Eligible fourth-graders get a free Christmas tree permit

The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest is excited to announce that all fourth graders are eligible for a free Christmas tree permit through the Every Kid in a Park (EKiP) Initiative. For everyone else, Christmas tree permits are $5, and each family may purchase up to three permits for Christmas trees on Forest Service and BLM lands.

This is the third year of the EKiP initiative, a nationwide call to action to inspire every young person to visit our public lands. All fourth-grade students, who have their EKiP Pass (or paper voucher), can visit a Forest Service office to receive their free Christmas tree permit. Christmas tree permits are available on a first-come, first served basis while supplies last. Fourth graders, and their parents, can visit the EKiP website at: https://everykidinapark.gov/ to have some fun, get their voucher, and show it to us for a free Christmas tree permit.

Everyone who purchases a Christmas tree permit will also receive a pamphlet of permit-specifications and helpful hints on tree selection, care and recycling. The Forest has some helpful hints and specific restrictions on tree cutting:

• Remember to securely attach the permit to your tree.

• Do not cut trees in active timber sale units, developed campgrounds and other sites, Wilderness areas or within 100-feet of main roads, creeks or streams;

• Please do not leave any live branches on the stump and trim the stump to no more than 6 inches above the ground; and

• Please select a tree shorter than 12-feet tall and do not cut off the tops of trees.

For more information call Kathy Bushnell at (406) 495-3747, or visit our website at www.fs.usda.gov/helena/.

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