A free Christmas tree? California forest offering tree permits for the first time in nearly a century
RICHMOND — Ever more than five years of the Christmas season is coming to an end. In the state’s parched Sierra foothills, where the trees are cut, they have been cut for five years now with no trees permitted to be grown for a free Christmas tree.
In this time of extreme drought, the State Lands Commission is offering a tree-growing permit for the first time in nearly a century. In a news release, the commission said that “if and when” there is a Christmas tree available for the public, Christmas trees will be grown. But whether there is a Christmas tree available depends on the tree-rotation schedule.
“The State Lands Commission is offering to the public a Christmas tree-growing permit on a temporary basis,” said the commission, which provides land for government and private projects.
“For decades, the trees have been cut with no expectation that a tree could be planted,” said the commission. “It is the only tree-rotation schedule that has ever been offered by the State Lands Commission, and that offer still stands today.”
The commission said that since it has offered the tree-rotation schedule for more than 50 years, Santa Claus doesn’t know when he or she is coming.
“The decision to offer the tree-rotation schedule was made long ago,” said the commission.
According to the commission, the tree-rotation schedule is based on the natural balance of the forest.
“Even though we do not know when Santa Claus will come at what time of year, he always arrives on time,” said the commission.
The tree-rotation schedule is set for the first five years.
“The commission has determined that the first five years of the tree-rotation schedule are best for the public and the environment,” the commission said.
The commission said that it will decide this year whether or not to offer the tree-rotation schedule in 2015, as well as any additional years to come.