MENDOCINO Co., 11/3/22 — The Mendocino National Forest will begin selling Christmas tree permits online at Recreation.gov on Friday, Nov. 4. People over 18 can purchase a Christmas tree permit for $10 per tree with a $2.50 transaction fee. While the permit is good through the end of the year, forest supervisors encourage permit holders to cut their tree early in the season before favorite cutting areas can’t be reached due to winter weather.
“Cutting your own Christmas tree on a national forest is a special experience for several reasons,” said Joseph Rechsteiner, acting forest supervisor for the Mendocino National Forest. “The Christmas Tree Program helps people connect to our public lands and helps families create treasured memories together. It also benefits forest health by removing the small-diameter, over-crowded trees and opening more areas for wildlife foraging for food.”
Find more details in the press release from the USFS:
To purchase a Christmas tree permit, visit Recreation.gov and search by forest name or use the interactive map to explore locations. Be sure to carefully read the overview, need-to-know information and other guidelines prior to purchasing the permit. Visitors will need to create or log in to a Recreation.gov account to complete the transaction.
A permit must be purchased, limited to one per household. On Recreation.gov, visitors have the option to purchase up to three trees. The cost for 2022 is $10 per tree, and with a $2.50 transaction fee. The number of permits is limited and will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Permits are good through December 31, 2022.
Persons must be at least 18 years old to purchase the permit. All Christmas tree permit sales are final; no refunds will be made. Christmas tree cutting will be allowed only in specific areas in the Mendocino National Forest.
When heading out to the forest to cut a Christmas tree, officials remind visitors to follow these important tips for a safe and enjoyable experience:
- Plan your trip and check the weather forecast.
- Bring plenty of warm clothes, water, food, tire chains, shovel, a saw or axe to cut your tree and a tarp and rope to bring it home.
- Keep vehicles on designated roads and be prepared for changing weather and road conditions. Be aware of safety hazards when travelling through a burned area.
- Remember cell phone service may be unavailable, so carry emergency equipment in vehicles.
- Cut the tree early in the season before favorite cutting areas can’t be reached because of snow.
- Make sure you are cutting a tree on the Mendocino National Forest within the designated Christmas tree cutting area and not on other federal, state or private lands.
- Cut the tree as close as possible to the ground and leave as short a stump as possible.
- Print your permit and make sure it is visible on your vehicle dashboard. If you purchase a permit in-person at one of our offices or vendors, you will receive a tag that needs to be tied to your tree when you transport it home.
Permits can be also purchased by mail or in person at the Willows or Upper Lake Ranger Stations. If purchasing in person, individuals can purchase one permit per household and one tree per permit. Several local vendors will also be selling Christmas tree permits. Officials recommend that visitors call ahead to check hours and availability at the following offices and vendors:
- Mendocino National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 825 N. Humboldt Ave., Willows, CA 95988, (530) 934-3316
- Upper Lake Ranger Station, 10025 Elk Mountain Rd., Upper Lake, CA 95485, (707) 275-2361
- Covelo Ranger Station, 78150 Covelo Rd., Covelo, CA 95428, (707) 983-6118
- Sacramento River Discovery Center, 1000 Sale Ln, Red Bluff, CA 96080, (530) 527-1196
- Upper Lake Grocery, 160 E. Hwy 20, Upper Lake, CA 95485, (707) 275-2380
- M&M Feed, 74540 Hill Rd., Covelo, CA 95428, (707) 983-6273
- Keith’s Family Foods, 76201 Covelo Rd., Covelo, CA 95428, (707) 983-6633
- Covelo Volunteer Fire Department, 75900 Covelo Rd., Covelo, CA 95428, (707) 983-6719