Update: Tahoe Basin Christmas tree permits sell out ‘remarkably’ fast
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — That was fast.
Christmas tree permits in the Lake Tahoe Basin sold out in just over an hour Wednesday.
Permits went on sale just before 8 a.m. and by 9:15 a.m. all 1,500 that were available had been purchased. No more permits will be available this season.
“We did anticipate they would sell quickly so we weren’t surprised, but it was pretty remarkable to see how fast they went,” said Lisa Herron, public affairs specialist for the USDA Lake Tahoe Forest Service Basin Management Unit.
Herron said she started receiving calls and emails at 5 a.m. Wednesday inquiring about when they could purchase permits.
“It’s one of our more popular programs and we were glad to get this done this year after the Caldor Fire,” Herron said. “Now we’ll switch gears to help people with where to go if they have trouble using the maps.”
The permits were available online for the second year at http://www.recreation.gov.
Last year, permits were available online for the first time on Nov. 16 and sold out in a day.
Christmas trees may also be purchased from private Christmas tree farms in El Dorado, Nevada, and Placer counties.
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Christmas tree permits for National Forest lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin will be available for online purchase on a first-come, first-served basis starting Wednesday. As a reminder, no tree cutting is permitted in the Caldor Fire closure area due to ongoing hazards within the Caldor Fire perimeter. The Caldor Fire Closure Order and map are posted on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit’s home page at http://www.fs.usda.gov/ltbmu.
To purchase a Christmas tree permit, visit http://www.recreation.gov/ and search for Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit Christmas Tree Permits. Permits on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest became available on Nov. 1 for the Bridgeport and Carson Ranger Districts can be found at the same site.
Officials said it’s important to carefully read the overview and need-to-know information prior to purchasing the permit. Visitors must set up or login to an existing Recreation.gov account to complete the transaction. Setting up an account prior to Nov. 17 is recommended for a quicker check out process.
Permits cost $10 each, plus a $2.50 online processing fee with a limit of one permit per family. Permits should be printed prior to arrival at the cutting area and placed on the dashboard of your vehicle before leaving. Permits are expected to sell out quickly and no additional permits will be issued.
Cutting under these permits is allowed until Dec. 31, to accommodate military families and others who may need to celebrate a delayed Christmas.
Permit holders should follow permit guidelines for responsible collection, including not trespassing onto private property when entering or leaving National Forest cutting areas. Observe seasonal road closures and be prepared to hike to the cutting area to find a tree. No off-road travel is allowed. Park in legal areas and do not block gates. Weather permitting, some National Forest roads will remain open to improve access to cutting areas.
“Cutting a Christmas tree supports forest health by reducing the number of small-diameter trees in densely populated stands,” officials said. “Local forest health experts identify areas that benefit from thinning trees that tend to be the perfect size for Christmas trees. Removing these trees in designated areas helps other trees grow larger and can open areas that provide forage for wildlife.”
Remember that weather conditions in the mountains are unpredictable and travel during winter weather can be dangerous due to wet and/or icy roads. On stormy days, wind may cause branches or trees to fall, so visitors should avoid cutting on wet, windy days.
“Always check the weather before heading out and tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return,” officials said. “Dress appropriately for cold weather conditions and be prepared for ice and snow. Carry tire chains and a shovel and bring emergency supplies, including water, food, blankets, and a first-aid kit. Keep in mind, mobile devices may not work in some areas, so develop an emergency plan in case you cannot call for help.”
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