“Cutting a Christmas tree around Thanksgiving or leading into December is a popular and long-standing family tradition for many,” said Mariah Leuschen Public Affairs Specialist for the Custer and Gallatin National Forests. “It’s a great way to spend time outdoors with those close to you and possibly start a new tradition.”
Permits are $5.00 each with a limit of three permits per family. Permits can be purchased at Forest Service offices during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additionally, the Beartooth Ranger District will be open to sell tags on the four Saturdays immediately following Thanksgiving starting with November 24 and continuing on December 1, 8 and 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Maps, forest road access updates and tree species identification guides are available at all offices.
On the Gallatin National Forest, permits are also available at the following local businesses:
- Livingston – Livingston Ace Hardware
- Bozeman – Owenhouse Ace Hardware (downtown bicycle shop and W. Main St. locations),
- Belgrade – Lee and Dad’s IGA and Belgrade True Value
- Big Sky – Big Sky Conoco
- West Yellowstone – Corner Conoco
- No tree cutting is allowed within 100 feet of any stream, lake, or wetland.
- Only trees 12 feet tall or less may be cut.
- Cut your tree as close to the ground as possible and below the lowest live limb. A remaining stump height of 6 inches or less is ideal.
- After cutting your tree, attach the purchased permit to a lower limb near the trunk for transporting home.
- "Topping" trees, or cutting the top off trees, deforms any future growth and leaves a visual eyesore. Take the entire tree or choose another one.
- Trees help protect watersheds, provide habitat for wildlife, and contribute to beautiful scenery. Keep these values in mind when selecting a tree.
Custer National Forest: Gallatin National Forest:
Ashland Ranger District: (406) 784-2344 Bozeman Ranger District: 406-522-2520
Beartooth Ranger District: (406) 446-2103 Yellowstone R.D. Livingston: 406-222-1892
Sioux Ranger District: (605) 797-4432 Yellowstone R.D. Big Timber: 406-932-5155
Supervisor’s Office: 406-255-1400 Hebgen Lake R.D. W. Yellowstone: 406-823-6961
Gardiner Ranger District: 406-848-7375
Supervisor’s Office: 406-587-6701