With cooler temperatures causing a chill in the Southern Utah air, it’s becoming a lot harder to not think about winter and Christmas.
Starting Monday November 4th, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest service will be selling Christmas tree permits for use by Southern Utah Residents. Other offices will begin selling permits Tuesday November 5th through November 18th.
This year’s Christmas tree permits will allow most residents to harvest either a pinyon pine, a juniper tree, or a white fir tree which will be located closer to Cedar City.
Along with the BLM offices in Southern Utah selling permits, the Kaibab National Forest located in Arizon will also be selling 1,800 Christmas Tree permits starting November 18th at all three of their ranger districts. Permits for trees located within the Kaibab Nation Forest can be bough in person, and mailed for $15 each.
Each permit allows residents to find and cut a tree that is no taller than 10 feet between November 18th and December 24th. The permit will only allow for trees within the designated ranger district to be cut, unless noted otherwise.
Those who purchase a permit to get a Christmas tree will also be given a map from the National Forest Service showing them their designated cutting area and additional tree-cutting instructions.
As part of the Every Kid Outdoor initiative, fourth-grade students are eligible for a FREE Christmas Tree Permit! All fourth-grade students are able to apply and receive an Every Kid Outdoors pass which allows them and their families access to federal lands, national parks and waters across the country for a full year!
The Kaibab National Forest is helping with the Every Kid Outdoors initiative by offering a free Christmas tree permit to interested fourth grade students who present their pass or paper voucher at the ranger stations. Fourth Grade students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when requesting their permit.
In a statement given to St. George News, BLM spokesperson Rachel Wootton stated that Christmas tree permits allow families to enjoy part of the public lands near their home during the holidays.
She continued stating, “Christmas tree permits are great because they’re a service to the public. Many people love to have a tree that’s from public lands that is close to where they live, maybe close to where they live or an area they have a connection to.”
Wootton said through permitting, the BLM ensures residents can access resources in a way that is good for them and for public lands.
Officials are advising residents interested in cutting their own tree to get an early start as winter weather conditions make the terrain unpredictable, and in some cases makes locations with trees inaccessible after it snows in the area.
The BLM has advised that those who go out looking for their perfect Christmas tree should let someone know where they are planning on looking and what time they think they’ll be home. Due to some open hunting seasons, please remember to wear bright colors to help you remain visible to hunters and others in these areas.
Don’t forget to carry a cell phone, bring extra warm clothing, wear gloves, boots and have water and food along incase you end up spending more time in outdoors than anticipated. BLM officials are urging people to make sure they also carry a flashlight, shovel, first-aid kit, matches, axe or handsaw and a rope to secure the tree to a vehicle once it has been cut down.
Don’t forget to properly dispose of your tree once the holidays are over. Wootton stated that Christmas trees are perfect for firewood, composting and other at-home projects.
Permits can be obtained Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for $10 per permit. These dates do not include federal holidays. There is a limit of two permits per household. Purchases must be made in person, and at the time of purchase, the BLM will provide residents with maps of local public lands.
Christmas tree permits are available at the following locations and can be used on any district in the Dixie National Forest.
Pine Valley Ranger District (435) 688-3200 – Permits will be available November 4 and can be purchased at the Public Information Center located at 345 East Riverside Drive, St. George Utah 84790, Monday through Friday 7:45 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Public Information Center can only accept Cash or Check for Forest Service permits. Only Pinyon Pine and Juniper tree species may be cut.
Cedar City Ranger District (435) 865-3700 – Permits will be available November 4 and can be purchased at the Cedar City Ranger District office located at 1789 N Wedgewood Ln., Cedar City, UT 84721, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Permits are $10.00 for a tree up to 10 feet and $20.00 for a tree 11 feet to 20 feet. Only White Fir, Subalpine Fir, Pinyon Pine and Juniper tree may be cut.
Powell Ranger District: (435) 676-9300 – Permits will be available November 4 and can be purchased at the Powell Ranger District office, 225 East Center Street, Panguitch, Utah from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Permits are $10.00 for a tree up to 10 feet and $20.00 for a tree 11 feet to 20 feet. All species of trees can be cut, except bristlecone pine.
Escalante Ranger District: (435) 826-5400 – Permits will be available November 4 and can be purchased at the Escalante Interagency Visitor Center at, 755 West Main, Escalante, Utah from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Permits are also available from vendors in the towns of Antimony, Tropic, Escalante and Boulder. Contact the Escalante Ranger District for vendor locations. Permits are $10.00 for a tree up to 10 feet and $20.00 for a tree 11 feet to 20 feet. All species of trees can be cut, except bristlecone pine.
Permits can also be purchased at:
- Hurst Ace Hardware at 165 S Main St, Cedar City
- Cottam’s 66 Station, 79 East Main, Escalante
- Clarke’s Country Market, 141 North Main, Tropic
- Antimony Merc, 10 North Hwy 22, Antimony (starting Nov. 13)
- Hall’s Store, 425 North Hwy 12, Boulder