BOISE, Idaho — The Payette and Boise National Forest vendors will begin selling Christmas tree permits Saturday, November 23. On Monday, November 25, permits will be available at Forest Service offices. All tree permits are valid to Dec. 25.
Each permit allows one tree to be cut, with a limit of three permits per family. For both Forests, the cost of a permit for one tree is $10, and the maximum height of a permitted tree is 12 feet. Permits are valid on both the Payette and Boise National Forest – one permit works for both Forests.
All purchasers are provided with information about where a Christmas tree may be harvested, restrictions and helpful tips. A Christmas Tree Permit is for personal use only, and use of permits for commercial purposes is prohibited. Permits are non-refundable and the purchaser must be at least 18 years in age.
In coordination with the “Every Kid in a Park” program, fourth-graders who are participating in the Every Kid in a Park program can receive a free Christmas tree Permit. The U.S. Forest Service is among several federal agencies that support the Every Kid in a Park initiative which is a nationwide call to action to build the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts. The initiative provides a free pass to all fourth-grade students who first click here and complete the application/voucher process, print it and bring it to a Forest Service office.
To receive a free Christmas tree permit, the fourth-grader and a parent must go to a Forest Service office in person with the “voucher” they received from the website.
Commercial vendors will not be issuing a free Christmas tree permit to participants of the Every Kid in a Park program, and free Christmas tree permits cannot be sent through the mail or electronically. Participation in the Every Kid in a Park program also offers benefits at National Parks and on other public lands and facilities across the United States.
Harvesting a Christmas tree is a fun adventure and often a traditional family event. Please review the Christmas tree brochure and map for optimal areas and be fully prepared for winter travel.
If an unusually heavy snowfall occurs in southwest Idaho, and forest roads become a safety concern for the public, some areas may be closed early to Christmas tree gathering. Forest roads are not plowed. Call ahead and check websites for road conditions before heading out. Please do not block private or county roadways at any time.
To provide for family safety, officials advise a few simple guidelines:
- Use the brochure with instructions provided.
- Practice winter survival and driving techniques.
- Bring the right tools, such as a saw and a shovel, so the tree can be cut to within 6” of the ground’s surface.
- Take along emergency equipment, plenty of food and water, and try to use a 4-wheel drive vehicle if you are planning to travel in snow country.
- Always inform neighbors and family friends of the route you intend to take, include a map of your destination, and the time that you plan to be gone.
- Be prepared for the possibility of a long hike or snowmobile ride while searching for the perfect tree.
- According to Idaho state law, any vehicle carrying a load that extends more than 4 feet past the tailgate, must display a red or florescent orange flag tied on the end of the load to caution other drivers.
Where to get a Christmas Tree Permit:
Payette National Forest Offices
All Payette National Forest offices are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Vendors and offices closed on Thanksgiving.
McCall Forest Supervisor’s Office
500 North Mission Street, McCall, ID
Council Ranger District Office
2092 Highway 95, Council, ID
New Meadows Ranger District Office
3674 Highway 95, New Meadows, ID
Weiser Ranger District Office
851 E Ninth St., Weiser, ID
McCall Ranger District Office
102 West Lake St., McCall, ID
Payette National Forest Vendors:
Weiser: Ridley's Food and Drug (208) 549-1332
652 E First St., Weiser, ID
Open: Everyday 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Cambridge: Jay’s Sinclair (208) 257-5000
Corner of Hwy 95 and Hwy 71, Cambridge, ID
Open: Everyday 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Council: Farmer’s Supply Cooperative (208) 253-4266
2030 N. Highway 95, Council, ID
Open: Everyday 6 a.m. – 10 p.m.
McCall: Albertsons (208) 634-8166
132 E. Lake Street, McCall, ID
Open: Everyday 6:30 a.m. -11 p.m.
New Meadows: C & M Lumber (208) 347-3648
3625 Walker Ln, New Meadows, ID
Open: Mon – Sat 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.