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Forest Service offers 4th-graders chance to cut down their own Christmas tree

Forest Service offers 4th-graders chance to cut down their own Christmas tree

Sequoia National Forest offers free Christmas tree permits to fourth graders as part of National Forest Service’s “Every Kid in a Park” program 

@TheSunGazette

SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST – A Christmas tree is a must have this holiday season. And the Sequoia National Forest is giving fourth-graders the chance to have the best tree in the neighborhood without the National Lampoon antics.

The park will offer one free Christmas tree permit to fourth-grade students in support of Every Kid in a Park (EKIP) Program. General public Christmas tree permits will also be available.

Students must present a valid paper voucher or durable EKIP pass. Then present either at any participating Sequoia National Forest office  or ranger station in order to obtain a permit. The student must be present, along with a parent or guardian, in order to obtain the permit. Visit www.everykidinapark.gov for more information on the program or on how to obtain a student voucher.

Free precut, EKIP, and general public Christmas tree permits are available now through Dec. 21 at the Sequoia National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 1839 S. Newcomb St. in Porterville. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. For more information, call 559-784-1500.

A limited supply of free precut Christmas trees will be available for fourth-graders now through Dec. 21 at the Western Divide Ranger Station, 32588 Highway 190 in Springville. Station hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 559-539-2607.

Also, general public Christmas tree permits are available for $10 each. Permits are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis and must be purchased in person. At the time of purchase maps with directions to the cutting areas will be available. This permits are non transferable and cannot be sold.

The park urges everyone wanting to get a Christmas tree to plan their trip carefully in order to have a safe day. When planning the route of the trip consider weather and road conditions. Let someone know where the route you are taking and a time frame for the trip. To bring extra food, water and warm clothing is always a good idea when traveling in the winter.

As a reminder there are parts of the park that do not have cell phone coverage.

Christmas tree harvesting is only limited to areas identified on the map obtained when purchasing the permit. Patrons cannot harvest trees in developed recreation areas, campsites, within 300 feet of a stream or private lands.

This experience offers a traditional holiday experience while helping to thin the forest of excessive smaller trees, which helps reduce excess vegetation that can feed wildfire, and creates a healthier forest time.

Please have someone with you capable of loading your tree into your vehicle, and be sure to bring tie-downs for safe transportation home.

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