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Christmas tree permits

Sawtooth National Forest Christmas tree permits will be available Nov. 15.

STANLEY — The Holidays are fast approaching and permits for cutting Christmas trees for personal use on the Sawtooth National Forest will be available beginning Nov. 15 — valid until Dec. 25.

The cost is $10. This permit will enable a family to choose and cut a tree up to 20 feet tall. There is a limit of one tree per family or organization. Permits will be available at the following locations throughout the Sawtooth National Forest and surrounding areas:

Fairfield Area

  • Fairfield Ranger District Office — 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Camas Creek Country Store — 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday, 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday

Twin Falls Area

  • Forest Supervisor’s Office — 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Rock Creek General Store — 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days per week
  • Hansen Quick Stop & Go — 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days per week

Burley Area

  • Minidoka Ranger District Office — 8 a.m. to noon and 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Cal Ranch — 226 Overland Ave., Burley

Ketchum Area

  • Ketchum Ranger District Office — 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Sawtooth National Recreation Area Headquarters Office — 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • LL Green Hardware, Hailey — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday

Stanley Area

  • Stanley Ranger Station — 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Lower Stanley Country Store — 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday

Depending on the specific area where people choose to cut their trees, a variety of trees are available — lodgepole pine, subalpine fir, Douglas fir and pinyon pine.

“We strongly recommend that people check with the Forest Service office closest to the area where they plan to cut their tree,” spokeswoman Julie Thomas said in a statement. “Conditions on the ground vary greatly from area to area throughout the forest. In some places it may be necessary to cross-country ski or use a snow machine to access cutting areas.”

There are a few areas that are off-limits for cutting Christmas trees. These include campgrounds, administrative sites, ski areas, summer home sites and organization camps.

“People will be provided with information when they purchase their permit,” Thomas added. “This will include maps and rules for cutting trees.”

Thomas advised people to be well-prepared when going into the forest to cut a tree.

“Weather and road conditions can change quite rapidly at this time of the year,” she said. “We encourage people to take extra food and clothing and let someone know where you plan to go and when you plan to return.”

Additionally, in support of the Every Kid in a Park program, the Sawtooth National Forest will offer one free Christmas tree permit to fourth-graders who present a valid paper or durable Every Kid in a Park pass. The fourth-grader must be present at the time the permit is issued. The permit must be picked up before cutting a tree. The free Christmas tree permit will not be available at local vendors but is available at all Sawtooth National Forest offices in Twin Falls, Burley, Fairfield, Ketchum, Stanley and the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters.

The U.S. Forest Service is among the federal agencies that support the Every Kid in a Park initiative, a nationwide call to action to build the next generation of conservationists. The initiative provides a free pass to all fourth-grade students who first go to EveryKidinaPark.gov and complete the application process. Students can either use a paper pass or can redeem the paper pass for a durable pass at select federal lands. The Sawtooth National Forest hopes the Every Kid in a Park will help to inspire every young person to visit the Sawtooth National Forest.

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