Steamboat briefs: Child care is free at Old Town Hot Springs on Wednesday

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Child care services are free at Old Town Hot Springs on Wednesday. Children 8 weeks to 10 years old can take part in the service while their parents or caregivers use the Old Town Hot Springs facility for workouts. Wednesday’s child care hours are 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 3:45 to 6:45 p.m.

Forest Service Christmas tree permits now available

Christmas tree permits are now 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 displayed clearly 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, as are Steamboat Ski Area and the Fish Creek Falls Recreation Area.

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 strong trees to remain and provide a healthy genetic source for the future.

■ 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 on Weiss Drive at 970-870-2299.

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