PENDLETON, OR – It’s that time of year! Christmas tree permits for the Umatilla National Forest are now available to purchase at forest offices, several local businesses, and now online.
The Umatilla National Forest is one of 13 National Forests participating in a pilot to offer permits online through the Open Forest system. The Open Forest program allows the public to purchase a 2019 Christmas tree permit from home, or by using a mobile device, instead of traveling to a Forest Service office. Christmas tree permits purchased online will have to be printed to be valid and can only be used on Umatilla National Forest lands, as specified on the permit.
Permits cost $5 each and are limited to one per household. Traditional Christmas tree permits will still be available at local Forest Service offices, or participating vendors.
Forest Service offices are open for business Monday through Friday at the four Umatilla Ranger District offices in Ukiah and Heppner, Oregon; and Walla Walla and Pomeroy, Washington; and at the Supervisor's Office in Pendleton, Oregon. Participating vendors are conveniently open evenings and weekend hours. Traditional permits are valid on National Forest System lands only and do not authorize tree cutting on private, state, or other federally managed lands.
As part of the national Every Kid in a Park initiative, all fourth graders are eligible for a free Christmas tree permit from their local national forest. In order for students to receive a free tree permit, they must present a valid paper voucher printed from the Every Kid in a Park website. Visit www.everykidinapark.gov and follow instructions to obtain and print the paper voucher. Bring the paper voucher to a local National Forest office to claim the free permit. Students must be present to pick up the free permit. These free permits can only be issued through a National Forest office and will not be available through local vendors who sell permits.
For more information about purchasing a permit and gathering a Christmas tree online, please visit https://openforest.fs.usda.gov.
For more information about the Christmas tree program on the Umatilla National Forest, please visit www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla.
Ace Hardware, Hermiston
Alpine Outpost, Tollgate
Athena Grocery, Athena
Bi Mart, Pendleton
D&B Supply, Pendleton
Heppner Mobil, Heppner
J&D Food Mart, Pilot Rock
Mentzer and Elliott, Pilot Rock
Rhode's Supply, Ukiah
Smitty’s Outpost, Hermiston
Zip Zone 2, Milton-Freewater
Columbia Grain and Feed, Pasco
The General Store, Dayton
Farmer’s Exchange, Kennewick
Hells Canyon NRA Office, Clarkston
Pomeroy Foods, Pomeroy
Schurman’s True Value, Clarkston
Sportsman’s Warehouse, Kennewick
- Be Safe, Be Prepared for Winter Weather!
- Dress appropriately in warm socks, boots, coats, hats & gloves.
- Bring plenty of snacks and water.
- Have supplies available to build a fire if necessary.
- Make sure your vehicle is equipped for winter travel.
- Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be home.
- Helpful Hints:
- Carry your trees carefully out of the woods. Dragging the tree will rub off needles and bark.
- If the tree is too big to transport in the trunk of your vehicle, wrap it in canvas to prevent wind damage.
- Once home, cut the bottom of the trunk off and place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket of water. Replenish water frequently.
- Regulations for cutting Christmas Trees on the Umatilla National Forests:
- Obtain Motorized Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs) for the areas you plan to visit for current open and seasonally closed road information.
- Christmas Tree Permits sell for $5 each and are limited to one permit per household.
- Validate the permit by completely removing month, date and year; securely attaching it to the tree trunk between the limbs.
- Make sure the permit is visible during transportation.
- Cut your tree at least 50 feet away from the road.
- Clean up any trimmings or limbs and leave stumps no higher than 10 inches. It is illegal to “top” a tree.
- Cut off any green limbs left on the stump (can be used for greens).
- Maximum height of tree to be cut is 14 feet tall on the Umatilla National Forest.
- Do not cut on private land, in wilderness areas, designated campgrounds, active timber sales or existing tree plantations.
- Do not cut trees within 200 feet of Bluewood or Spout Springs Ski Areas, summer home sites, Tollgate Work Center, or Forest Service Guard Stations.
- Christmas tree cutting in the Tollgate Area on the Walla Walla Ranger District can be challenging after December 1, when most Forest roads close for the winter. After December 1, snowmobiling or snowshoeing will be your only access onto most roads off Hwy 204.
- Christmas tree cutting on the Pomeroy Ranger District is prohibited on Park and Cook Ridges, and in the Lick Creek area, including Sheep Creek, Cabin, Capehorn and Mud Springs ridges. You may encounter road closures during logging operations. Please abide by these closures.
- Do not cut trees in posted Old Growth Areas or within ¼ mile of wild and scenic corridors.
- Christmas tree cutting within sight distance of State Highways is prohibited.