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Christmas tree permits return to Butte Meadows

Christmas tree permits stopped being offered in Butte Meadows in 2018 by Lassen National Forest, but now they have returned and are being sold by The Mercantile.

Posted: Nov 25, 2020 8:26 AM

BUTTE MEADOWS, Calif. - Christmas tree permits stopped being offered in Butte Meadows in 2018 by Lassen National Forest, but now they have returned and are being sold by The Mercantile. 

The last year Christmas tree permits were sold in Butte Meadows was in 2017. 

In 2018, Lassen National Forest stopped selling them and only offered them in Chester. According to those in the community, this was done without any notice and brewed a lot of anger. 

"About 2 years ago without any prior notice, they just stopped. There was no notice to the community and, you know, as you might imagine when a family tradition is upended, there was a little bit of upheaval," said Mike Maloney, President of the Butte Meadows-Jonesville Association.

After several years of trying, the community, along with their state representatives, have been able to get Lassen National Forest to reinstate the sale of permits in the community. 

The Butte Meadows Mercantile & Resort has bought a bulk amount of permits and sells them at his business. Each permit is being sold for $10. The owner says he has sold 650 permits in the last few weeks and that the biggest rush will come the weekend after Thanksgiving. 

"We don't make anything on it. We buy it for 10 dollars, we sell them for 10 dollars," said Bill Kelso, co-owner of 'The Mercantile'.

You can purchase the permits any day of the week at The Mercantile from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Permits come with a map of Lassen National Forest and show you areas where you are allowed to cut down Christmas trees.

A winter festival will take place that weekend at The Mercantile & Resort. Santa Clause will be there and practicing COVID-19 safety. 

"We're starting to decorate now for kind of a winter village here for people do pictures and photo ops as they come in and get their tree and we'll have a whole holiday menu with lots of fun treats and things for kids and adults and Santa will be here," said Stacey Kelso, co-owner of 'The Mercantile'.

Mail-in permits are also an option and you can find more information on it, along with how to travel and cut trees safely, by clicking HERE

The last day to request a mail-in permit will be December 4th. 

Now that permits have been reinstated in the area, Butte Meadows has seen an influx of people looking to restart or begin their Christmas tree cutting traditions.

"We came up here because we just have a 2-month-year-old son and so we thought we'd want to start starting family traditions and, you know, cutting down the Christmas trees is one of them. So we got grandpa in the truck with them and we're really excited to get out there and start a family tradition," said Matthew Jarvis, Chico resident bringing his family to Butte Meadows.

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