MONTE VISTA – The Rio Grande National Forest (RGNF) announced they will begin offering free-use Christmas trees for 2020. The authorizations are now available and are valid from Nov. 1 through Dec. 27, 2020. Similar to the nearly yearlong offering of free-use firewood, forest managers are providing free-use Christmas tree authorizations as a way to serve the community and reduce in-person interactions.
“Offering free Christmas trees this year is just another way we can support our communities,” said Dan Dallas, Rio Grande National Forest supervisor. “This will give every family the opportunity to enjoy the age-old tradition of harvesting a Christmas tree.”
As always, there are a few rules to follow:
Trees can be up to 5 inches in diameter at shoulder height.
Christmas tree authorizations are valid only for trees on land managed by the Rio Grande National Forest. Only 5 trees per family are allowed.
Cut trees as close to the ground as possible. Stumps should be no higher than 6 inches.
All trees must be at least 100 feet away from any campground, picnic area or road.
Cutting trees within designated wilderness areas is prohibited.
Up to 5 additional boughs can be taken with each tree.
Keep vehicles on the roads.
There are several ways to obtain the necessary free-use authorization.
Download one from the Rio Grande National Forest https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/riogrande/passes-permits/forestproducts/?cid=fseprd827186
Visit one of our participating vendors: Kristi Mountain Sports in Alamosa or Rainbow Grocery - South Fork
Visit one of our forest offices in Del Norte, La Jara, Monte Vista and Saguache. The offices have varied hours and recommend calling before your visit. Some offices will have the authorizations available in an outside location.
For more information on Christmas tree cutting authorizations including the rules and helpful tips on Christmas tree care, visit the RGNF https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/riogrande/passes-permits/forestproducts/?cid=fseprd827186 or contact the Rio Grande National Forest Supervisor’s Office at 719-852-5941.