Christmas tree cutting permits available Nov. 16

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The Gifford Pinchot National Forest’s Vancouver headquarters and other locations will begin offering permits next week for cutting a Christmas tree in the forest. Permits will be available for $5 starting Nov. 17.

In addition to the Vancouver forest office at 10600 N.E. 51st Circle, people can also buy them through all ranger district offices and several commercial vendors, according to forest officials. The permits are valid for a one-time use only.

Forest officials urged anyone planning to cut a tree in the Gifford Pinchot forest to check weather and road conditions before making the trip. Unpredictable weather in the fall and winter can create hazardous conditions.

Permits apply only in public Gifford Pinchot land — excluding developed campgrounds, administrative sites, streams and other areas. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is off limits. The forest service limits each household to a maximum of five permits.

More information is available at www.fs.usda.gov/giffordpinchot. People may also contact the Vancouver headquarters at 360-891-5000.