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GOLDEN, Colo. — Golden Gate Canyon State Park will offer 250 permits — to be awarded in a random drawing — for families to cut down Christmas trees from the forest, which is about 30 minutes from the Denver metro area.

According to a news release from Colorado Parks ans Wildlife, the drawing will be held Nov. 13 to award the 250 permits, and participants can enter the drawing from Nov. 1-Nov. 12 on the park’s website.

Permits are $35 per tree, with a limit of two permits per household. Permit holders can go to the park at either 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. Dec. 7 to cut their tree.

Anyone successful in the drawing will be notified by email by Nov. 15.

The following is planning information for permit winners, according to the release:

  • Dec. 7, everyone who purchased a permit must check in at the visitor center to pick it up before cutting down a tree.
  • A valid park pass is required for each vehicle. They can be purchased at the visitor center.
  • Tree permits are valid rain or snow. No refunds will be given for bad weather.
  • Areas for four- and two-wheel-drive vehicles will be available, and some hiking will be required.
  • Trees must be cut with hand tools, such as a handsaw or an ax. Chainsaws and power saws are strictly prohibited. Tree selections include Douglas fir, Ponderosa pine, Lodge pole pine and Rocky Mountain juniper.
  • Visitors can warm up at the visitor center with hot drinks, cookies, candy canes and a 20 percent discount on unique presents from our gift shop. In the spirit of giving, canned goods will be collected for the local food bank to help those in need.

By cutting a Christmas tree, the permit holders will assist Golden Gate Canyon State Park in thinning overcrowded and dense vegetation. This selective thinning will improve the overall forest health and reduce the impacts of future wildfires.