Leadville News – November 24

O Tannenbaum! O Tannenbaum! It’s That Time of Year!

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The Leadville‬ Lions Christmas trees are ready at Centennial Real Estate, Poplar &11th Streets.

For many, the day after Thanksgiving hearkens the tradition of getting the Yuletide Tree set up and decorated, marking the beginning of the holiday season. If that’s your family, then you’re in luck, because there are quite a few options for Christmas trees in Leadville Today!

Each year the Leadville Lions Club sets up their very own tree lot on the corner of Poplar and E. 11th Streets in the parking lot of Centennial Real Estate. Not only can tree-shoppers get the freshest selections, harvested just this week up at the Climax Mine property, but your purchase helps raise funds for the club’s many activities including the July 4th fireworks displays, 9Health Fair, displaying the flags on Harrison Avenue, as well as a host of other worth-while programs in Leadville.

If you buy your tree, support them. All trees are tagged with prices, and during non-business hours, they use the honor system, allowing tree-pickers to simply deposit cash or a check in the Centennial Real Estate mail slot.

Know Your ABCs . . . . Get a FREE Christmas Tree!

Of all the great things there are about knowing a 4th grader, you can add one more to the list: A Christmas Tree. That’s right, fourth graders that come into the Leadville Ranger District U. S. Forest Service Office can receive one free Christmas tree permit.

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Attention fourth grade tree-choppers: Lake County Road 48 just to the southwest of Sugar Loafin’ Campground is a popular Christmas Tree harvesting spot!

But there’s no crowding-in for those kindergartners or middles schoolers, because this initiative is only for fourth grade students, and allows them one tree permit (with proof) per student.

According to officials, a nationwide initiative was started to get fourth grade students to visit public lands. The Forest Service is offering fourth grade students a free Christmas tree cutting permit when they come in person with a parent and an “Every Kid in a Park” pass or voucher.

Christmas Tree Permits For The Rest of You!

Of course, if you’re not a fourth grader, you can still get a permit for a tree, you just have to pay for it! Here is the official information:

Christmas tree permits will go on sale at the Salida and Leadville Ranger Districts on November 20, 2017 Permits can be purchased until 12Noon on December 22, 2017. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Permits: Permits cost $10.00 per tree with a limit of 2 trees per family. A tree removal tag will be issued for each tree and this tag must be securely fastened to all trees before removing or transporting from permitted areas. Permits sold at either office will be valid for both Salida and Leadville Ranger districts.

Cutting Dates: November 20 – December 22

Areas: Christmas tree cutting is allowed throughout the Salida and Leadville Ranger Districts with the exceptions of campgrounds, trailheads, ski areas, and wilderness areas. No cutting or trespassing is permitted on private land, and tag holders are responsible for knowing public and private land boundaries. Maps are available at the district offices. Hint: In Leadville, “below the dam” is a popular harvest spot, out below Turquoise Lake.

Trees: Species that may be cut include Douglas fir, Lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir and white fir. Please see our Holiday tree identification sheets.

Vehicles:  Four-wheel drive vehicles or tire chains may be needed to some areas due to icy and snowy conditions. Skis, snowshoes or snowmobiles may be used if snow conditions allow. Please remember to stay on designated roads and use caution when driving on winter roads.

Restrictions: Only trees with a diameter of up to 7 inches, at the base, may be cut. Permitted cutting lengths are from 3 feet to 15 feet. Chainsaws are prohibited. A good handsaw or an axe is adequate. Trees must be cut at least 50 feet from roadways, waterways,  or trails. Please do not top trees –  do not leave high stumps! Trees should be cut at the ground and unused portions should be scattered.  Persons removing trees from National Forest lands without a valid permit may be subject to a fine of up to $500.00 and/or 6 months incarceration.

Mail-in Requests: Individuals or families may request Christmas tree cutting tags by mail. Checks can be made out to the U.S. Forest Service. Please enclose a note listing how many tags are needed and a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

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Take your pick – at $10 a tree, the price is right!

Foresters recommend the cutting areas in Lake County around Turquoise Lake Road (Lake County Road 9) and along Lake County Road 48 just to the southwest of Sugar Loafin’ Campground. County Road 9 is not plowed but may be accessed by snowshoeing, skiing, or snowmobiling. County Road 48 is plowed for easier vehicle access. A map showing approved cutting areas is issued with each permit.

Trees may be cut district-wide with a few exceptions. Areas closed to cutting include: all district campgrounds; Holy Cross, Collegiate Peaks, Mt. Massive, and Buffalo Peaks Wilderness Areas; and Tennessee Pass.

Permits will be issued for each tree that is harvested and should be securely fastened to the tree before transporting the tree(s) from the area.  Some recommendations to have when heading out to look for the perfect Christmas tree are warm clothes, water proof shoes, gloves, tree permit, handsaw or axe to cut the tree, and a rope to secure the tree to the vehicle.  It is highly advised to go out in a four-wheel drive vehicle and have set of chains as it may be required for to access some areas of the forest. 

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