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home : sports & recreation : sports & outdoors May 29, 2016

11/9/2012 8:49:00 AM
USFS waiving certain fees for Veteran's Day weekend
• Chelan Ranger District, 428 W. Woodin Ave., Chelan WA 98816; 509-682-4900

• Cle Elum Ranger District, 803 W. 2nd Street, Cle Elum, WA 98922; 509-852-1100

• Entiat Ranger District, physical address 2108 Entiat Way, mailing address P.O. Box 476 Entiat, WA 98822; 509-784-4700

• Methow Valley Ranger District, 24 West Chewuch Road, Winthrop, WA 98862; 509-996-4003

• Naches Ranger District, 10237 Hwy. 12, Naches, WA 98937; 509-653-1401

• Okanogan Valley Office, 1240 South Second Ave., Okanogan, WA 98840; 509-826-3275

• Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Headquarters office, 215 Melody Lane, Wenatchee, WA 98801; 509-664-9200

• Tonasket Ranger District, 1 W. Winesap, Tonasket, WA 98855; 509-486-2186

• Wenatchee River Ranger District, 600 Sherbourne, Leavenworth, WA 98826; 509-548-2550

From Robin DeMario

The U.S. Forest Service is waiving fees at most of its day-use standard amenity recreation fee sites over the Veterans Day holiday weekend, Nov. 10 to 12.

Concessionaire operated day-use sites may be included in the waiver if the permit holder wishes to participate.
This is our way of saying thanks to the brave men and women that put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe at home.

We encourage veterans, their families and all forest visitors to take time out over the holiday weekend to enjoy the benefits that nature provides at forests and grasslands throughout the country.

All national forest offices will be closed on Veteran's Day, Monday, November 21.

As the holiday season approaches, the Forest Service is once again offering an opportunity for families to obtain a Christmas tree from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Christmas tree permits are on sale for $5 each at all ranger stations and the forest headquarters. Each $5 permit allows a family to cut one tree, with a tree height limit of 15 feet, or dig a small live transplant tree. Permits may be purchased in person or by mail. The permits are non-refundable.

For those who can't make it into any of our offices during daily business hours many local businesses are also selling Christmas tree permits.

In Wenatchee, tree permits are available at Hooked on Toys and Arlberg Sports.

Permits can be bought at the Chelan Shell Foodmart gas station in Chelan.

The Entiat Food Center in Entiat is also selling Christmas tree permits.

When venturing out into the national forest in pursuit of a Christmas tree, following are some hints to help make your trip a safe one:
Before leaving home, notify a friend or family member where you will be going and when you will return. Then, stick to your plan and let your contact person know when you have returned.

Consider carefully your clothing, equipment, and vehicle needs, making certain they are adequate for the worst conditions you might encounter. If planning to drive over snow-covered roads, a high-clearance vehicle may be best, and don't forget to carry tire chains and a shovel.

Once snow starts to build up, ALWAYS check the avalanche hazard before leaving home.

Leave early in the day so that you have enough daylight to be able to choose that perfect tree.

Be familiar with the area that you plan to visit.

Remember, no Christmas tree cutting on state or private land; make sure you are on national forest land.

Do not enter fire closure areas. Due to post fire abatement efforts, such as cutting hazard trees along roadways, removing, replacing or installing culverts on roads, and constructing waterbars on trails, fire area closures remain in effect. Check with local ranger district offices regarding the status of area closures as some closure areas may be changing in size, some may be eliminated, or some may remain in place until spring.

Carry extra clothing, food, and tools in your vehicle for those unexpected mishaps that may occur.

Christmas tree permits may be placed on the driver's side dashboard in lieu of a Northwest Forest Pass when parking at a trailhead.

However, once enough snow accumulates and selected trailhead parking areas convert to Sno-Parks, you must have a valid Washington State Sno-Park permit displayed on your windshield when parking at a Sno-Park.
When snow accumulates and Sno-Parks open: Sno-Park day and seasonal permit holders do not need a Washington State Discover Pass at Sno-Parks on national forest lands.

