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Christmas tree-cutting opportunities

As the holiday season approaches, the forest service is offering the opportunity for families to obtain a Christmas tree from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Christmas tree permits are on sale for $5 each at all ranger stations and at the forest headquarters. Each $5 permit allows a family to cut one tree, with a height limit of 15 feet, or dig a small live transplant tree.

Local businesses will also be selling tree permits starting in mid-November. A list of vendors is available on the forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/okawen.

The forest service has tips for those venturing out into the national forest in pursuit of a Christmas tree.

First, before leaving home, notify a friend or family member of the planned route of travel and expected return time. Check road conditions and avalanche hazard warnings before traveling into the forest and wear appropriate clothing for the weather. Leave early in the day to allow for maximum daylight.

Christmas tree permits may be placed on the driver’s side dashboard in lieu of a Northwest Forest Pass when parking at a trailhead. However, once enough snow accumulates and trailhead parking areas are converted to sno-parks, a valid Washington State Sno-Park permit must be displayed on the vehicle windshield.

For more information, contact forest officials at 509-664-9200.

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