Share story

Two of Washington’s national forests are offering free permits to cut Christmas trees if you have a fourth grader in your family.

As part of the national Every Kid in a Park initiative, all fourth graders are eligible for a free holiday tree-cutting permit from Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest or Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

In order for students to receive a free tree permit, they must present a valid paper voucher printed from the Every Kid in a Park website.

Step 1: Visit and follow instructions to obtain the paper voucher.

Step 2: Print out the paper voucher.

Step 3:  Bring the paper voucher to a national forest office to claim the free permit.

The Every Kid in a Park initiative is a national effort to encourage children to visit national parks, forests and public lands.

If you aren’t a fourth grader, you can now purchase permits to cut Christmas trees on the national forest.

For Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie forest, closest to Seattle, cutting areas are located within national forest lands in the eastern portions of Pierce, King, Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties. Maps and information about cutting areas are provided where permits are sold at ranger stations and public service centers.

Permits are also sold at REI’s Alderwood Mall store daily and the Outdoor Recreation Information Center located inside the downtown Seattle REI store. Permits cost $10 each, one tree per permit, with a tree height limit of 12 feet. Trees taller than 12 feet require a tall tree permit for $20. REI locations sell only the $10/12-feet-and-under Christmas tree permits. The permits are for 2015 season and are nonrefundable.

Cash, credit cards and checks are accepted at Forest Service stations, the Outdoor Recreation Information Center in the Seattle REI and the Alderwood Mall REI stores. Glacier and Verlot Public Service Centers accept only cash and checks. Forest Service offices and REI stores are closed Thanksgiving Day. Forest Service offices may close early Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve; call ahead for operating hours.