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Bitterroot Forest Sells Christmas Tree Permits Starting Tuesday

National Forest view. (KLYQ File Photo)
You’ll be able to cut your own Christmas tree on the Bitterroot National Forest with permits available November 12.

the $5 permits will be sold at any US Forest Service office or a number of retail businesses – Mr T’s in Darby, Bob Ward and Lone Pine Conoco in Hamilton, Merc Fresh Market in Corvallis and Cenex in Stevensville. Only cash or personal check will be accepted for payment.

There’s a limit of three permits per family and are Personal Use permits. The Darby Ranger District will handle Commercial and Non-profit fundraising tree cutting at (406) 821-3913.

Forest officials say there are choices of tree and species on the forest, but to be sure, get a map from the Forest Service.

There are some rules:

  • Cutting is not allowed on tree plantations, previously thinned areas, and developed recreation areas.
  • Trees are not allowed to be cut within 300 feet of campgrounds, streams lakes or ponds or within 100 feet from any main road.
  • Do not cut the top of a tree, leaving any stump higher than eight inches. Try to take a tree from an overcrowded area to help remaining trees grow.
  • Tod McKay of the Bitterroot National Forest said that travel conditions are constantly changing, so use a 4-wheel drive vehicle with snow tires or chains. Watch out for snowmobiles and other recreationists walking, skiing or sledding.

    A final tip – if you’re not going to set up the tree right away, store it in a cool area and when you put it indoors, cut at least an inch off the bottom and keep it watered.

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