Tree hunting

The Custer Gallatin National Forest now has Christmas tree permits available at all seven Ranger Districts and at numerous local businesses across the forest.

Forest Service offices will have permits available for purchase during regular business hours 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday for $5 each (limit three per household). Cash, check or debit/credit card are accepted at each location.

“Heading out for your Christmas tree is a great family experience, I remember doing it when I was a kid and now we’re taking our toddler out," said Mariah Leuschen-Lonergan, public affairs specialist for the Custer Gallatin National Forest.

This year as part of Every Kid Outdoors, fourth graders across the nation will get a free Christmas tree permit. First, log on to https://everykidoutdoors.gov and follow the steps to confirm you are a fourth grader. Then bring your pass to your local Christmas tree vendor and grab a free permit to enjoy with your family.

Every Kid Outdoors is a partnership of federal agencies offering free access to hundreds of parks, lands, and waters for an entire year. 

Local businesses selling the tree permits include:

Absarokee: Rockin J Gas Station Belgrade: Town & Country, Belgrade Ace Hardware

Big Timber Events: Crazy Mountain Christmas (American Legion Bldg 9:00 a.m. – 4 p.m. Nov. 29th & Dec. 6 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Hometown Holiday Lighted Parade

Billings: Cabela’s, Ace Hardware (Heights) 

Big Sky: Big Sky Conoco and Ace Hardware

Bowman, ND: Slope Soil Conservation Service

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Bozeman: Owenhouse Ace Hardware, (downtown & Huffine); Murdoch’s Ranch & Home Supply (both locations)

Buffalo, SD: Harding County Conservation District

Ekalaka: Carter County Conservation District

Gardiner: Gardiner Market

Lemmon, SD: Grand River Ranger District

Livingston: Ace Hardware

Red Lodge: Sylvan Peak Mountain Shop

West Yellowstone: Cenex Corner Store

Custer Gallatin National Forest Offices: Ashland Ranger District: 406-784-2344; Bozeman Ranger District: 406-522-2520; Beartooth Ranger District, Red Lodge: 406-446-2103; Gardiner Ranger District: 406-848-7375; Hebgen Lake Ranger District, West Yellowstone: 406-823-6961; Sioux Ranger District, Camp Crook, SD: 605-797-4432; Yellowstone Ranger District, Livingston: 406-222-1892; Billings Office: 406-255-1400.

Those with a permit may cut a Christmas tree anywhere on the Custer Gallatin National Forest except in designated wilderness areas, developed recreation sites including campgrounds and trailheads, posted timber sale units, recently planted locations and administrative sites.

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