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US Capitol Christmas Tree Donations Are Needed

The US Capitol Christmas Tree will come from the Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County.

Stanislaus US Forest Supervisor Susan Skalski and Maria Benech, 2011 US Capitol Christmas Tree Coordinator, were Thursday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.

Early in December each year, the Speaker of the House hosts a lighting ceremony on the lawn of the United States Capitol Building and with a simple flip of a switch, powers the 10,000 LED lights that illuminate the tree. Hundreds of people who are fortunate enough to be in D.C. attend the lighting ceremony and many thousands more will find their way to the Capitol to take in the sight.

2011 will be only the fourth year California has contributed the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, the last time was in 1995. Known as “The People’s Tree”, the 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree will be harvested from the Stanislaus National Forest located in the Central Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.

The Forest Service recommends 8 to 10 trees to the superintendent of the capitol grounds, who makes the final selection of which tree will be the official U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. Several aspects are taken into account during the selection, including the shape and fullness of the tree, the tree color and foliage condition, and species characteristics of needle retention and branch pliability. Of course, access to the tree for ease of cutting, loading, and transporting are also considered.

It is estimated that the tree selected will be approximately 60 feet tall. Imagine a 6-story tall building-that is about how tall the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will be.

An additional 100 companion trees will be delivered to the Washington D.C. area and placed in federal offices, congressional and senate offices, the National American Indian Museum, and the United States Supreme Court.

Before the local celebration in Sonora at the Motherlode Fairgrounds on November 5th, donations are desperately needed.

A partial list of needed items include:

  • Ornaments and wire for the ornaments; 16 or 18 gage, galvanized, 63 spools
    each with 100 feet of wire
  • 5 paper cutters for cutting the wire
  • Packing boxes for the ornaments, 1.5 foot x 1.5 foot
  • Packing Tape and Dispenser
  • Plastic Wrap for boxes on pallets
  • 2 large cranes (10,000 lb mínimum capacity and 1 with an 80
    foot reach) to help bring the tree down: These would be used for
    at least 2 full days for move in and move out time.
  • 1 Tow Truck
  • 2 Porta Potties (1 handicap accessible)
  • Ambulance
  • 1 Travel Trailer/Motor Home
  • Coffee, donuts, snacks for all the workers and VIPs
  • Electronic Signs to close the highway
  • 400-500 feet of orange boundary fencing
  • Small buses to bring in folks to the cutting
  • Motorhome and travel trailer for Law Enforcement and warming
    station
  • 2 Tractors to pull the trailers
  • 65 foot flatbed tráiler
  • 50 foot enclosed trailer
  • ..and numerous other items and cash.

The hope is that several businesses, families and individuals can help contribute to this community event. For more information and the complete list of needed items log on to http://www.capitolchristmastree2011.org

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am.

Written by mark@mlode.com