Find your perfect Christmas tree in Alberta’s wilderness

Search for your family’s perfect Christmas tree in one of Alberta’s many forests this season. Permits are available to cut up to three Christmas trees on Crown land, and at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park near Medicine Hat.

A permit to cut down a tree on Crown land is available for $5 plus GST at Sustainable Resource Development forestry offices throughout the province. They are also available at Bow Habitat Station in Calgary, which is open Tuesday through Saturday.

Staff from local forestry offices will direct permit-holders to the most appropriate areas to cut trees. Tree-cutters must be on Crown land and not private property, and should avoid areas where forests are in early stages of regeneration. Tree-cutters are encouraged to search out a small tree – up to two metres – and avoid the waste of cutting trees that tower six metres or higher and are later trimmed to fit inside a house.

Cutting a tree without the proper permit on Crown land is subject to a minimum fine of $100. Permits are valid for 30 days. More information about tree-cutting permits is available at www.srd.alberta.ca under the Recreation and Public Use tab. Contact information for forestry offices is under the About Us tab – click on SRD Contacts on the left-hand side.

New this year, you can also search for your Christmas tree at Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. To prevent trees from further encroaching on fescue grassland, tree cutting is available in select areas of the park from December 1 to 23. Begin your adventure at the Visitor Centre, where you can obtain a permit to cut down your tree. Donations will be accepted and used to purchase outdoor equipment like skis and snowshoes for park visitors.

Within the park, Christmas tree cutting is available at Murray Hill Road between Highway 41 and Spring Creek Trailhead/ Shelter; Reesor Lake Road between Highway 41 and Reesor Lake Viewpoint; and Spruce Coulee Road between Reesor Lake Road and first cattle guard. Cutting a tree on park land without a permit or in a non-designated location is subject to a fine of $287 under Section 10 of the Provincial Parks Act.

Approximately 30 minutes southeast of Medicine Hat, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a year-round recreational area, including Hidden Valley Ski Hill, cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails. For more information on the park, visit www.cypresshills.com or call 403-893-3833.

 

 

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