Christmas tree permits available online for the upcoming holiday season


A child pulls a small tree behind him over the snow. Courtesy USDA Forest Service
WENATCHEE – People desiring to purchase Christmas tree permits will have three options to do so starting Nov.  1. Permits may be purchased online through Recreation.gov, at some Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest offices, and from local vendors.
The Forest Service decided to move permit sales to Recreation.gov as an added convenience for visitors, as well as provide an alternative to in-person transactions at offices that may remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To purchase a Christmas tree permit online, visit Recreation.gov and search for Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Christmas Tree Permits. It is important to carefully read the overview and need-to-know information prior to purchasing the permit. Visitors will also need to set up or login to a Recreation.gov account to complete the transaction. Permits purchased online have to be printed to be valid.
Christmas tree permits cost $5 each (if purchased online there is an additional $2.50 charged for the reservation/transaction fee). Each tree permit allows a family to cut one tree, with a tree height limit of 15 feet, or dig a small live transplant tree. Permits are limited to two permits per household. The permits are non-refundable and are only good on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Christmas trees cannot be harvested in Wilderness areas, campgrounds, developed recreation areas, or tree plantations.
High clearance 4-wheel drive vehicles are recommended for driving on national forest roads during the winter months. Remember to leave early in the day to allow for maximum daylight. Also, be prepared for all types of weather.
Free tree permits are available to fourth graders as part of the national Every Kid Outdoors initiative. Fourth graders with a valid Every Kid Outdoors pass can get one free holiday tree cutting permit from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. In order for students to receive a free tree permit, they must present an Every Kid Outdoors pass or a valid paper voucher printed from the Every Kid Outdoors website. Please note, not all national forest offices are open due to the pandemic; please call before visiting offices.
Traditional permits may be purchased in person from the following national forest offices:
• Naches Ranger District office, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday
• Entiat Ranger District office, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (over the phone and hand delivered outside) Monday through Friday
• Methow Valley Ranger District office, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed during lunch from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
• Chelan Ranger Distgrict office, 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Thursdays only.
If you normally purchase a permit in person at a national forest office and that office is closed due to the pandemic, a list of vendors selling national forest Christmas tree permits is posted at https://bit.ly/3nM83Az .
For more information about the Christmas tree program on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, please contact local ranger district offices or visit the forest website at https://go.usa.gov/xV7SG .
 

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