The Custer Gallatin National Forest announced this years Christmas Tree Permits are now available. Each permit will cost $5 with a limit of 3 per household.
These permits allow holders to harvest a tree almost anywhere in the Custer Gallatin National Forest which stretches from West Yellowstone to South Dakota. The permits are also valid in other national forests in Montana.
There are some rules as far as where you can cut a tree.
Trees cannot be cut in campgrounds, trailheads, developed recreation sites, posted timber sales units, recently planted sites, and administrative sites.
Tree cutting is also prohibited within 100 feet of any stream, lake, wetlands or roads and well used trails.
Trees cannot be taller than 15 feet.
Trees need to be cut as close to the ground as possible. The stump should be less than 6 inches tall.
Never cut the top off a large tree.
Once the tree is cut, attach the permit tag to it. If you have a way to travel, it is best to cover the trees with a tarp, in your truck, to prevent them from drying out in the wind. Once at home, stand the tree outside and shake it to remove any dead needles, insects, or debris. Then place the tree trunk into a bucket of water, where it will not freeze.
You can obtain permits at the following locations.
Forest Service offices
Belgrade Town and Country and Ace Hardware
Bozeman Ace Hardware (at the bike shop), Murdoch’s
Four Corners Murdoch’s
Livingston Ace hardware
Gardiner Gardiner Market
Absarokee Rockin J gas station
Billings Cabela’s or Ace Hardware
Ekalaka Carter County Conservation District office
Deck the halls and have fun!
For more Montana Grant, find him dragging his tree at www.montanagrantfishing.com.