Find your holiday cheer in the great outdoors

Yes, the temperature outside can most aptly be described as arctic. The wind has been howling, the snow has been blowing and everyone has been trying desperately to stay warm.

But, we encourage everyone to go outside.

We know, sounds crazy right?

But as Christmas cheer begins spreading around the county, it is important for people to understand the joy in hunting down and claiming a real Christmas tree. Don’t be fooled. Fake… eh hem, sorry… artificial trees have their place, but real trees top the rest in competition for Christmas spirit.

The adventure of trekking into the Bighorn National Forest, trudging through the snow and finding the perfect tree is priceless. Bring your family, your spouse and your pets. Everyone can enjoy the fresh air and a little exercise. Whether your style is Charlie Brown or grand ballroom, the forest has trees to fit homes of all sizes.

There are a few rules, so pay attention when you venture into the woods.

• Don’t cut any trees in wilderness areas, marked timber sales, within 300 feet of campgrounds, lodges, summer homes, private land and ranger stations, or within 100 feet of state highways.

• On the Powder River Ranger District (offices located in Buffalo), trees cannot be harvested along U.S. Highway 16 from the eastern Bighorn National Forest boundary to the Hettinger Group Area sign, and along Forest Service Road 19.

• The required tag you are given when you purchase a permit must be attached to the tree before it is transported.

• Off-road travel regulations are in effect so don’t go hot shotting.

• When cutting a tree, stumps must be cut at 6 inches or less, and it is important to keep roadways clear of debris and slash.

• Boughs may be cut away only from trees tagged with a permit.

• The $8 permit allows you to cut one tree up to 10 feet tall. Permits can be picked up at the Bighorn National Forest offices in Buffalo, Lovell and Sheridan. So be careful, stay warm and find some holiday cheer in the great outdoors.


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