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Cut Your Own Christmas Tree on Public Land

Getting Christmas Tree Permits in the Reno / Tahoe Area


Reno, Holiday Tree, Christmas season, Nevada

Reno's Holiday Tree, downtown by Rink on the River.

Photo © Stan White

If you are the do-it-yourself type, you can get Christmas tree cutting permits from either the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to go get a tree on nearby public land, or on not so nearby public land.

Be Prepared for Winter Conditions

Wherever you go Christmas tree cutting, bring your own saws and other equipment. In case you encounter bad roads and stormy weather, be sure to bring warm clothing, a first aid kit, extra food and water, heavy rope or chain, a shovel, and tire chains. If you get stuck, it may be a while before someone finds you and cell phones may not work in remote areas. Be sure to check the weather forecast and highway conditions to make sure roads to your intended location are open.

Christmas Tree Cutting at Lake Tahoe

For the 2013 holiday season, the U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) is selling Christmas tree cutting permits starting on Monday, November 18, 2013. Permits are $10 each (cash or check, no credit cards) with a limit of two per family. 2,500 permits will be available at two Lake Tahoe locations on a first - come, first - served basis. If still available (they sell out quickly), the last day to purchase permits is December 20, and the last day to cut a tree is December 24.

Included with permits are maps to designated cutting areas and other information about choosing a tree. You'll be able to choose from tree species including pine, cedar, and fir. There may be some seasonal road closures and off-road driving is not permitted, so you may have to do some walking to reach certain cutting areas.

North Shore Lake Tahoe - Incline Village Forest Service office.
855 Alder Avenue, Incline Village, NV.
Sales begin on Wednesday, November 20, 2013.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday through Friday.
More information - (775) 831-0914 (during winter driving conditions, call ahead to make sure the office is open).

South Shore Lake Tahoe - LTBMU Forest Supervisor's office.
35 College Drive, South Lake Tahoe, CA.
Sales begin Monday, November 18, 2013.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
More information - (530) 543-2694.

Christmas Tree Permits for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) will be selling Christmas tree cutting permits for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest from November 22 through December 24, 2013, or until the available 4,000 permits are sold out. Households are limited to two $10 permits, which will be sold on a first - come, first - served basis.

Permits must be purchased in person with cash or a check - credit and ATM cards are not accepted. Permits are good for cutting white fir, Jeffrey pine, lodgepole pine, and incense cedar in designated areas, including portions of Dog Valley, Mt. Rose, Markleeville, Woodfords, Hope Valley, and Wolf Creek. USFS Christmas tree permits are available at these locations during the hours listed:

Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Headquarters
1200 Franklin Way, Sparks, NV 89431
(775) 331-6444
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Carson Ranger District Office
1536 S. Carson Street (US 395), Carson City, NV 89701
(775) 882-2766
Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Galena Creek Visitor Center
16750 Mount Rose Highway, Reno, NV
(775) 849-4948
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Hope Valley Café and Market
14655 Highway 88, Woodfords Canyon, CA.
(530) 694-2323
Seven days a week: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Markleeville General Store
14799 Highway 89, Markleeville, CA 96120
(530) 694-2448
Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Christmas Tree Permits from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

Permits from the Nevada BLM Carson City District are available for $5 each starting Tuesday, November 12, 2013. Permits are non-refundable and there is no limit on how many you can buy. Areas open to tree cutting include the Pinenut Mountains between Carson City and Yerington, the Clan Alpine and Desatoya Mountains east of Fallon, and the Excelsior Mountains southeast of Hawthorne. When you purchase a permit, maps and directions are available. The BLM offices in Reno and Carson City accept credit card cards, cash, and checks. Other locations only accept cash or checks made payable to the BLM. You can get permits in person from these BLM locations, during the hours listed.

BLM Carson City District Office
5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, NV 89701
(775) 885-6000
Monday - Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

BLM Nevada State Office
1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, NV 89520-0006
(775) 861-6500
Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Galena Creek Visitor Center
16750 Mount Rose Highway, Reno, NV
(775) 849-4948
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Cal Ranch
2035 N. Carson Street, Carson City, NV 89706
(775) 461-2213
Monday - Saturday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce
1477 US Highway 395 North, Suite A, Gardnerville, NV 89410
(775) 782-8144
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Community Action Center - Hawthorne
924 5th Street, Hawthorne, NV 89415
(775) 945-2471
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

UNR Cooperative Extension Office - Fallon
111 Shekler Road, Fallon, NV
(775) 423-5121
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Middlegate Station
42500 U.S. Highway 50 (48 miles east of Fallon)
Daily: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Cold Springs Station
52500 U.S. Highway 50 (62 miles east of Fallon)
(775) 423-1233
Daily: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Source: BLM Carson City District, USFS Carson Ranger District, Great Basin Institute, Washoe County Parks.

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