CASS LAKE—The Chippewa National Forest is selling Christmas tree permits for $5 through Friday, Dec. 22. Permits can be purchased at the forest supervisor's office in Cass Lake or at the ranger districts in Blackduck, Deer River and Walker. Offices are open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
"Finding and cutting your own Christmas tree can make a great family holiday tradition," Blackduck District ranger Karen Lessard said in a press release. "And, it can also help improve forest health by thinning stands that have a concentration of small-diameter trees."
The Chippewa National Forest also is offering one free Christmas tree permit to fourth-grade students as part of the Every Kid in a Park program. Visit www.everykidinapark.gov for information about the program and to obtain a student voucher. To receive a free Christmas tree permit, the student and a parent must go to a Forest Service office in person with the voucher they received from the online registration.
Trees can be cut anywhere on National Forest land except recreation areas, trails and administrative sites. After the tree is cut, participants should attach the tree permit to a branch before transporting it.
"We want to help ensure you find the tree you are looking for, so we encourage folks to ask for recommended sites when picking up a permit," Lessard said, adding that forest maps are also available for purchase to guide tree hunters.