If you are ready to load up the kids and blaze a trail into the bush to cut down your own Christmas tree this year make sure you have the paperwork to avoid a fine.
Residents of B.C. who want to cut their own Christmas tree can get a permit online, or by contacting their local natural resource district office or FrontCounter BC office.
For a Free Use Permit to cut a Christmas tree in the Thompson Rivers District (go to: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/natural-resource-use/christmas-tree-permits/dtr_christmas_tree_permit.pdf
Local natural resource district offices can provide details about specific cutting requirements and approved harvest areas. Free-use permits are provided for personal use only.
It is also illegal to sell a tree cut under a Christmas tree permit or to cut a tree in an unauthorized area.
When cutting a Christmas tree, keep the following tips in mind:
• Leave home prepared. Bring ropes, gloves, tools, tire chains, a first-aid kit, a mobile phone and warm clothing.
• Drive carefully. Be prepared for logging trucks: http://www.bcforestsafe.org/files/tk_pdfs/gde_resrd.pdf
• Make sure you have found the tree you will use before cutting. Some permits specify only one tree can be cut.
• Do not leave a pointed stump as this may cause injury to livestock, wildlife, pets or other people.
• Choose a tree that can be cut near the base and is easy to transport. Wasted tree remains left in the forest can form a summer fire hazard.
• Clean up and remove all debris associated with your activity.
Links to online Christmas tree permits, as well as FrontCounter BC and natural resource district office contact information can be found here: https://www2. gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/natural-resource-use/natural-resource-permits/christmas-tree-permits
A list of tree farms and “U-cuts” around the province can be found on the BC Christmas Tree Council’s website: http://bcchristmastrees.com