Time to start scouting! USFS Christmas tree tags on sale Tuesday

If you’re a fan of going out and finding your own Christmas tree out in the Black Hills National Forest, you’ll get your chance as early as this coming Tuesday, November 12.

The U.S. Forest Service will begin selling tree tags on that day at $10 apiece. They’ll be available through Christmas Eve.

Individuals can get up to five permits. There are no refunds for uncut trees or unused tags.

You are not allowed to cut trees in developed recreation sites, Forest Service administrative sites, active timber sales, the Black Hills Experimental Forest near Rochford, the Black Elk Wilderness, the Beaver Park area near Sturgis or within Spearfish Canyon.

Forestry officials are also offering the fourth grade free Christmas tree program again this year. Kids just need to present a valid fourth grade pass or a printed voucher from the Every Kid Outdoors website.

Every Kid Outdoors is a nationwide program to encourage the next generation of conservationists. All fourth graders are eligible to receive a fourth grade pass that allows free access to federal lands and waters across the country for a full year.

The forest service has a printed map showing where white spruce are plentiful.

You can also cut Ponderosa pine and western juniper.

There’s also a brochure with the rules you’ll need to follow to use your tag.

They include:

  • A 20’ height limit
  • Cut the entire tree
  • No more than a 6” stump
  • Cut unused branches so they lie flat on the ground

And perhaps most importantly, make sure to affix your tag to the tree before removing the tree from the cutting area. If you’re caught with a cut tree that does not have a tag on it, even if you have the tag with you or in your car, you can be issued a citation.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News