By Kyril Plaskon
People have been snapping up hundreds of Christmas tree cutting permits for the first time in years at the Galena Creek Visitor Center. The U.S. Forest Service opened the area for cutting this year for the first time in 4 years. According to the visitor center director, Gwen Bourne, over 900 permits have been sold.
“There is very high demand which is great to see. People get out and have the experience of cutting the tree with their family,” Bourne said. Indeed hundreds of families have been tromping off into the forest in search of their own tree. I did, with an army of eight kids. Watch the video below for a good preview for anyone considering a tree excursion. There is still time to get a permit and tree.
When you buy a permit (just $10) you can get a huge tree, but you also get a list of regulations and you need to make sure you follow them according to Bourne. Regulations cover the cutting areas, the kinds of trees and how to cut them. The list of regulations are available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/htnf/passes-permits
“Topping trees” is the biggest problem according to U.S. Forest Service Carson District Ranger Irene Davidson. That is where people cut off the top of the tree and leave half the tree there. “It leaves that tree open for insects, disease and infestation that can spread to other trees,” Davidson said adding that the program was expanded to reduce fire danger.
“Upon review we found that the area needed to be thinned,” Davidson said.