Forest Service permits required to cut Christmas trees on Summit County public lands |

Forest Service permits required to cut Christmas trees on Summit County public lands

People who bring real trees inside their homes for the holidays know that no imitation candle can compete with the smell of a fresh evergreen.

Those who would rather chop down their tree locally should know a $10 permit is required to cut a tree on Summit County’s national forest lands.

Christmas tree permits went on sale Monday, Nov. 17, but if you haven’t obtained one yet don’t panic.

Dillon Ranger District officials say they will issue hundreds of permits and doesn’t expect to run out.

The permits come with information explaining regulations, and the Dillon Ranger District office sells maps and offers free advice on the best areas for tree harvesting, species availability, travel management requirements and any other restrictions to note.

For example, no cutting is allowed in wilderness areas, wetlands, campgrounds and other recreation sites, and near lakes and streams.

The blue spruce, the state tree, is also off limits, though unlike in past years, people can cut other species besides lodgepole pine this season.

The Dillon Ranger District, at 680 Blue River Parkway in Silverthorne, will sell permits during its normal winter office hours as well as from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first three Saturdays in December. Call the office at (970) 468-5400 for more information.


Colorado Parks and Wildlife investigators are asking the public for help in finding those responsible for killing and abandoning three mature bull elk near the town of Dinosaur.

The intact carcasses of two elk were discovered the morning of Nov. 6, in Moffat County near the Utah border about 100 yards north of Highway 40 near milepost 17. They were found lying 150 yards apart and each bull appears to have been killed before sunrise by a single shot from a high-powered rifle.

The carcass of a third bull elk was found the morning of Nov. 12 on the south side of Highway 40 near milepost 6, near the Dinosaur National Monument Visitor’s Center. The animal had a single bullet wound and only the antlers had been removed. It is unknown if both incidents are related.

“We are conducting a thorough investigation using every means at our disposal to find whoever did this,” said Nate Martinez, district wildlife manager of Rangely. “The bulls were all found in Game Management Unit 10. Bull elk were not even in season here at the time they were killed.”

The two bulls found on Nov. 6 were discovered quickly enough for the meat to be donated to three local families. The meat from the third bull could not be salvaged.

At least 18 preference points are required to draw licenses in that game management unit, Martinez said. “The person that did this took opportunities away from ethical hunters that wait many years for a chance to hunt in this unit.”

Killing a big game animal then abandoning it or only removing trophy parts can yield felony charges, extensive fines, a prison sentence and the permanent loss of hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado and 43 Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact states.

To provide information about these incidents, call Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Meeker office at 970-878-6090. To remain anonymous, call Operation Game Thief at 877-265-6648. Rewards are available if the information leads to a citation.

“Even the smallest clue can help solve a case, so we are asking the public to let us know if they saw or heard anything suspicious, even if it seems insignificant,” Martinez said. “The people that did this illegally took these animals from the citizens of Colorado. Everyone has a stake in bringing them to justice.”

Please send environment news to reporter Alli Langley at

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