Our family hit the trails today, but our goal was different than usual... we were hunting for the perfect Christmas Tree. Yes you can cut your own Charlie Brown Christmas tree for free in the Chugach National Forest. Here are there rules for harvesting from their website:
- All areas of the Chugach National Forest on the Kenai Peninsula are open, with the exceptions of Portage Valley and Turnagain Pass. The Portage closure extends from the Seward Highway to Portage Lake. The Turnagain Pass closure extends from just north of the Turnagain Pass Rest Area (at MP 57 from Anchorage; MP 70 from Seward) to the Bertha Creek Campground (MP 61.5 from Anchorage; MP 65.5 from Seward).
- Each household or organization is allowed one tree from the Forest. No permits are required to cut trees for personal use. However, permits are required to cut trees for commercial purposes. The free trees cannot be sold, bartered or used in any commercial-type exchange for goods.
- Be certain you are on land managed by the Forest Service.
- Cut trees at least 150 yards (450 feet) away from main roads, picnic and campground units, administrative facilities, trails, and bodies of water.
- Do not fell trees into streams or other bodies of water. Cut trees as close to the ground as possible.
- Do not lop off the tops of trees higher than 20 feet in order to get the good parts.
- Follow off-road zoning regulations. Select your tree thoughtfully, to avoid unsightly bare spots.