- Associated Press - Sunday, November 23, 2014

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Sales of Christmas-tree permits for the Willamette National Forest go on sale the day after Thanksgiving at ranger district offices as well as selected retail stores.

Permits are $5 each and are good for cutting one tree on designated areas of the national forest.

Each household can purchase a maximum of five permits.

A permit to cut a Christmas tree on Bureau of Land Management lands is $5.50 for BLM land south of Dexter. Each household is allowed to buy a maximum of three of those permits.

Officials advise that when heading out to collect your tree, don’t be fooled by nice weather at valley-level elevations.

Weather conditions in the mountains can be drastically different and include freezing temperatures, snow and ice.

You should prepare for the unexpected; bring a handsaw or axe as well as winter clothing and safety equipment. Tire chains and a shovel also are recommended, as is extra food, drinking water, blankets, a flashlight, first aid kit and survival gear.

Tree-cutting and travel may take longer than anticipated, so notify a friend or family member where you’re going, get an early start, and leave the woods well before dark.

“Going into the woods to find the family Christmas tree is a great way to experience your national forest,” said Tim Lahey, the Forest Products Program manager on the Willamette National Forest. “To make it a fun and safe experience, please check the current weather conditions before heading out.

“If you have additional concerns, contact your local ranger station for more information.”

To keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard, leave it outside until you’re ready to move it indoors.

Cut the trunk at an angle before placing it in the stand and remember to refill the stand reservoir daily.

Visitors can purchase permits and receive maps of cutting areas at offices from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Heading east on Highway 22 from Salem, permits are available at the Detroit Ranger District office across the highway from Detroit Lake State Park as well as at Santiam Sports Center, 250 NW 9th Ave., Mill City; and Mountain High Grocery, 220 D St. and Detroit Market, 100 Detroit Ave., both in Detroit.

Heading east on Highway 20 out of Albany, permits are available at the Sweet Home Ranger District office, 4431 Highway 20 as well as Coffee Hut, 2450 Santiam Highway; Midway Grocery, 3239 Santiam Highway; Dan Dee Sales, 610 Main St.; and Lakeside Market & Deli, 5401 Highway 20, all in Sweet Home.

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Information from: Statesman Journal, https://www.statesmanjournal.com


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