The province of BC wants Christmas tree hunters to get a permit before they head out to the forest.

Permits required for Christmas tree cutting

The Province of BC has been reminding residents that they are required to get a permit before they out to get their trees.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree I need a permit to cut thee. The Province of BC has been reminding residents that they are required to get a permit before they go over the river and through the woods to get their trees.

Free use permits are provided for personal use only, selling a tree cut under a Christmas tree permit or cutting in an unauthorized area is illegal. Permits can be obtained online at www.for.gov.bc.ca/mof/xmastrees or at the Castlegar office of the Selkirk Natural Resource District located at 845 Columbia Ave.

One of the purposes behind the permits is to ensure that people know the principles and best practices for cutting trees before heading out to the forest. “It is mostly just an informational and guidance document,” said Jim Guido, Resource Manager for the Selkirk Natural Resource District. After you print or obtain the permit, you simply read it, and then agree to abide by the terms by signing it. The permit must be carried with you as you are required to produce the permit at the request of conservation or natural resource officers. “We make it as easy, straight forward and logical as possible, so compliance should be easy,” added Giudo.

Christmas trees may only be cut from areas of Crown Land such as power line right-of-ways, road right-of-ways, or on open unfenced range land. Trees may not be cut from private land or other areas alienated or reserved for a special use, woodlot licence or community forest agreement areas, provincial or national parks, forest plantations in previously harvested areas, research areas and areas within 50 meters from any stream.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources also recommends that you leave home prepared. Bring ropes, gloves, tools, tire chains, a first aid kit, a mobile phone and warm clothing. Drive carefully and be prepared for logging trucks.

Make sure you have found the tree you will use before cutting to avoid wasting forest resources. Choose a tree that can be cut near the base and is easy to transport. Wasted tree remains left in the forest form a summer fire hazard, so clean up and remove all debris associated with your activity.