MISSOULA – The Lolo National Forest is offering up Christmas tree permits.
The cost is $5 per permit and they may be purchased at all Lolo National Forest offices.
Permits may also be bought at Murdoch’s in Missoula, Bronc’s Grocery in Frenchtown, the Clinton Market east of Missoula, Conoco Feed and Fuel in Thompson Falls and the Bureau of Land Management Missoula Field Office, located at 3255 Fort Missoula Road.
The Lolo National Forest Office located at 24 Fort Missoula Road will extend hours for permit sales including two Saturdays – December 1 and December 8 — from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The hunt for the perfect Christmas tree can be a fun, festive way to begin the holiday season.
Following some simple tips can ensure it is a safe day out in the woods:
- Be aware of changing weather as well as road and snow conditions. Good snow tires and a four-wheel drive vehicle are advised when traveling in winter conditions on Forest Service roads.
- Carry a map and be aware of your location.
- If you are on foot be aware of remaining daylight and time needed to return to your vehicle.
- Bring the right tools: a saw for cutting the tree and a shovel for removing snow from around the base of the tree.
- Advise family or friends of your destination and when you will return.
The Lolo National Forest does have some restrictions for cutting a Christmas tree:
- Do not cut trees from plantations or within developed recreation areas, campgrounds or the following areas: Pattee Canyon, Blue Mountain or the Rattlesnake recreation area.
- Do not leave live branches on the stump and trim the stump to no more than five inches above the soil.
- Do not cut tops off of trees.
- Do not cut trees within 150 feet of riparian areas (creeks and streams) or within Wilderness Areas.
For additional information please contact any of the Lolo NF Ranger District offices:
- Missoula Ranger District: 329-3814
- Ninemile Ranger District: 626-5201
- Plains/Thompson Falls Ranger District: 826-3821
- Seeley Lake Ranger District: 677-2233
- Superior Ranger District: 822-4233