COVER STORY | Grand Junction shines as D.C. eyes new home for BLM

A view of the Book Cliffs near Grand Junction, an area administered by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management. (iStock)

For those looking for the perfect Christmas tree, the United States government has you covered.

The Bureau of Land Management, which oversees 245 million acres of public land, is selling permits to harvest trees in the Gunnison, the San Luis Valley and Royal Gorge field offices.

The permits cost $10 and are available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Silverton office will also sell permits, but with no set hours. Each field office will provide information about where to cut and which type of trees to cut.

Cutting will be allowed through Dec. 24. The BLM lists several tips for potential harvesters, including:

  • Do not trespass on private property.

  • Wear bright-colored clothes, given that it is hunting season.

  • Check weather and road conditions before venturing out.

While a Bureau spokesperson did not know precisely when the initiative began, the Christmas tree permits have been in existence for quite some time.

Of the BLM’s jurisdiction, the U.S. Forest Service manages the majority at 192 million acres. Over 99% of its surface acres are open to hunting and fishing. Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy Act to protect an additional 400,000 acres of wilderness, recreation, and conservation management areas.

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