Know Before You Go: Christmas Tree Permits

Tree and baubleFor many families, venturing out onto public lands to cut a Christmas tree is an annual holiday tradition!

Beginning November 15, 2017, tree permits will be available at locations across southwest Oregon, including at Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management Offices, and multiple local vendors. Permits allow the cutting of personal-use trees for Christmas and other holiday events, and a permit is required for each individual tree visitors wish to take home. Please contact your local Forest Service or BLM office, as permits may be available sooner.

Permits for Christmas trees on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest and Medford and Coos Bay BLM Districts are $5.00 per tree, and are non-refundable. (While not required, exact change when paying is preferable!) There is a limit of five tree permits per household, and the permits may be used only on those lands open to Christmas tree harvesting that are administered by the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, and the Medford and Coos Bay BLM Districts. Maps that identify these areas will be provided at the time of permit purchase.

The Christmas tree permit tag is validated after harvesting your tree simply by cutting out the date on the tree tag and securely attaching it to the cut tree in a visible location before transporting it.

Christmas tree harvest is not allowed in:

  • Designated Federal Wilderness Areas or Wild and Scenic River Corridors;
  • Federally managed campgrounds;
  • Developed recreation areas;
  • National Monuments (including the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument);
  • Research Natural Areas or Areas of Critical Environmental Concern;
  • Within fences or posted tree plantations;
  • Areas currently closed for public health and safety;
  • Within 200 feet of State highways; or
  • On private lands.

This emphasizes the importance of keeping the agency-provided tree permit map with you, as well as a Forest or BLM map, and a familiarity of your location prior to cutting.

Every Kid in a Park Pass Holders: Get Your FREE Tree!

Every Kid in a ParkFor the third year in a row, the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is excited to announce that all fourth-graders are eligible for a free Christmas tree permit through the Every Kid in a Park program.

The innovative Every Kid in a Park program delivers a nationwide call to action to build the next generation of outdoor stewards of our country’s spectacular and diverse federally managed lands and waters by introducing fourth-graders to public lands in their backyards and beyond at an early age. Each fourth-grader or age-equivalent student may receive an Every Kid in a Park pass that will give them free access to 2,000-plus federally managed lands and waters across the U.S. for one full year, September 1 to August 31.

How does my Fourth-Grader obtain their Every Kid in a Park pass?

  1. Visit www.everykidinapark.gov and follow instructions to obtain the paper voucher.
  2. Print out the paper voucher.
  3. Bring your fourth-grader and their paper voucher with you to a RRSNF office to obtain their durable plastic Every Kid in a Park pass.

Once they have their pass, fourth-graders can come into any RRSNF office and present that pass/voucher to get their free Christmas tree permit!

Know Before You Go:

Traveling safely on public lands is very important! Please keep in mind that many roads on public lands administered by the Forest Service and BLM are not plowed in the winter and can present some situations that may become dangerous if you are not properly prepared or familiar with your location.

Specifically, the Bear Camp Road is not maintained from November 5 through Memorial Day Weekend. The agencies ask that you use extreme caution before considering the areas accessed via this route for your Christmas tree cutting outing, as roads may be unpassable and weather conditions can change quickly.

For all outdoor activities this time of year, be prepared for winter weather.

  • Check weather conditions prior to departure.
  • Check road conditions prior to departure.
  • Always travel with a full tank of gas.
  • Travel with adequate supplies such as warm clothing, blankets/sleeping bags, high energy food, water, warm beverages, first aid kit, flashlight, whistle, mirror, shovel, chains, and maps.
  • Always let someone know where you plan to harvest your tree and your expected return time.
  • Consider going with others who are familiar to the area, particularly if you are unfamiliar with the area in which you will be traveling or have not harvested a Christmas tree before.

Visitors to public lands should not hesitate to contact the office nearest to them with questions:

Happy tree hunting from the RRSNF and the Medford and Coos Bay Districts!