Contact(s): Amy Baumer

Christmas tree tags are now available for sale at all Salmon-Challis National Forest district offices in Challis, Leadore, Mackay, North Fork, and the Public Lands Center in Salmon, as well as participating vendors in Salmon, Leadore, and Mackay.  Vendors selling Christmas Tree tags for the 2019 season in Salmon are: Cycle, Sleds, and Saws, Murdoch’s and Service Grocery; in Tendoy: Tendoy Store, in Leadore: Stage Stop; and in Mackay: Sammy’s Mini-Mart.

Tags are non-refundable and must be purchased before cutting your tree.  Each tag costs $5.00 per tree.  A household may purchase two tags.  The tag may be used in any open area administered by the Salmon-Challis National Forest or the Salmon and Challis BLM Field Offices.

Additionally, in support of Every Kid Outdoors (formerly Every Kid in the Park), the Salmon-Challis National Forest will offer one free holiday tree cutting permit to fourth graders who present a valid paper or durable Every Kid Outdoors pass.  The fourth grader must be present at the time the permit is issued and must be picked up before you cut your tree.  The free holiday tree cutting permit will not be available at local vendors, but is available at all Salmon-Challis National Forest offices in Challis, Leadore, North Fork, Mackay, and the Public Lands Center in Salmon.  The tag may be used in any open area administered by the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service is among the federal agencies that support the Administration’s Every Kid Outdoors initiative, a nationwide call to action to build the next generation of conservationists.  The initiative provides a free pass to all fourth-grade students who first go to and complete the application process.  Students can either use a paper pass or can redeem the paper pass for a durable pass at select federal lands.  The Salmon-Challis National Forest hopes the Every Kid Outdoors will help to inspire every young person in the Butte, Custer, and Lemhi County areas to visit the Salmon-Challis National Forest!

Guidelines for cutting include:

  • No cutting within 300 feet of campgrounds, streams, lakes or ponds.
  • Cut your tree at least 100 feet away from either side of any main road, including 200 feet from US Highway 93 and 1/3 mile from the roadside of the Salmon River Road (Forest Road #030).
  • Make your cut below the lowest live limbs.  Do not cut trees that measure 8 inches or greater in diameter at the 4 ½ feet mark above the ground.  Please do not top-cut trees.
  • Areas where cutting is prohibited:
  • All areas shown on the firewood map as closed to fuelwood cutting or gathering of fuelwood are also closed to Christmas tree cutting.  Reference the firewood map for closed areas. 
  • Tree plantations and signed timber sale areas. 

Once you have selected and cut your tree, place the tag around the stem or a branch of the tree before transporting.  The tag must be signed and attached to the tree in such a manner that removal will destroy the tag.  Caution is advised on snow covered roads.  In many places, four-wheel drive or chains may be needed.  Be prepared for cold weather conditions or emergencies that may present themselves by being outdoors during winter months.

Keep your tree in water while indoors to maintain freshness, reduce fire hazards and to enjoy its beauty throughout the holiday season. If the base dries out, resin will form over the cut end and the tree will not be able to absorb water causing it to dry out quickly.   Most fresh-cut trees should last at least five weeks before drying out if properly cared for.

The Salmon-Challis National Forest and Bureau of Land Management wishes you a happy holiday season!


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