COEUR d’ALENE — It is soon to be the most wonderful time of year to visit the Idaho Panhandle National Forests and find the perfect Christmas tree!
Individual Christmas tree permits are $5 each and are available at the Supervisor or District offices.
All fourth-graders, including homeschooled fourth-graders, are eligible to receive a free Christmas tree permit. The free tree permit is part of the U.S. Forest Service’s Every Kid in a Park initiative. Every Kid in a Park is a national effort to encourage children to visit national parks, forests and public lands. The program is part of an interagency call to action to build the next generation of conservationists.
To receive their free tree permit, students need to complete an activity and print the voucher at www.everykidinapark.gov, and bring it to any of the Idaho Panhandle National Forests offices. The fourth-grader does need to be present and must show a valid paper voucher or durable Every Kid in a Park pass obtained from the website or participating federal agency. A mail-order form is not an option for this program.
Most of the 2.5 million acres of National Forest System lands are open to Christmas tree cutting. Please be prepared for winter weather and be check the conditions before driving. It is advised to start tree hunting early in the day to have plenty of daylight hours. Dress for the season, and be prepared for the cold and snow!
For more information, including office hours and locations, please visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/ipnf.