Christmas Tree Cutting Permits

Boy Dragging Christmas Tree

 

The selection and cutting of a special tree from the forest for the holidays has been a treasured tradition for generations of residents.  The Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests offer personal-use Christmas Tree Permits for the cutting of a tree on Forest land. Christmas Tree Permits cost $10 per tree (limit five per household), are for personal use only (not for resale), and expire 12/31 of the year they are purchased.

Permits can be purchased at all Ranger District offices, as well as the following locations:

  • BLM Cheyenne Office, (307) 775-6256, 5353 N Yellowstone Rd, Cheyenne, WY, M-F, 7:45 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
  • BLM Rawlins Office, (307) 328-4200, 1300 3rd St, Rawlins, WY, M-F, 7:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • The Clark Store, (970) 879-3849, 54175 RCR 129, Clark, CO, 7 am – 7pm, 7 days a week
  • Craig Chamber of Commerce & Moffat County Visitor Center, (970) 824-5689, 360 E Victory Way, Craig, CO, M-F, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. & 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sat
  • Kremmling Chamber of Commerce, (970) 724-3472, 203 Park Ave, Kremmling, CO, M-W, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.
  • West Laramie Fly Store, (307) 745-5425, 1657 Snowy Range Rd., Laramie, WY, 5:30 a.m. - 9 p.m., 7 days a week

Permits may also be purchased through the mail from the Douglas Ranger District & Yampa Ranger District.

Where can I cut my Christmas tree?

All areas on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests are open to harvesting Christmas trees, except for the locations listed below.

Areas Closed to Christmas Tree Cutting

Thunder Basin National Grassland

  • ENTIRE AREA:  Christmas tree cutting is prohibited

Forest-wide

  • FOREST ROADS AND TRAILS:  Do not cut trees within 100 feet of any forest road or trail.
  • DEVELOPED AREAS:  Do not cut trees in or within 200 feet of any developed areas, including Campgrounds, Picnic Areas, Trailheads, Scenic Overlooks and Administrative Sites.
  • WILDERNESS AREAS:  Christmas tree cutting is prohibited in Wilderness Areas.
  • TIMBER SALE AREAS:  Christmas tree cutting is prohibited in Timber Sale areas. Do not cut any tree marked with colored paint or signs.

Brush Creek-Hayden Ranger District

  • BATTLE MOUNTAIN SCENIC BYWAY:  Do not cut trees within 200 feet of Battle Mountain Scenic Byway (WY Highway 70).
  • SNOWY RANGE SCENIC BYWAY:  Do not cut trees within 500 feet of Snowy Range Scenic Byway (WY Highway 130).

Douglas Ranger District

  • JOE BURNEY MEMORIAL OVERLOOK:  Do not cut trees within 200 feet of Forest Road 633 from MBNF boundary south to cattle guard.
  • ESTERBROOK AREA:  Christmas tree cutting is prohibited from ½ mile to 3 miles east of Esterbrook on Forest Road 633.

Hahns Peak-Bears Ears Ranger District

  • FISH CREEK FALLS RECREATION AREA:  Christmas tree cutting is prohibited.
  • STEAMBOAT SKI AREA:  Christmas tree cutting is prohibited.
  • FREEMAN RECREATION AREA:  Christmas tree cutting is prohibited.
  • SHERMAN YOUTH CAMP:  Christmas tree cutting is prohibited.

Laramie Ranger District

  • SNOWY RANGE SCENIC BYWAY:  Do not cut trees within 500 feet of Snowy Range Scenic Byway (WY Highway 130).
  • POLE MOUNTAIN/VEDAUWOO:  Christmas tree cutting is prohibited in the Pole Mountain/Vedauwoo Unit of the Laramie Ranger District.
  • WY HIGHWAY 230:  Do not cut trees within 200 feet of the highway.
  • SNOWY RANGE SKI AREA:  Christmas tree cutting is prohibited.

Yampa Ranger District

  • BEAR RIVER CORRIDOR:  Do not cut trees within 200 feet of Forest Road 900.

 

Christmas Tree Permit Regulations

When taking a Christmas tree from the National Forest, please observe the following permit requirements.  Failure to do so is a violation.

  • Each permit is for one tree.
  • Sales are final and non-refundable.
  • A permit expires on the last day of the calendar year it was purchased.
  • Attach the permit to the trunk of the tree as soon as it is cut down and before leaving the cutting area.
  • Transport the tree so the permit is clearly visible from outside your vehicle.
  • Don’t top trees by leaving the lower part of the tree standing. Leave a stump less than six inches and cut below the lowest live limb.
  • Use boughs from the lower section of the tree you cut, NOT from other live trees.
  • Do NOT cut trees greater than 20 feet in height.
  • Do NOT cut trees that are more than six inches in diameter at the stump.
  • Scatter any unwanted branches to lie 24” or less from the ground.
  • Up to five Christmas Tree permits may be purchased by any one household in a calendar year.

Safety Suggestions

  • Check with the local Forest Service office for recent site and road information.
  • Park safely on a highway pullout or off of a Forest Road.  Do not park where your vehicle can be hit by a falling tree.
  • Check maps to be sure of your location. Cutting on private land is trespassing!
  • Have a full tank of gas and use snow tires. Bring chains and a shovel.
  • Stay out of the forest when there are strong winds.
  • Use caution when felling your tree!
  • There is no cell phone coverage in many areas of the forest, so plan accordingly.
  • Dress warmly and bring food, extra water, a blanket, and a first aid kit.

Harvesting Your Christmas Tree

  • Choose a tree that is growing with other trees in a cluster. Leave the “perfect” trees to grow and provide for a healthy genetic source for the future forest.
  • Leave the site looking as undisturbed as possible and take your trash home with you.

Where does my fee go?

In 1996, Congress passed into law the Recreation Fee Demonstration Pilot Program (fee demo). The Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests have applied the fee demo program to its existing Christmas tree cutting program to provide the public with better customer service, more outlets to obtain tree permits, and improved management of tree cutting areas. Ninety-five percent of fees collected will be retained by the forest to  help maintain and improve this program.