Steamboat brief: Tree permits available in Routt County

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— Christmas tree permits are available at all Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest offices in Colorado and Wyoming for $10. Each permit allows for the cutting of one tree on National Forest land. There is a limit of five permits per household.

Trees must be for personal use and cannot be resold. The permit must be clearly displayed around the stem of the tree before leaving the cutting area. Some areas of the forest are closed to tree cutting or may be difficult to access, so contact the local Forest Service office for specific site information, including the status of roads. Designated wilderness areas — including the Flat Tops, Mount Zirkel, Rawah, Neota and Never Summer wilderness areas — are off-limits to cutting.

Other regulations include:

■ Trees cannot be cut within 100 feet of roads or within 200 feet of campgrounds, picnic areas, scenic pullouts, administrative sites, timber sale areas or designated wilderness areas.

■ Choose a tree that is growing in a cluster with other trees. Do not choose the “perfect” tree that stands alone. The forest environment benefits by thinning the clusters and allowing the strong trees to remain and provide for a healthy genetic source for the future forest.

■ Maximum tree height is 20 feet.

■ Cut tree 6 inches or less above the ground, or below the lowest living branch, whichever is lower. If one living branch is left on the stump, the tree will continue to grow, though it probably will become deformed and encourage disease.

For more information, call the Steamboat Springs Forest Service Office at 970-870-2299.

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