the day to have plenty of daylight hours.

·       Bring emergency supplies, including water and food and a first-aid kit.

·       Remember to tell someone where you are going.

·       Bring a map and compass. Your cell phone may not work.

·       The tree you choose must be at least 200 feet from main roads, recreation sites and campgrounds, and stay away from areas along the sides of streams, rivers, lakes, and wet areas. Check with the ranger district for the proper distance.

·       Select a tree with a trunk six inches or less in diameter and prepare to cut the tree no more than six inches above ground level.

·       Never cut a tall tree just for the top.

·       Select a tree from overstocked areas and thickets. Watch restricted areas. Cut only one tree per tag.

·       Attach your tree tag to harvested tree before placing in vehicle.

·       Bring a rope and tarp to move your tree from the harvest area to your vehicle.

·       Remember, you are responsible for your own safety and for the safety of those around you.

For more information regarding Christmas tree permits, please visit the Deschutes National Forest website (https://go.usa.gov/xe2bx) or the Ochoco National Forest website (https://go.usa.gov/xe2ba).

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