Permits for cutting Christmas trees in the Sawtooth National Forest will be available beginning Thursday, Nov. 15, and will be valid until Dec. 25. 

     This year’s permit costs $10 and allows an individual or family to choose and cut a tree up to 20 feet tall. There is a bag limit of one tree per family or organization. 

     Permits will be available at the following locations throughout the Sawtooth National Forest and surrounding areas:

  • ·Fairfield area: Fairfield Ranger District Office, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; Camas Creek Country Store, every day.
  • ·Ketchum area: Ketchum Ranger District Office, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday; Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday; L.L. Green’s Hardware in Hailey, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
  • ·Stanley area: Stanley Ranger Station, 8:30-noon and 1-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; Lower Stanley Country Store, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

     Available trees include lodgepole pines, subalpine firs, Douglas firs and pinyon pines. Cutting down limber or whitebark pines—which grow their needles in bunches of five—is strictly prohibited.

     “We strongly recommend that people check with the Forest Service office closest to the area where they plan to cut their tree,” said Julie Thomas, public affairs officer. “Conditions on the ground vary greatly from area to area throughout the forest.”

     Areas off-limits for cutting Christmas trees include campgrounds, administrative and research sites, ski areas, summer-home sites and organization camps. Trees within 100 feet of any main road are also not fair game.

     “People will be provided with information when they purchase their permit,” Thomas said.  “This will include maps and rules for cutting trees.”

     Christmas tree permits are also available for the Salmon-Challis National Forest area, at $5 apiece and with a two-tag limit per household. These participating offices include Challis, Leadore, Mackay, North Fork and the Public Lands Center in Salmon, as well as vendors in Salmon, Leadore and Mackay.

     Some areas may require a snow machine for access.

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