By Ben Olson
As “The Most Wonderful Time of Year” approaches rapidly, the U.S. Forest Service is launching its annual “Every Kid in a Park” initiative where all fourth graders are eligible to receive a free Christmas tree permit.
The initiative is a national effort to encourage children to visit national parks, forests and public lands. The program is part of an interagency call to action to build the next generation of conservationists.
All fourth grade students — included homeschooled fourth graders — can receive a free tree permit if they complete an activity and print the voucher at www.everykidinapark.gov, and bring it into any of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest offices. The closest office to Sandpoint is the Sandpoint Ranger Station, 1602 Ontario St. The Fourth grader needs to be poresent and must show a valid paper voucher or durable Every Kid in a Park pass obtained from the website.
Most of the 2.5 million acres of National Forest System lands are open to Christmas tree cutting. Individual tree permits are available for $5 each. Please be prepared for winter weather and check conditions before heading out into the forests.
For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/ipnf.
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