The U.S. Forest Service suggests areas off of Fish Creek Road leading to the Eaglecrest Ski Area, and off Glacier Highway north of the ferry terminal as suitable areas for Christmas tree harvest.
With Christmas less than a month away and decoration season in full swing, the Forest Service reminded Alaskans in a news release that while no permit is required to cut down a tree from the Tongass National Forest, there are some rules to be aware of.
Trees can be harvested from most undeveloped areas of the Tongass National Forest so long as they are at least 100 feet from either side of the road, according to the Forest Service. The Juneau Ranger district suggests Glacier Highway between Mileposts 29 and 33 or off of Fish Creek Road leading to the Eagle Crest Ski Area, a mile past the Fish Creek Bridge.
A household is allowed to harvest one Christmas tree per year, according to the Forest Service, but trees must be cut in the right areas.
Trees may not be cut from any developed Forest Service recreation sites. In the Juneau Ranger District that includes, Auke Village, Lena Beach and all of the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area; Skater’s Cabin; Visitor Center; West Glacier Trail; Mendenhall Lake Campground and Dredge Lakes area, according to the Forest Service.
A motor vehicle use map is available at the Forest Service website, fs.usda.gov, to confirm land ownership. Trees may not be cut from the Héen Latinee Experimental Forest north of Juneau, according to the Forest Service.
Trees may not be cut from land within 330 feet of a bald eagle nest, which are often located near water, the guidelines say. Trees may not be cut within 100 feet of a salmon stream or a road and trees should be no larger than 7 inches in diameter at the stump, according to the Forest Service.
Trees should be cut trees as close to the ground as possible, below the lowest limb or a foot from the ground, according to the guidelines.
People should not cut the top off of a larger tree or cut a tree and then discard it for another, more desirable one, according to the Forest Service. Trees cannot be sold, bartered or used in any commercial-type exchange for goods.
Handsaws must be used on Admiralty Island National Monument, according to the guidelines. Chainsaws and motorized equipment are prohibited in the Kootznoowoo Wilderness.
More information can be found at the Forest Service website, or by contacting the local ranger station. The Juneau Ranger District can be reahed at 586-8800.
• Contact reporter Peter Segall at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.