The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) and the Eldorado National Forest are offering Christmas tree permits. Permit holders may choose from a variety of pine, fir or cedar trees up to 6 inches in diameter (at the base) in designated cutting areas.
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
Permits must be purchased in person, are not transferable and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Permits will be issued during regular business hours while supplies last. Cutting under these permits will be allowed until Dec. 31, to accommodate military families and others who may need to celebrate a delayed Christmas.
LTBMU permits cost $10 each, with a limit of two per family or address. There’s a limit of 2,000 permits. Weather permitting, the following forest roads will remain open to improve access to cutting areas: Fountain Place Road to the first parking area, at the end of Oneidas Street (1201), Big Meadow Trailhead parking area (1213) and Barker Pass Road up to the OHV campground (03).
Permits will be sold in the following locations: Forest Supervisor’s office on 35 College Dr. in South Lake Tahoe; open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Incline Village Forest Service office on 855 Alder Ave. in Incline Village, Nev.; open Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The offices will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Eldorado National Forest
The Eldorado National Forest will begin selling Christmas tree permits on Nov. 13.
Tree tags that can be used to cut pine, fir or cedar trees up to 6 inches in diameter at the base will be available at the Forest Supervisor’s Office in Placerville, the Placerville District Office in Camino, the Georgetown District Office in Georgetown and the Amador District Office in Pioneer.
Christmas tree permits will be issued with tree tags at a cost of $10 per tag (cash only), with a limit of two tags per family or address. Permits must be purchased in person, are not transferable and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis until all 4,500 tags are sold but no later than noon on Dec. 28.Cutting under these permits will be allowed until Dec. 31.
Permits will be sold in four locations Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays on Nov. 17 and 24 and Dec. 1 and 8.
Every Kid in a Park
In support of Every Kid in a Park program, the LTBMU and Eldorado National Forest will offer one free Christmas tree permit to fourth-grade students who present a valid paper voucher or durable program pass. The student must be present to obtain the permit and when cutting the tree under the program. For information and to obtain a voucher, visit everykidinapark.gov.
Be sure to select a tree that is 6 inches or less in diameter at the base of the tree by using the ruler provided on the tag. Select a tree that is within 10 feet of another green tree. Do not remove the top of the tree, cut down the entire tree and leave a stump that is 6 inches or less above the ground. Scatter all discarded branches away from roads, ditches and culverts. Attach the tag to the tree before leaving the cutting area.
Cutting area maps are provided at the time of permit purchase. Permit holders should follow permit guidelines for responsible collection, including not trespassing onto private property when entering or leaving national forest cutting areas. Observe seasonal road closures and be prepared to hike to the cutting area to find a tree. No off-road travel is allowed. Park in legal areas and do not block gates.
Remember that weather conditions in the mountains are unpredictable and travel during winter storm weather can be dangerous. In addition, winds may cause branches or trees to fall. Visitors should avoid cutting on wet, windy days. Check the weather before heading out and tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
Dress appropriately for cold-weather conditions and be prepared for ice and snow. Carry tire chains and a shovel and bring emergency supplies, including water, food, extra blankets and a first-aid kit. Keep in mind, mobile devices may not work in some areas. | fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/ChristmasTreePermits, fs.usda.gov/eldorado