The Salmon-Challis National Forest and the Salmon and Challis Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Field Offices are offering tree tags for those who wish to cut their Christmas tree on the National Forest or BLM Public Lands for the holiday season. The tags cost $5 per tree and must be attached to the tree before the tree is removed from the cutting site. Each household may purchase two tree tags. The tags may be purchased at the Forest Service and BLM Public Land Center Offices in Salmon and Forest Service Offices in Challis, Leadore, North Fork, and Mackay.
Cutting Christmas trees can be fun. However, in order to ensure that the opportunity to cut trees continues on the National Forest and BLM Public Lands, tree cutters should follow these rules:
· Do not cut trees within 300 feet of campgrounds, streams, lakes, or ponds.
· Cut your tree at least 100 feet away from any main road, 200 feet from Highway 93 and ¼ mile from the Salmon River Road.
· Tree cutting is also prohibited in tree plantations and other specified areas on some of the Ranger Districts. Please check with the frontliner at the desk when you buy your tag to find out where these closed areas are located.
Cut the tree below the lowest limbs near ground level. No topping of trees is allowed. Make sure you place your tag around the bole of the tree before moving it from the cutting site.
Preparation for the unexpected is the best plan a Forest visitor can have when out Christmas tree cutting. Items to consider include:
· Adequate food, water, clothing, sleeping bags, and other provisions needed in case of inclement weather and extended stay is necessary in the area of travel.
· Chainsaw, shovel, fuel, in case trees or other debris blocks road access.
· Christmas tree cutters should inform someone they know where they are going and when they plan to be back in case an emergency situation arises.
· Communications that will work in the area they plan to travel (cell phone, satellite phone or satellite emergency notification device).
Be careful! Forest roads may be snow-covered and slick. Chains and four wheel drive vehicles are recommended in many places.