SALT LAKE CITY – Cutting a Christmas tree in the wild is a tradition for many Utah families. In a statement released on Tuesday, the Forest Service of Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests highlighted some tips for individuals and families planning on going and cutting their own tree.
“Weather conditions in the mountains are unpredictable, so always be prepared for winter weather,” the statement said.
Tree hunters are advised to be prepared for snow-packed roads, and to take a vehicle that is able to handle winter conditions. The Forest Service advises people to let others know where they are planning to cut a tree, as well as an approximate time they will return. The statement suggests to, “Carry a flashlight, chains, shovel, first-aid kit, matches, a hatchet, ax or handsaw and rope to secure your tree.”
The statement also stated the rules and regulations for cutting trees:
“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 maps.”
Here are the National Forests that allow Christmas tree cutting:
- ASHLEY NATIONAL FOREST: (435) 789-1181 – http://fs.usda.gov/ashley – Holiday tree permits go on sale on November 15, at Forest Service offices and local vendors. Tree permits are $15. Limit one per household.
- DIXIE NATIONAL FOREST: (435) 865-3700 – http://fs.usda.gov/dixie – Permits will be available November 6, and can be purchased at the Cedar City Ranger District Office. Permits are $10 for a tree up to ten feet, and $20 for a tree from 11 to 22 feet. One permit per household; two trees maximum.
- FISHLAKE NATIONAL FOREST: (435) 896-9233 – http://fs.usda.gov/fishlake – Christmas tree permits are $10 each and must be obtained in person. Most species of tree may be cut, except ponderosa pine.
- UINTA-WASATCH-CACHE NATIONAL FORESTS: (801) 999-2103 http://fs.usda.gov/uwcnf – Christmas tree permits will be sold Friday, November 3 and Saturday, November 4. Permits will be sold both days at Soldier Hollow Lodge, located at 2002 Soldier Hollow Lane, Midway, Utah. There are a limited amount of permits available, and are $10 for personal use only.