Inyo National Forest Proposes New Permit Program for Christmas Trees

 

Bishop, Calif., April 29, 2024 — The Inyo National Forest (Forest) is proposing a new special recreation permit fee system for harvesting Christmas Trees across the forest, with a public comment period open from May 1 through July 1, 2024.

After the fee proposal process is complete, this program will allow up to one, $20 tree per household purchased online at recreation.gov between November 1 through December 31. The forest will use this money to print maps, staff offices after hours/weekends to provide information to the public, fund silviculture staff to monitor cutting areas, and provide patrols in cutting areas for visitor safety and compliance.

“For many families, bringing home a Christmas tree from their local national forest is a cherished tradition carried on for generations,” said Inyo National Forest Supervisor Lesley Yen.

“For families creating new traditions, a trip to their local national forest to cut their own Christmas tree may be a thrilling experience as they discover the joy of hiking through the forest in search of the perfect holiday centerpiece. Inyo National Forest is considering allowing Christmas Tree cutting, and we want to hear your thoughts.”

This new fee will be reviewed by a citizen’s advisory committee, who will submit their recommendation to the Regional Forester for final decision. Committee members represent a broad array of recreation interest groups to help ensure that the Forest Service is proposing reasonable and publicly acceptable new fees.

How to submit comments

Please submit comments no later than close of business on July 1, 2024 to:

  • By email: sm.fs.INFXmasTrees@usda.gov
  • By mail:
    Inyo Forest Service, Attn: Andrew Kennedy
    351 Pacu Lane, Suite 200, Bishop CA 93514
  • Submit online through this story map: https://arcg.is/iXXmz
    Directions: click on the map area for Inyo National Forest, and a comment box will pop up on the right side. Click on the small green comment bubble to write in your comment.
  • Oral comments: Please call Andrew Kennedy during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) at 760-920-3522 and indicate you would like to provide comments on the proposed recreation fee changes.

Background

In 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) which allows the Forest Service to retain funds collected at certain recreation sites and use these funds locally to operate, maintain, and improve these sites. At least 80 percent of the revenue from recreation fees remains on the forests to operate, maintain, and improve facilities. Recreation fees help provide quality recreation opportunities that meet the modern expectations of visitors and creates a more financial sustainable developed recreation program for the benefit of future generations.