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Free Christmas Tree Permits Offered For Stanislaus National Forest

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Sonora, CA — The Stanislaus National Forest will start offering Christmas Tree permits this year in hopes of starting a new holiday tradition.

As part of this being the inaugural year of the program, permits will be free (though there is still a small $2.50 processing fee through Recreation.gov). Permits will be available starting this Friday, November 25, and will be limited to the first 5,000.

Stanislaus National Forest Supervisor Jason Kuiken says, “There’s a certain magic in families coming together to wander into the forest to find that special tree. We are pleased to make this available to our community and hope this will be the beginning of new traditions for so many families.”

Broadly speaking, the Forest Service reports that there are only two areas off-limits for cutting Christmas Trees: designated Wilderness Areas and the Experimental Forest. In addition, do not cut any Christmas trees from Forest Service administrative sites (offices, campgrounds, or other facilities).  Additional information and guidance regarding how and where to harvest a tree is contained in the permit.

Todd Newburger, Public Services Staff Officer with the Stanislaus National Forest, adds, “It is important to remember that visitors will need to print the permit and display it on the dash of their vehicle on the day of their visit to cut their trees.”

More information about obtaining a permit can be found at Recreation.gov. There is also a link to a map on the Stanislaus National Forest website. 

The Forest Service adds that cutting a Christmas Tree improves forest health by helping thin densely populated stands of smaller-diameter trees.

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