Steamboat briefs: Howelsen Hill Ski Area holiday operating hours

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The Howelsen Hill Ski Area special holiday operating hours are as follows: Monday, closed; Christmas Eve, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Christmas Day, closed; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Dec. 30, closed; Dec. 31, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Jan. 1, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Jan. 2, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Jan. 3, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Normal operating hours will resume Jan. 4.

For additional information on operating hours and pass and ticket rates, visit www.steamboatsprings.net/ski or call 970-879-8499.

Visiting Nurse Association vitals services to be closed

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association’s vitals records services, where individuals can obtain birth and death certificates, will be closed today through Wednesday and Jan. 1 in Steamboat Springs and Wednesday and Jan. 1, 2 and 3 in Craig. If a birth certificate is required immediately, customers will need to go the office within the county that is open. For more information in Steamboat Springs, call 970-879-1632 and in Craig, call 970-824-8233.

Christmas tree permits still are available in Routt

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.

US Forest Service maps can be accessed through app

Nearly 700 digital U.S. Forest Service maps now can be accessed via a smartphone by downloading the PDF Maps Mobile App, which is available for free from iTunes and the Android Play Store, according to a news release.

Through the app, users can purchase and download maps that are stored on their devices and can use the maps based on their location when GPS is available. The maps also will allow users to measure distance and area, find coordinates, open a current view in Google maps, plot place marks, add notes, enter data and add photos, according to a news release.

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