Sno-Park seasonal permit holders do not need a Discover pass.

Those individuals using Sno-Parks on Washington State managed lands purchasing one-day Sno-Park permits also need to have a daily Discover Pass displayed in their vehicle.

Call Washington State Parks offices for more information.
For more information regarding Christmas tree permits, areas to cut in, and travel on forest roads, please contact any Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest office.

If heading to the woods, it's a good idea to be sure to let someone know where you are going, when you plan to return and what to do if you don't return on time. Remember to let them know when you do return. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. Dress appropriately for all weather conditions. Avoid cotton clothing and dress in layers. Stay dry, shed layers if you are sweating, add layers if you are cold. Wear sturdy waterproof boots. Stay warm, stay dry, stay safe and have fun.

Washington State Department of Transportation (WASDOT) provides critical mountain pass reports free of charge via telephone and Internet. The report is available toll-free statewide at 1-800-695-ROAD (1-800-695-7623) or 5-1-1. Hearing impaired callers using TTD's (text tele-typewriter devices) can access it at 1-800-833-6388 and then type for extension 206-440-4040. On the Internet the reports are available on the WSDOT Home Page at: in the traveler information website. The Internet pass reports include video snapshots of most of the mountain passes. The report is updated many times each day, October 15 through April 15.

Be aware, many forest roads are becoming snow covered. Woodcutting permits are on sale at all Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest offices. The minimum firewood permit is $20.00 for four cords of wood. The cost for permits over the four-cord minimum is $5 per cord. Generally, woodcutters may cut wood that has fallen to the ground and standing dead trees (except wildlife habitat trees). Woodcutting permits are valid until December 31, 2011. Please note that firewood cutting season on the Naches Ranger District ended on the first Sunday in October.

INTERAGENCY PASS PROGRAM (America the Beautiful National Parks & Federal Recreation Lands Pass):
This pass combines the benefits of existing recreation passes from five federal agencies into one comprehensive Interagency Pass called "America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass."
The pass covers recreation opportunities on public lands managed by National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and U.S. Forest Service.
The pass applies to those locations that currently have entrance or standard amenity fees.
The annual pass sells for $80, the lifetime senior pass is $10, and the lifetime access pass and the volunteer passes are free.
Passes are valid for one full year from the month of purchase.
Passes provide entrance or access to the pass holder and accompanying passengers in a single, private, non-commercial vehicle at federally operated recreation sites across the country.
Passes cover the pass holder and three (3) accompanying adults age 16 and older at sites where per person entrance fees are charged. No entry fee for children 15 and under.
Passes are NON-REFUNDABLE, NON-TRANSFERABLE, and cannot be replaced if lost or stolen.
The new program replaces the Golden Eagle, Golden Age, and the Golden Access Passports as well as the National Parks Pass. Existing passes will remain valid until expired, lost or stolen.
These passes can be used in lieu of the Northwest Forest Pass.

Passes are required at most national forest trailheads. Passes are available at all ranger district offices and the forest headquarters office in Wenatchee. The cost is $30 for an annual pass and $5 for a day use pass. For information about the Northwest Forest Pass call 1-800-270-7504 or to order it online go to America the Beautiful-National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes will be honored at all Northwest Forest Pass sites.
Wenatchee area: Northwest Forest passes are available at Arlberg Sports Inc., Hooked on Toys, Bi-Mart and Mountain Air Gear.
Chelan area: Passes are available at the Chelan Ranger District office.
Entiat area: Passes are available at Cooper's General Store in the Entiat Valley and at the Entiat Ranger District office.

Permits are required for gathering forest products including firewood, mushrooms, transplants, rocks and minerals, posts and poles, floral cuttings, cones and boughs. Please contact Forest Service district offices for specific information. There is a minimum charge of $20.00 per permit. Free use permits are available for small quantities of certain items for personal use. Special forest products permits for personal use firewood, personal use river rock and commercial use beargrass are available from the Cle Elum Ranger Station.

