Christmas tree cutting permits will be available to purchase at Gifford Pinchot National Forest offices and private vendors beginning Nov. 14.
The permits cost $5 each, with a limit of five permits per household, and are valid for a one-time use. People purchasing permits will receive maps of cutting areas and an information sheet with instructions for cutting Christmas trees in the national forest.
As part of the national Every Kid in a Park initiative, all fourth-graders are eligible for a free national forest Christmas tree permit. To receive one, students must earn a pass online at the Every Kid in a Park website at www.everykidinapark.gov, then present an Every Kid in a Park pass or a valid paper voucher printed from the Every Kid in a Park website.
Christmas tree permits can be bought at the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, 42218 N.E. Yale Bridge Road, Amboy; 360-449-7800; office hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; closed Nov. 22.
Permits also can be purchased at the following local vendors. Call for hours of operation.
Amboy Market, 360-247-5421; and Chelatchie Prairie General Store 360-247-5529.
Lakeside Country Store, 360-238-5202; Cougar Store, 360-238-5228; and Lone Fir Resort, 360-238-5210.
Kalama Spirits and Tobacco, 360-673-4991.
Sportsmen’s Warehouse, 360-423-2600.
Because most forest roads are not maintained for winter driving, it is recommended people have traction devices and a shovel, extra food, drinking water, winter clothing, blankets, a flashlight, and a first aid kit in their vehicles along with a tool for cutting the tree and a rope or cord to secure it to the vehicle.
Tree cutting and travel may take longer than anticipated, so forest staff suggest forest visitors tell a friend or family member where they are going, get an early start and depart from the woods well before dark.
For details on current road status and closures, visit www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/giffordpinchot/recreation
For details and a video on successful tree harvesting, visit www.fs.usda.gov/detail/giffordpinchot/passes-permits