Help Lions Harvest Christmas Trees
If a Lion goes into the woods to cut Christmas Trees, would you go with him to help?
That’s just the question come this Monday. Nov. 19 as the Leadville Lions Club is soliciting extra muscle and helping hands to harvest their annual Christmas trees, sold to support local programs.
The group will meet at 7:30 a.m. in the Centennial Real Estate parking lot for their annual Christmas Tree cutting outing. From there, the Lions head to the Climax Mine to harvest the trees from their property, a tradition dating back decades. Once the trucks and trailers are loaded with the perfect Tannenbaum selections, the club will return to town, sharing a wonderful lunch of chili.
Many hands make light work, so the more the merrier! And while you don’t have to be a member of the Leadville Lions Club to go with them, you may just want to join after you see how much fun they have. What do you need to bring? WARM clothes, snow pants, boots, work gloves, sunscreen, sun/safety glasses, and a hand saw or chainsaw if you have it. If you don’t have any saws, not to worry as there are plenty of other tasks. However, you must be at least 18 years of age to go on the Climax Mine property and everyone is also required to watch a short safety video prior to harvesting the trees
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, as part of the “Every Kid in a Park” Initiative.
According to newly-appointed, Acting Leadville Ranger Max Forgensi, “This program encourages Lake County families to explore their Pike and San Isabel National Forests by getting outside and making memories. There is nothing quite as good as bringing home a natural Christmas tree.”
Vouchers and additional details can be printed from the website. A mail-order form is not an option for this program and the program is not applicable to community vendor locations. Only one free permit is allowed per fourth grader.
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:
- Permits: Christmas tree permits will go on sale at the Leadville Ranger District Monday, Nov. 19. Permits can be purchased thru December 24, 2018. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 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.
- Christmas Tree Permits can be purchased with credit card, cash, personal check, or money order made payable to the U.S. Forest Service at the Leadville Ranger District, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Christmas Tree Permits will also be available at the Buena Vista Christmas Opening event at the Community Center, Saturday, Dec. 1. (cash or check only).
- To receive Christmas Tree permits by mail, send a check or money order along with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: U.S. Forest Service Attn: Christmas Tree Permit, 810 Front Street, Leadville CO 80461.
- Christmas Trees may be cut District-wide with a few exceptions. Developed recreation sites and Wilderness areas are closed to cutting. Christmas Tree permits will be issued for each tree that is harvested and should be securely fastened to the tree before transporting them from the area. Handsaws and axes are the only tools allowed – chainsaws are prohibited.
- Cutting Dates: November 19 – December 21.
- Areas: Christmas tree cutting is allowed throughout the Leadville Ranger District with the exceptions of campgrounds, trailheads, ski areas, and wilderness areas. In the past, foresters have recommended 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. However, recent logging operations associated with the Tennessee Creek Project have reduced the tree inventory, as well as limited vehicle access to the area. 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, below Turquoise Lake.
- Trees: Species that may be cut include Douglas fir, Lodgepole pine, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir, and white fir. Please see the Holiday tree identification sheets.
- Vehicles: Four-wheel drive vehicles or tire chains may be needed in 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 ax 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.
Please call the Leadville District Office at 719-486-0749 or, visit the website for additional information.