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11/14/2013 BLM, USFS now offering Christmas tree permits

The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service are once again offering Christmas tree permits for sale beginning Nov. 4. The cost of a permit is $10 with a limit of two permits per household. Permits are valid only for the areas of the state in which they are purchased.

"We have a variety of tree species to choose from, depending on where you would like to go," said Ken Reed, BLM Royal Gorge Field Office Forester. "You may cut a Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, piñon pine, white fir, spruce or a Rocky Mountain juniper."

Tree cutters must have a valid permit with them while cutting and transporting their trees. No one may cut a tree within a wilderness area, wilderness study area, timber sale area, or at administrative sites such as developed campgrounds. More guidelines, tips and maps of suggested cutting areas are available where permits are sold.

Christmas tree permits may be purchased at any of the following BLM and USFS offices:

• BLM Royal Gorge Field Office and San Carlos Ranger District, 3028 E. Main St., Cañon City, Mon. through Fri. from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Contact: 719-269-8500.

• BLM permits may be purchased at the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area Office, 307 West Sackett Ave., Salida, Mon. through Fri. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact: 719-539-7289.

• USFS permits may be purchased at the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands Supervisor’s Office, 2840 Kachina Drive, Pueblo, Mon. through Fri. 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Contact: 719-553-1400.

• USFS permits may be purchased at the USFS offices in Westcliffe (719-783-2079) and La Veta (719-742-3681). Please call prior to stopping by the offices, as they do not have established office hours.

Foresters remind the public to plan ahead for any tree-cutting trip. Remember that while the temperatures may be mild at lower elevations, the high country may be experiencing winter conditions. The public should wear warm clothes, bring the appropriate maps, and let someone know the planned destination and return time.