This is the time of year to celebrate old and new traditions with family and friends, like venturing into your favorite national forest to harvest your own Christmas tree.
Black Hills National Forest Christmas tree permits are now available for purchase either online at Recreation.gov, from your local Forest Service office or from private vendors throughout the Black Hills.
To purchase a permit online, visit Recreation.gov and search for Black Hills National Forest Christmas Tree Permit. It is important to carefully read the overview and need-to-know information prior to purchasing the permit. Visitors will need to set up or login to a Recreation.gov account to complete the transaction. Each permit is $10 for any tree, plus a $2.50 processing fee. Users can purchase up to five permits per account. Online permits are ready to print immediately after purchasing and must be visible as you remove your tree(s) from the Forest.
“As an added convenience, the Forest Service is selling permits through Recreation.gov as an alternative to in-person transactions,” said Scott Jacobson, Black Hills National Forest Public Affairs Officer. “Whether purchased online, at Forest Service offices, or through an approved vendor, we want to make sure that everyone has convenient access to purchasing Christmas Tree permits.”
The Forest Service’s Christmas tree cutting program helps improve forest health by thinning densely populated stands of small-diameter trees. Removing these trees from the designated areas helps other trees grow larger and can improve wildlife habitat by creating open areas that provide food.
Many Forest roads are subject to seasonal closures. Free Motor Vehicle Use maps are available online at https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/blackhills/maps-pubs/?cid=FSEPRD533421 or by downloading the Avenza App.
Additionally, all 4th graders throughout the United States receive a FREE Christmas tree permit, as part of the Every Kid Outdoors Program. If utilizing the online system at Recreation.gov, enter the voucher or pass number when prompted. Call your local Forest Service office for more information on the Every Kid Outdoors Program.
For more information on Christmas Tree permits, contact the Black Hills National Forest Supervisor’s Office at 605-673-9200 or visit us online at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/blackhills/christmastreepermit. For more
information on the Black Hills National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills.