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Christmas tree

Cut your tree early in the season before favorite cutting areas can’t be reached because of snow.

LAKEVIEW – The holiday season is right around the corner and the Fremont-Winema National Forest will have Christmas tree permits available starting Friday, Nov. 1, according to a news release.

Permits cost $5 and are nonrefundable. A maximum of five permits can be purchased and can be used through Dec. 25.

The permits are available for purchase in person at all Fremont-Winema National Forest offices and from several vendors in Lake and Klamath counties.

Each permit is valid to cut one tree and must be validated by completely removing the month, date and year from the permit. The permit must then be secured to the tree trunk between the limbs in a place visible during transport of the tree from the forest.

The permits have five years available to remove for validation, so if weather or other conditions make it impossible to get a tree this year, the permit is still valid for use within the next four years.

For those who plan to purchase and use their Christmas tree permit this year, there is the new option to purchase the permit online through the Open Forest System. The permit cost is still $5, but it is only valid for the 2019 season. The transaction can be done from a computer or mobile device. The permit must be printed to be valid and be visible on the vehicle dashboard when transporting the tree.

To purchase a permit online, visit https://openforest.fs.usda.gov and select the Fremont-Winema National Forest.

Christmas tree permits from the Fremont-Winema National Forest are valid for use on the forest in Klamath and Lake Counties. It is the responsibility of the cutter to ensure they are not getting their tree from private, state or other federal lands. Christmas trees also cannot be harvested in Congressionally-designated Wilderness Areas, active timber sales, developed recreation sites or tree plantations.

Fourth graders with a valid Every Kid Outdoors (EKO) pass and accompanied by an adult can get a free Christmas tree permit from a Forest Service office carrying permits, including Fremont-Winema National Forest offices. The free EKO permits are not available from vendors.

Students in the fourth grade can get an EKO pass and learn more about the program by visiting https://everykidoutdoors.gov.

Some parking areas on the Forest require a Sno-Park permit issued by the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Permits are sold at all DMV offices and by permit agents at resorts, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. Certain Forest roads are designated as snowmobile trails and closed to motor vehicle traffic.