Cutting your Christmas tree, a great tradition

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Christmas tree permits are now available for at all seven Ranger District offices and numerous vendors across the Custer Gallatin National Forest.  Forest Service offices in Boze - man, West Yellowstone, Liv- ingston, Gardiner, Red Lodge, Ashland, MT and Camp Crook,

SD will have permits available from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday for $5.00 each, with a limit of three permits per household.  Permits are sold in person and cash, check, debit and credit are accepted.  

Permits are also available at these local community busi - nesses:  

• Livingston:  Ace Hardware

• Gardiner:  Gardiner Market

• Red Lodge:  Sylvan Peak Mountain Shop

• Absarokee: Rockin J Gas

Station

• Billings: Cabela’s & Ace Hardware (Heights location)

• Ekalaka: Carter County Conservation District

A permit can also be pur- chased for gathering personaluse boughs.  Permits, maps, forest road access updates and tree species identification guides are available at each ranger district office.  “Cutting a Christmas tree is a great, family fun tradition for many,” said Marna Daley, Public Affairs Officer, Custer Gallatin National Forest.  “Dress in layers for changing weather conditions, be prepared for emergencies, and enjoy spend - ing time outdoors with friends and family.”

Those with a permit may cut a Christmas tree anywhere

on the Custer Gallatin National Forest except in campgrounds, trailheads, designated wilder - ness areas, developed recreation sites, posted timber sale units, recently planted locations and administrative sites.  Permits are also valid for any national forest in the Northern Region, which includes all of Montana, northern Idaho and portions of North and South Dakota.  Gen - eral guidelines for cutting a tree include the following:

• No tree cutting is allowed within 50 feet of any stream, lake, or wetland.  

• Only trees 15 feet tall or less may be cut.

• Cut your tree as close to the ground as possible and below the lowest live limb.  A remaining stump height of 6 inches or less is ideal.  

• After cutting your tree, at - tach the purchased permit to a lower limb near the trunk for transporting home.

• “Topping” trees, or cutting the top off trees, deforms any fu - ture growth and leaves a visual eyesore.  Take the entire tree or choose another one.

• Trees help protect water - sheds, provide habitat for wild - life, and contribute to beautiful scenery.  Keep these values in mind when selecting a tree.

For more information, please contact any Custer Gallatin Na - tional Forest office or for general forest information visit online at www.fs.usda.gov/custergallatin .

 

Custer Gallatin National Forest Offices:

Ashland Ranger District: 406-784-2344

Bozeman Ranger District: 406-522-2520

Beartooth Ranger District: 406-446-2103

Gardiner Ranger District: 406-848-7375

Hebgen Lake Ranger District W. Yellowstone:  406-823-6961

Sioux Ranger District:  605- 797-4432

Yellowstone Ranger District Livingston:  406-222-1892

Billings Office:  406-255-1400

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