Christmas tree permits to go on sale in the Lake Tahoe Basin

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. –The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) will begin the sale of Christmas tree permits on Monday, November 7, 2016.  Permits cost $10 each (cash or check preferred on South Shore, cash or check only on North Shore and in Tahoe City, no credit cards), with a limit of two permits per family.  Permits must be purchased in person, are not transferable and are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.  Permit holders may choose from a variety of pine, fir or cedar in designated cutting areas in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Permits will be sold in three locations (all offices are closed on Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day):

  • On the South Shore, permits will be sold at the Forest Supervisor’s office, 35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., beginningMonday, November 7, 2016.  This office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. For more information, call (530) 543-2600.
  • On the North Shore, permits will be sold at the Incline Village Forest Service office, 855 Alder Ave., Incline Village, Nev., beginningWednesday, November 9, 2016.  This office is open Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. For more information, call (775) 831-0914.  (During winter weather driving conditions, call the Incline Village office to make sure it is open.)
  • In Tahoe City, permits will be sold at the North Lake Tahoe Visitor Center, 100 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, Calif., beginning Monday, November 7, 2016.  This office is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily.  For more information, call (530) 581-6900.

Cutting a Christmas tree offers a traditional holiday experience while helping to thin the forest of excessive smaller trees, which creates a healthier forest over time.  Select a tree that is six inches or less in diameter by using the ruler provided on the permit and be sure the tree is within 10 feet of another green tree.  Do not remove only the top of the tree, cut down the entire tree and leave a stump that is six inches or less above the ground.  Attach the permit to the tree before transporting out of the cutting area.

Designated cutting area maps are provided at the time of permit purchase.  Permit holders should follow permit guidelines for responsible collection, including not trespassing on 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.

Weather conditions in the mountains are unpredictable, 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 your mobile phone may not work in some areas.

In support of the Every Kid in a Park program, the LTBMU will offer one free Christmas tree permit to fourth-grade students who present a valid paper voucher or durable Every Kid in a Park pass.  To obtain the free Christmas tree permit, fourth-grade students must obtain the paper voucher online, present the printed voucher in person along with their parent or guardian to a participating Forest Service office and participate in the cutting of the Christmas tree.  To obtain the paper voucher and to learn more about the Every Kid in a Park program, visit www.EveryKidinaPark.gov.

Many other National Forests sell Christmas tree permits. For a list and more information, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/ChristmasTreePermits.