DILLON - If your Christmas spirit gets a boost from going to the woods to cut your own Christmas tree, then the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management can help out.
With a permit, you can cut a Christmas tree in all the national forests in Montana and on public lands served by BLM's Missoula, Dillon, and Butte field offices.
Forest Service offices selling permits in Southwest Montana are located in Philipsburg, Butte, Dillon, Wisdom, Sheridan, and Ennis.
Christmas tree-cutting permits are $5, and each family may purchase up to three permits. Cutting trees without a permit is subject to a citation and fine.
Free Permits for 4th Graders! As part of the ‘Every Kid in a Park’ (EKIP) national initiative which strives to connect youth with nature, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF and the BLM are offering one free Christmas tree permit to every fourth grader. To participate in the free holiday tree program visit www.everykidinapark.gov. Fourth graders must present a valid EKIP Pass or paper voucher at their local Forest Service or BLM office (not vendors) to receive their free permit.
Tree cutting is not allowed in wilderness areas or in BLM-administered wilderness study areas.
When you purchase a permit, you will also receive a helpful information sheet that gives advice on how to best cut and care for your Christmas tree.
Forest Service and BLM offices are open weekdays, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The following locations also sell permits:
Anaconda: Hardware Hank
Boulder: Hardware Hank
Butte: Bob Ward and Sons Sporting Goods; and Ace Hardware
Deer Lodge: I-90 Truck Plaza
Drummond: Fic’s Conoco
Ennis: True Value Hardware
Harrison: Wheat and Thistle
Lima: Ralph’s Exxon
Sheridan: McLeod Mercantile
Whitehall: Ace Hardware
You may also buy permits by mail. Send a check for $5 to the nearest Forest Service office (make the check out to "USDA Forest Service") or to the nearest BLM office (make the check out to "USDI Bureau of Land Management"). Be sure to include your name and address .
For more information contact the Forest Service at (406) 683-3900, or the BLM at (406) 533-7600.