Plumas National Forest Christmas tree permits on sale

With the holiday season officially underway, Christmas tree permits for the Plumas National Forest are available at local Ranger District offices or online through www.Recreation.gov/.

Permits cost $10 and are nonrefundable.  A maximum of two permits can be purchased per household and can be used through December 31.  Permits are only valid for this year.

Each permit is valid to cut one tree and must be secured to the tree in a place visible during transport of the tree from the forest.

The Forest is no longer offering mail-in Christmas tree permits.  However, purchasing the permit online through Recreation.govis a great and convenient option.  Just search for “Plumas National Forest Christmas Tree Permit.”

The permit cost through Recreation.gov is $10.  Up to two permits can be purchased and there is a $2.50 service charge per transaction.  The purchase can be done from a computer or mobile device and must be printed and visible on the vehicle dashboard when transporting the tree.

Christmas tree permits from the Plumas National Forest are valid for use on the Forest.  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 pass can use their pass to get a free Christmas tree permit on the Plumas National Forest to enjoy with their family.

EKO passes can also be acquired by visiting https://everykidoutdoors.gov and completing the application process.  Recreation.gov has an option for EKO passholders to get their Christmas tree permit online, but there is still the $2.50 service charge for the transaction.  Just search for the national forest where you want to cut your tree, check the box for the EKO pass, enter the EKO voucher or pass number and complete the purchase information.

Local Forest offices can answer questions regarding Christmas tree cutting, current conditions and roads.  It is recommended to call to verify that Christmas tree permits are available at the Forest Service office and methods of payment being accepted.  All offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 23 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Beckwourth Ranger Station
23 Mohawk Highway, Blairsden
(530) 836-2575
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon; 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays – Dec. 2 and 9, 8 a.m. to noon; 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Feather River Ranger District
875 Mitchell Ave., Oroville
(530) 534-6500
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays – Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mount Hough Ranger District
39696 Highway 70, Quincy
(530) 283-0555
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m Saturdays – Dec. 2 and 9, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Closed Friday, Nov. 24.

Cutting a Christmas tree on the National Forest is a great holiday tradition for many families and also helps with hazardous fuels reduction by removing smaller trees from the Forest.  

Following are some tips to make your experience more enjoyable

  • Plan your trip – check the weather, bring plenty of warm clothes, water, emergency food, tire chains, shovel, a saw or axe to cut your tree, and a tarp and rope to bring it home.  Make sure you have a full tank of gas when you leave and are prepared for changing conditions in the mountains!  Also, let someone know where you are going, the route you are taking and when you plan to be back.
  • Keep vehicles on designated roads and be aware of changing weather and road conditions.  Wet dirt roads can quickly turn to mud, making it possible to get stuck and causing damage to road, soil and water resources.  If there are puddles in the road, mud flipping off the tires or you can see your ruts in the rearview mirror, consider pulling over and taking a hike to look for a tree, or turning around and finding a different area to cut your tree.
  • Avoid traveling in the forest during storms or windy conditions.  Falling and downed trees, as well as landslides, can block roads with little to no warning.
  • Cut your tree early in the season before favorite cutting areas can’t be reached because of snow.
  • Cut the tree as close as possible to the ground and leave as little of a stump as possible.
  • Attach the permit on the tree where it will be easily visible with the tree packed or tied on your vehicle for transport home.
  • To help keep your tree fresh, cut at least one inch off the base when you get home and stand the tree in a container of water in a cool, shaded area, checking the water level daily.

For more information on the Plumas National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/plumas, follow the forest on Facebook at www.facebook.com/USFSPlumas.