This year, swap that artificial tree for a holiday adventure in a beautiful national forest.
For many families, the most distinct marker of the holiday season is putting up that perfect seasonal centerpiece in the living room, adorned with sparkling lights and colorful ornaments. And this year, the US National Forest Service recommends heading to a national forest to search a one-of-a-kind tree to treasure this special time of year.
Not only is it a wonderful winter tradition, it’s also good for the forest! According to Recreation.gov, thinning densely populated areas of smaller trees is beneficial for overall forest health, reducing competition for sunlight and other important resources that the forest’s vegetation needs to grow. It’s an outdoor holiday adventure with built-in community service!
Of course, before you head out on an adventure to your closest national forest, you must apply for a permit, which usually only costs around $10 or $15.
Each forest has its own set of rules, but generally speaking, you must choose a tree at least 200 feet from main roads, recreation sites and campgrounds, and stay away from areas with water. The US National Forest Service also says the tree you choose must have a trunk six inches or less in diameter.
Whether you are looking for that perfect holiday tree or even just some firewood for a cozy evening indoors, this is an amazing way to enjoy the outdoors while contributing to the health of our beautiful national forests.
Check out the US Forest Service website for more information about tree cutting. Find the map of participating national forests here.
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