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home : activities : sports & outdoors May 30, 2016

11/13/2012 1:40:00 PM
Time to obtain a Christmas tree permit
Submitted by U.S. Forsest Service

As the holiday season approaches, the Forest Service is once again offering an opportunity for families to obtain a Christmas tree from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Christmas tree permits are on sale for $5 each at all ranger stations and the forest headquarters. Each $5 permit allows a family to cut one tree, with a tree height limit of 15 feet, or dig a small live transplant tree. Permits may be purchased in person or by mail. The permits are non-refundable.

For those who can't make it into any of our offices during daily business hours many local businesses are also selling Christmas tree permits. In Wenatchee, tree permits are available at Hooked on Toys and Arlberg Sports. In the Lake Wenatchee area, Parkside Grocery, Midway Village Grocery and Plain Hardware have permits for sale. In Leavenworth, tree permits are available at Dan's Food Market, the Quik Stop 76 gas station and Village Mercantile 76 gas station.

When venturing out into the national forest in pursuit of a Christmas tree, following are some hints to help make your trip a safe one:

Before leaving home, notify a friend or family member where you will be going and when you will return. Then, stick to your plan and let your contact person know when you have returned.

Consider carefully your clothing, equipment, and vehicle needs, making certain they are adequate for the worst conditions you might encounter. If planning to drive over snow-covered roads, a high-clearance vehicle may be best, and don't forget to carry tire chains and a shovel.

Once snow starts to build up, always check the avalanche hazard before leaving home.

Leave early in the day so that you have enough daylight to be able to choose that perfect tree.

Be familiar with the area that you plan to visit.

Remember, no Christmas tree cutting on state or private land; make sure you are on national forest land.

Do not enter fire closure areas. Due to post fire abatement efforts, such as cutting hazard trees along roadways, removing, replacing or installing culverts on roads, and constructing waterbars on trails, fire area closures remain in effect. Check with local ranger district offices regarding the status of area closures as some closure areas may be changing in size, some may be eliminated, or some may remain in place until spring.

Carry extra clothing, food, and tools in your vehicle for those unexpected mishaps that may occur.

Christmas tree permits may be placed on the driver's side dashboard in lieu of a Northwest Forest Pass when parking at a trailhead. However, once enough snow accumulates and selected trailhead parking areas convert to Sno-Parks, you must have a valid Washington State Sno-Park permit displayed on your windshield when parking at a Sno-Park.

When snow accumulates and Sno-Parks open:

Sno-Park day and seasonal permit holders do not need a Washington State Discover Pass at Sno-Parks on national forest lands.

Sno-Park seasonal permit holders do not need a Discover pass.

Those individuals using Sno-Parks on Washington State managed lands purchasing one-day Sno-Park permits also need to have a daily Discover Pass displayed in their vehicle.

Call Washington State Parks offices for more information.

For more information regarding Christmas tree permits, areas to cut in, and travel on forest roads, contact any Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest office.

Woodcutting Information:

Be aware, many forest roads are becoming snow covered. Woodcutting permits are on sale at all Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest offices. The minimum firewood permit is $20 for four cords of wood. The cost for permits over the four-cord minimum is $5 per cord. Generally, woodcutters may cut wood that has fallen to the ground and standing dead trees (except wildlife habitat trees). Woodcutting permits are valid until Dec. 31.

Recreation Pass Purchase Information:

Passes are required at most national forest trailheads. Passes are available at all ranger district offices and the forest headquarters office in Wenatchee. The cost is $30 for an annual pass and $5 for a day use pass. For information about the Northwest Forest Pass call 1-800-270-7504 or to order it online go to America the Beautiful-National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes will be honored at all Northwest Forest Pass sites.

Wenatchee area: Northwest Forest passes are available at Arlberg Sports Inc., Hooked on Toys, Bi-Mart and Mountain Air Gear.

Lake Wenatchee area: Passes are available at Midway Village Grocery, Parkside Grocery and Plain Hardware.

Leavenworth area: In Leavenworth passes are available at Der Sportsman, Icicle Quik Stop 76 gas station, Sleeping Lady Mountain Retreat Gift Shop, and Pioneer Market in Cashmere.

The 10 Essentials:

Carry the 10 plus essentials when traveling in the backcountry-a map, compass, fire starter, water proof matches, extra food, extra water, extra clothing, knife, flashlight with spare batteries and bulb, first aid kit, sunglasses, cell phone, and a space blanket.

To find out which roads are open and closed for different uses, see our free travel plan map available at our district office or go online to .

Hunting Seasons: For your personal safety, wear hunter orange while recreating in the woods during hunting season.

Forest grouse hunting season is September 1 to December 31

There are various smaller special late hunts continuing.


The new office phone number is (509) 548-2550.


8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Lake Wenatchee Ranger Station is no longer open for visitor services.

CAMPGROUNDS: All district campgrounds are closed for the season. No camping fees are being charged, and no campground facilities will be maintained throughout the winter. All campgrounds are first come, first serve, with the exception of the group sites where reservations are required.

GROUP CAMPSITES: To reserve one of the large group sites at Eightmile, Bridge Creek, Tumwater and Grouse Creek Campgrounds, please call the National Reservation line at 1-877-444-6777 or via the Internet at . Reservations may be made up to one year in advance.

ROADS: Please check the district website for information on current road conditions. Winter conditions now exist across some areas of the district. Snow can close forest roads, or make them inaccessible at any time. Please do not go around the gates on closed roads.

Chiwawa Road No. 6200 is open

White River Road No. 6400 is open

Little Wenatchee Road No. 6500 is open

Smithbrook/Rainy Creek Road No. 6700 is open

Mission Creek Road No. 7100 is CLOSED due to flood damage from the junction of Number Two Canyon Road No. 7101 to the junction with Beehive Road No. 9712. The road is unsafe for travel.

No. 2 Canyon Road is CLOSED for the season.

Tip Top Road No. 7202 is impassable one mile from the junction of Camas Creek Road No. 7200 due to road damage.

Scotty Creek Road No. 7324 is CLOSED to wheeled motor vehicles 3.5 miles north of Blewett Pass due to road damage. Bridge construction has begun just off Hwy 97 on the north side, so the areas above the bridge may only be accessed from the other side of Old Blewett Hwy.

Walker Canyon Road No. 7510 is CLOSED to wheeled motor vehicles due to a mudslide in Clark Canyon.

Eightmile Road No. 7601 is open.

Van Creek Road No. 7520 is open.

Beehive Road No. 9712 is open to Beehive Reservoir.

Icicle Creek Road is open.

Day passes can also be purchased during the summer months from fee tubes at the trailheads noted with * above.

Recreation passes cost $5 per vehicle per day or $30 for an annual Northwest Forest Pass. Passes are available locally at the ranger district office, Leavenworth 76 gas stations (both Highway 2 and Icicle Junction), Der Sportsman, Sleeping Lady Gift Shop, Pioneer Market in Cashmere, Midway Village, Parkside Grocery, and Plain Hardware in the Lake Wenatchee area. Interagency Passes are also honored at trailheads and are available for purchase at the ranger district office.

TRAILS: Many trails above 3,000 feet elevation have received their first snowfall of the season. Be prepared for winter conditions on trails from now into next spring. Some trailheads may be inaccessible due to snow.

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