Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree!

Active Adventures: Hike Into The Superior National Forest For A Family Tradiation!

SUPERIOR NATIONAL FOREST, Minn. — In this week’s Active Adventures we are headed into the thick of the woods, to cut down our own Christmas Tree!

First things first, MAKE SURE TO GET YOUR PERMIT! On average, 200-300 permits are sold annually! It’s only $5, cash or check only. It can be quickly picked up at the Superior National Forest Headquarters, U.S. Forest Service, located at 8901 Grand Ave Place in Duluth, MN  55808. Phone (218) 626-4300. For a list of other permit issuing locations across the Northland, click HERE.

“We really like to see people go out and enjoy the holidays this way and get outside!” explained Superior National Forest Officer Kris Reichenbach. “But it’s important to have an idea who is out in the forest cutting and gathering materials. Which is why a permit is so important. Sometimes people don’t understand what they need to do to help protect the resources while they are out there gathering.”

For example,

  • Balsam fir are preferred for harvest, white pine and cedar are not allowed.
  • Make sure you are on National Forest land, but not within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Maps can be viewed or purchased at Forest Service offices.
  • Choose cutting areas away from plantations, developed recreation or administration sites, and Research Natural Areas.
  • Walk well off the roadside to select your tree.
  • Select a tree the correct size for your home. Do not cut the top off of a taller tree. The maximum stump height is 12 inches.
  • There is a two tag limit for each household per year.

“Remember sometimes the trees look a little bit smaller out in the woods!” said Reichenbach. “But a lot of families make a tradition of going out and getting their permit, going out in the forest, they make a little trip out of it. I think that is a wonderful tradition.”

There is also a special program going on this year called, “Every Kid In A Park” — Which allows 4th graders a free tree permit!

The Every Kid In A Park program is an initiative to get more fourth graders and their families into our national forests and parks.  Fourth grade students can go to the Every Kid in a Park website  and get a voucher good for a special Fourth Grade Pass which can be picked up at any national forest or park office.  The pass (or the printed out voucher) will get the entrance fee waived for the student and their family at national parks and forests, including places like Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Isle Royale, and the Apostle Islands’ Ice Caves!  Note, this does not apply toward campground fees, BWCAW permit fees, or other use fees.

Always remember that when you are headed into the woods, be prepared! Have a safety plan, directions, dress warm, bring a rope, tarp, saw, gloves.

“Have a plan for how you are going to transport your tree safely, so you don’t have it flying off the top of your car too.” mentioned Reichenbach.

Adventure on Northland!

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