Chugach will send Christmas Tree to DC in 2015

The U.S. Forest Service has announced that the Chugach National Forest has been selected to provide the 2015 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. For more than 50 years a tree has graced the west lawn of the U.S Capitol, and since 1970, a national forest has been selected to provide the honored tree, a gift from the national forest and its home state.

An annual symbol of hope and celebration the tree is an opportunity to showcase how the Alaskan landscape sustains and inspires us. The tree will symbolize Alaskans and our connection to place, to both the lands and communities that make up our home. Alaskans rely on the Chugach National Forest for the habitat it provides for fish, for its outstanding scenic value and world-class recreational opportunities, as well as the economic opportunities it provides to communities. This sentiment is echoed in the motto that represents our Forest, “More than a place to visit, it’s where we live.” “Alaskans rely on the Chugach National Forest and other public lands for work, food, community, inspiration, and joy,” says Chugach Forest Supervisor, Terri Marceron.

In addition to providing a 60-85 foot tree to the U.S Capitol grounds, thousands of ornaments designed and created by school-children across Alaska will decorate the tree and a host of other trees in congressional offices in Washington D.C. Alaska Geographic, the official non-profit partner for Alaska’s public lands and co-lead for the Forest’s youth engagement program, Chugach Children’s Forest, will lead the ornament creation efforts.

The Chugach National Forest and its lead non-profit partner for the project, Choose Outdoors, are in the initial planning stages for the project, which will culminate in the tree’s arrival in Washington DC in November of 2015.

The Forest is working closely with Senator Lisa Murkowski and her staff on planning both local and D.C. events and community collaboration across Alaska.

Lisa Murkowski had this to say about the project: “Anchorage is nationally ranked as one of the top places to live and raise a family – and that’s due in part to our access to beautiful recreation areas like the Chugach National Forest and the trails and outdoor recreation we enjoy on a daily basis. Countless Alaskans have cut down their own Christmas tree from the Chugach over the years, and I’m glad that the U.S. Capitol is following suit, allowing us to spotlight this tremendous resource we have at our fingertips. This is truly a well-deserved recognition for Alaskans to be proud of.”

Groups, organizations, and individuals interested in helping with the year-long celebration and planning for the 2015 Capitol Christmas Tree can contact Chugach National Forest at 907-743-9500 or by e-mail. Information on the 2015 Capitol Christmas Tree will be posted on the official website and FaceBook page in late January.