National forest Christmas tree chopping cost, information

Young boy carrying his Christmas tree, location and date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Cutting a Christmas tree in a national forest is a family tradition for many residents of Utah. Holiday tradition for many includes cutting their own Christmas tree. Permits are now available in most ranger districts for national forests in Utah. Below are details and conditions for obtaining permits in Utah’s national forests.

General conditions for cutting trees in the national forest

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. Make sure your permit is attached to the tree before leaving the cutting area. Tree topping is not allowed.

No cutting is allowed within 200 feet of riparian areas (lakes and streams), roads, campgrounds, picnic areas, administrative sites, summer home areas or within designated closed areas shown on tree cutting area maps.

Other conditions apply as specified below along with locations to purchase Christmas tree cutting permits.

Dixie National Forest | 435-865-3700 | website | permits available Nov. 9

  • Cedar City Ranger District | 435-865-3700
    • Cedar City Ranger District office, Cedar City | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday
    • Hurst Ace Hardware Store, Cedar City
    • Conditions: Permits are $10 for a tree up to 10 feet and $20 for a tree 11-20 feet; one permit per household and two trees maximum | The only species of trees that can be cut are sub-alpine fir, white fir and pinyon pine
  • Escalante Ranger District | 435-826-5400
    Mother and daughter start cutting the christmas tree they picked, Kolberg, Wisconsin, Dec. 7, 2013 | Photo by Dan Hatton, St. George News
    Mother and daughter start cutting the christmas tree they picked, Kolberg, Wisconsin, Dec. 7, 2013 | Photo by Dan Hatton, St. George News
    • Escalante Ranger District office, Escalante | 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
    • Antimony Merc, Antimony | 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Sunday | 435-624-3253
    • Other permit vendors may apply, call the ranger district office
    • Conditions: $10, one permit per household, one tree only | All species of tree may be cut, except bristlecone pine
  • Powell Ranger District 435-676-9300
    • Powell Ranger District office, Panguitch | 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
    • Conditions: $10 for a tree up to 10 feet and $20 for a tree 11-20 feet | All species of trees can be cut, except bristlecone pine
  • St. George Public Lands Information Center | 435-688-3200 | Available Nov. 9
    • Visitor Center, St. George | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays
    • Veyo Mercantile, Veyo | 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday
    • Conditions: $10, Pinyon pine and juniper are the only species of trees that may be cut | One individual may purchase up to five tags

Ashley National Forest | 435-789-1181 | website 

  • Flaming Gorge Ranger District | 435-784-3445 | Permits go on sale Nov. 15
    • Flaming Gorge Ranger District office, Manila | 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • Flaming Gorge Resort, Dutch John | 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday
    • Green River Chamber office, Green River, Wyoming | 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, beginning Nov. 23
    • Conditions: $15, nonrefundable
  • Duchesne Ranger District | 435-738-2482
    • Duchesne Ranger District Office, Duchesne | 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
    • Bonanza Store, Duchesne | Open 24/7 | 435-738-2393
    • Hanna Country Store, Hanna | 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday | 435-848-5752
    • Stewart’s Market, Roosevelt | 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday | 435-722-5650
    • Davis Jubilee Food & Drug, Roosevelt | 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday | 435-722-2296
    • Conditions: $15, one permit per household
  • Vernal Ranger District | 435-789-1181
    • Vernal office, Vernal | 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
    • Davis Jubilee Store, Vernal | 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays | 435-789-2001
    • Shirley’s Country Corner, LaPoint | 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays | 435-247-2690 |
    • Conditions: $15

Fishlake National Forest | 435-896-9233 | website | permits available now

  • Conditions for all ranger districts: $10 in person as listed below | The permits must be attached to the harvested tree and remain with tree during transport | Most species of trees may be cut, except for ponderosa pine
  • Richfield Ranger District | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday | 435-896-9233
  • Fremont River Ranger District | 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday | 435-836-2811
    • Conditions: The Fishlake Basin Recreation Area, including Johnson Valley, is closed to tree cutting from the forest boundary on the west to Zedd’s Meadow on the east | Cutting ponderosa pine is prohibited except on the Boulder Mountain of the Fremont River Ranger District.
  • Fillmore Ranger District | 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 18 | 435-743-5721
    • Conditions: One permit per household | Suggested cutting areas: Whiskey Creek, John Williams Canyon, Chalk Creek, Meadow Creek, Cove Fort, Willow Creek and Wild Goose Canyon | Oak Creek Canyon is closed
  • Beaver Ranger District | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday | 435-438-2436
    • Ranger District office | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday | 435-438-2436
    • Beaver Sports and Pawn, Beaver | 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Sunday
    • Fishlake Lumber, Beaver | 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday
    • Piute County Sheriff Office, Junction | 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday
    • Don’s Sinclair, Salina | Monday-Saturday
    • Larsen’s Ace Hardware, Richfield | Monday-Saturday
    • Conditions: Blue spruce may not be cut | Tree cutting is not allowed in the Merchant Valley Summer Home area or along the visible edge of state Route 153 | Ensure trees are cut on the national forest, not private land | Maps are available from the district office.

