Gem State Roundup

Permits are now available for cutting down Christmas trees in Idaho’s national forests

By: - October 31, 2023 4:00 am
Boise National Forest

The Boise National Forest covers more than 2.5 million acres and includes more than 500 trails. More than 60% of Idaho is federal public land. (Clark Corbin/Idaho Capital Sun)

Christmas tree permits are now available at local U.S. Forest Service offices and online through the end of the year.

Residents can pay $5 per permit to cut down up to three trees.

Those seeking a tree are encouraged to cut down trees at least 200 feet away from roads, waterways, campgrounds and recreation sites, according to a press release from the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests. Residents cannot cut down trees within designated Wilderness areas or Wild and Scenic River corridors.

Those cutting down trees are encouraged to be aware of winter driving conditions, to dress warmly and to pack tire chains, food, a first aid kit and other emergency equipment.

To look up Christmas tree permits for specific national forests, go to

“Besides the joy it brings to families across the nation, harvesting a Christmas tree from a National Forest also improves forest health,” the press release said. “The permit system helps to thin densely populated stands of small-diameter trees. Removing these trees helps other trees grow larger and can open areas that provide forage for wildlife.”

Have questions about harvesting a Christmas tree from a national forest? Contact your local U.S. Forest Service office.


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Christina Lords
Christina Lords

Christina Lords is the editor-in-chief of the Idaho Capital Sun and has been a professional journalist covering local and state government since graduating from the University of Idaho in 2009. A Pocatello native, Lords is a fifth-generation Idahoan who served as a reporter at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News and the Post Register in Idaho Falls and served as assistant editor for the Idaho Press in Nampa. She also led the Idaho Statesman in Boise for two years before turning to nonprofit journalism.