Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Not Snow Plowing This Year
Access to Christmas Trees Limited
If you and your family are planning to cut a Christmas tree on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest this year, you may want to do it before the snow falls in the high country. Permits to cut trees go on sale Nov. 14 – Dec. 24.
Unlike in years past, the Forest Service will not snow plow the Hansen Creek Road (Forest Service Road 5510) on the I-90 corridor and Forest Service roads 7010 and 75 on the Highway 410 corridor.
“Providing motor vehicle access to the high country can be difficult because of large elevation gains of 2,000 to 5,000 feet and quickly changing weather conditions on steep single-lane gravel roads,” said Jim Franzel, district ranger for the Snoqualmie Ranger District. He said there isn’t enough funding to plow and monitor road conditions. Additionally, the noble and silver fir second growth stands that have supported the Christmas tree harvests now exceed the maximum allowable 20 feet, having originated from commercial cutting of these areas in the 1960s and 70s. The long-range goal for the Christmas tree program is to plant noble fir in lower elevation areas in both corridors, which will take seven to 10 years to become harvestable size.
The Enumclaw and North Bend offices have sold approximately 4,500 harvest permits annually.
The district will continue to sell the permits and provide snow and road conditions. “If the snowpack is light or late, you will be able to access the high country,” said Franzel. Franzel suggests harvesting a tree before Thanksgiving to avoid the snow. He said a cut tree can be kept outdoors for a few weeks without harm.
Permits are available at the following locations:
Mt. Baker Ranger Station
810 State Route 20 Sedro-Woolley, WA
360-856-5700 Ext. 515
Glacier Public Service Center
Mt. Baker Highway 542 Glacier, WA
Darrington Ranger Station
1405 Emens Ave. N. Darrington, WA
Verlot Public Service Center
33515 Mountain Loop Highway, Granite Falls, WA
Skykomish Ranger Station
74920 NE Stevens Pass Hwy,
Snoqualmie Ranger Stations
902 SE North Bend Way North Bend, WA
450 Roosevelt Ave. E. Enumclaw, WA
Outdoor Recreation Information Center
222 Yale Ave. N. Seattle, WA
REI Alderwood Store
3000 184th St. SW Lynnwood, WA