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How to cut your own Christmas tree

Sequim Gazette staff

You-cut Christmas tree permits are available from Olympic National Forest for $5 each (cash or check only). Douglas-fir is the most abundant and popular Christmas tree species found in the forest. Pacific silver fir may be found along ridge tops at higher elevations but accessibility depends on snow and road conditions.

The permits are valid only in specified areas; maps and information about cutting areas will be provided with each permit sale.

Permits can be purchased at the Forks Visitor Information Center, Hood Canal Ranger District Office in Quilcene (360-765-2200), Hoodsport Visitor Information Center, Olympic National Forest Supervisor’s Office in Olympia (360-956-2300) and Pacific Ranger District Office in Quinault (360-288-2525). Call for hours, permit availability, and current road and weather conditions. Mail-order permits are available from the Olympia, Quilcene and Quinault offices. Visit website www.fs.fed.us/r6/olympic/ for order forms and more information. All offices are closed Nov. 25.
 
Permit information

• Cut one tree per permit.
• A maximum of five permits are available to a household.
• Permits are not refundable.
• Tree cutting is prohibited in wildernesses areas, developed campgrounds, administrative sites, within 300 feet of streams, on private or state-owned lands within national forest boundaries and in other posted areas.
• Olympic National Forest Christmas tree permits are
not valid on other land ownerships.
• Cutting on private land is subject to trespass action.

Safety tips:

• Let someone know where you are going and when to expect you back.
• Be prepared for cold and changing winter weather conditions.
• Carry tire chains, a shovel, flashlights and a blanket in your vehicle.
• Bring extra food and hot beverages.
• Arrive at your cutting area early to avoid travelling in the dark.
• Wear proper winter clothing and carry extra clothing in case you get wet.
• Most National Forest roads are not maintained or snowplowed during the winter.
• Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended.

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