- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2020

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The State Land Office is joining other land management agencies in New Mexico in offering online Christmas tree cutting permits.

The Land Office said Monday it also is allowing people to get permits to gather sand for filling luminarias, which are traditional holiday decorations in which candles are placed inside paper bags weighted with sand.

Permit applications, maps, directions and other information are available on the agency’s website.

Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard said her office is pleased to offer the low-cost permits as New Mexicans honor two long-held holiday traditions. Like other activities on state trust land, the tree cutting and sand gathering fees help support public schools.

There are seven areas around the state being made available for sand gathering. With a permit, up to 20 gallons (75.7 liters) of sand can be collected. State officials say that’s enough to fill about 100 luminaria bags.



Christmas tree cutting with a permit will be allowed on trust land east of Black Lake and south of Angel Fire. A limit of one tree - no taller than 15 feet (4.6 meters) - is allowed per permit.

Permit applications and payments must be received no later than Dec. 16. They’ll be valid through Dec. 25.

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