Manti-Lasal National Forest | website | permits available beginning Nov. 16

  • Ferron/Price Ranger Districts | 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday in Ferron; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday in Price | 435-384-2372
  • Moab/Monticello Ranger Districts | 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday | 435-259-7155
    Young boys watch as their christmas tree is cut, location unspecified, Dec. 18, 2010 | Photo by Tricia J, St. George News
    Young boys watch as their christmas tree is cut, location unspecified, Dec. 18, 2010 | Photo by Tricia J, St. George News
    • Private vendors: Moab Information Center, Moab; Choice Hardware & Home Center, Nephi; Beck’s Home Furnishings, Mt. Pleasant; Rasmussen Ace Hardware, Gunnison; The Main Street Market, Ferron; Sutherland Lumber, Price; and Mountain Home Center, Mt. Pleasant
    • Conditions: $10, three-permit limit per person | Purchasers will need to provide a credit or debit card, check or exact change | There will be no refunds | To buy a permit for a tree taller than 12 feet, the buyer must pay 50 cents per additional foot, payable when the permit is purchased | Permits should be purchased on the district where trees will be cut
    • The cost for permits is the same regardless of where they are purchased | Customers traveling long distances for permits should call in advance to determine if permits are still available

Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests | 801-999-2103 | website | permits available now

  • Evanston/Mt. View Ranger Districts 307-789-3194 and 307-782-6555
    • Evanston Ranger District Office, Evanston, Wyoming | 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday | 307-789-3194 and 307-782-2655
    • Bear River Lodge, Evanston, Wyoming | 435-642-6289
    • Mountain View Ranger District, Mountain View, Wyoming | 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
    • Benedict Thriftway / True Value Store, Mountain View, Wyoming | 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays | 307-782-3581
    • Conditions: $10, one permit per household, one tree only | A permit allows up to a 20-foot tree | Only subalpine fir trees may be cut and removed | Trees may be cut until Dec. 24 | All trees must be tagged prior to transportation | Snow conditions may require permit holders to use snowmobiles, cross-country skis or snowshoes to access the cutting area | The gates on the Mirror Lake Highway and on the North Slope Road are typically closed during the first week of December, limiting access for people without a snow machine | Cutting is not allowed in the Lily Lake Cross Country Ski Area | Permits for the Mt. View area will be available Nov. 13
  • Spanish Fork Ranger District | 801-798-3571 | District will begin issuing 380 permits Nov. 12 at the Spanish Fork Ranger District
    • Choice Hardware & Home Center, Nephi | 20 permits available
    • Conditions: $10, one permit per adult | Allowed in designated cutting areas within the Vernon area located in Tooele County | Only pinyon pine and juniper trees 20 feet or shorter may be cut and removed | Trees may be cut until Dec. 24 | All trees must be tagged prior to transportation

Kaibab National Forest | 928-635-8200 | email | website | Available Nov. 16

  • North Kaibab Ranger District | District will be issuing 800 permits
    • Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center | 928-643-7298 | 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
    • Conditions: $15, any species can be cut, cutting can’t begin until Nov. 20, not more than 10 feet, no refunds, maps will be provided
  • Tusayan Ranger District | District will be issuing 750 permits
    • Tusayan Ranger District office | 928-638-2443 | 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday
    • Conditions: $15, pinon and juniper only, cutting can’t begin until Nov. 20, not more than 10 feet, no refunds, maps will be provided
  • Williams Ranger District | District will be issuing 250 permits
    • Williams Ranger District office | 928-635-5600 | 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday
    • Conditions: $15, pinon and juniper only, cutting can’t begin until Nov. 20, not more than 10 feet, no refunds, maps will be provided
  • Purchase by mail | Send to desired ranger district office, allow 10 business days
    • Conditions: $15, include self-addressed stamped envelope, a contact phone number, a check payable to USDA Forest Service

Public safety precautions

In its released statement, the Forest Service urged people to remember that weather conditions in the mountains are unpredictable, and preparation for winter weather is advised.

Stay on designated roads and trails. Be prepared for slick, snow-packed roads and have chains, a 4-wheel drive vehicle or a snow machine available. Let someone know where you are planning to go and the approximate time you will return. Carry a cell phone; bring additional warm clothing, as well as gloves, boots and a container of hot liquid, water and a lunch or snack. Carry a flashlight, chains, shovel, first-aid kit, matches, a hatchet, ax or handsaw and rope to secure your tree.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

 

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