Thanksgiving is here, and that means the holidays are right around the corner.  This year, make plans for a great family experience – cutting your own Christmas tree on a national forest!   The U.S. Forest Service has a special program that allows fourth graders with an Every Kid in a Park pass to obtain a free Christmas tree permit while supplies last.  Fourth graders just need to show their pass – available online at – at a U.S. Forest Service office near you.  If there isn’t a fourth grader in your family, it’s ok – you’re still eligible to buy a national forest tree cutting permit, just contact your nearby national forest!  So make this year’s tree gathering a great family outing in America’s great outdoors.

Know before you go – do not just go out and cut a nice looking tree.  Not all national forests issue permits.  To find a national forest near you, click here and zoom in on your state.  And be sure to check out the Forest Service’s general guidelines here.  National forests cover 190 million acres in 42 states – and there are national forests just across the border from many of the remaining eight.

Then it’s off to the forest to cut down your tree!  And while you’re there, take photos and enjoy some healthy, active outdoor fun on your public lands and waters!