Carry the 10 plus essentials when traveling in the backcountry-a map, compass, fire starter, water proof matches, extra food, extra water, extra clothing, knife, flashlight with spare batteries and bulb, first aid kit, sunglasses, cell phone, and a space blanket.

DISCOVER YOUR NORTHWEST (formerly known as Northwest Interpretive Association):
Check out the great selection of books, puzzles, cards, stuffed animals, kids stuff and much more at each of the DYNW sales outlets located in the reception areas at each ranger district office and at the forest headquarters office!

LAKE LEVEL: The Lake level is 1,095 feet. For more information on the lake level, please visit the Chelan County Public Utility District website at .

CAMPING: All up lake campgrounds are open. Remember, as the lake level gets lower some of the docks become inaccessible. Dock permits are not required during the winter months.
The following campgrounds are open and accessible by vehicle. Watch out for SNOW at the higher elevation campgrounds.
• Antilon Lake
Dispersed camping
Site D, No Campfires
14 miles northwest of Chelan on Forest Service Road No. 8200
No charge. No reservations.
• Grouse Mountain
4 sites, pit toilets, picnic tables
8 miles west of 25 mile State park on FS Road No. 5900
(May have SNOW)
No charge, first come first serve.
• Junior Point
5 sites, pit toilets, picnic Table
14 miles west of 25 mile State park on FS 5900
(May have SNOW)
No charge, first come first serve.
• Snowberry Bowl
8 sites, vault toilets, picnic tables, water and garbage service
3.7 miles southeast of 25-Mile State Park
NO FEE- no water or garbage services.
• South Navarre
4 tent sites
40 miles west of Chelan on FS Road No. 8200
(May have SNOW)
No charge, first come first serve.
• Windy Camp
2 tent sites toilet, picnic table
15 miles SW of Snowberry Bowl on FS 8410
(May have SNOW)
No charge, first come first serve

Christmas Tree Permits: Christmas tree cutting permits are available at the Chelan Ranger District as well as the Chelan Shell Gas Station. Permits are $5 each.
WOODCUTTING Permits: Permits to cut firewood are available at the Chelan Ranger District office. The cost is $20 for a four-cord permit, and the permit is good until December 31, 2012. The Industrial Fire Precaution Levels are currently at level 1 in all zones.
ROADS AND TRAILS: Most roads and trails remain open but expect to encounter muddy conditions and snow at higher elevations. Please call the Chelan Ranger District for the most up to date road and trail information.

TRAILS: Trail crews are currently working on trails within the Table Mountain Fire area. Hazard trees are being felled, blow down is being cut from trails, tread is being repaired, and drainage features are being constructed to protect trails from erosion.

The office phone number is (509) 784-1511.
OFFICE HOURS: 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
SNOW: Snow is starting to fall on the district. Watch and listen to weather forecasts and be prepared for winter conditions.
CAMPGROUNDS: All Campgrounds are closed for the season. Campgrounds may be accessed by foot and used, but there are no services available so please pack out all garbage. Campgrounds will reopen in spring 2013.
ROADS: Please tread lightly on Forest Service roads. As roads become wet they are susceptible to resource damage and also become hazardous to drive on. Snow is falling in the high country, so be prepared for winter driving conditions. Remember, many FS roads close when snow accumulates and the road becomes impassable, so watch the weather forecasts and plan your trip accordingly.
Shady Pass Road No. 5900 is impassable due to snow
Entiat River Road No. 51 is open to the end of the road, be prepared for winter driving conditions
WILDFIRE CLOSURES: Pyramid Fire area closure and Klone Fire area closure remain in effect for resource protection and public safety. See Okanogan-Wenatchee NF website for specific closure information and maps. Call the Entiat Ranger Station for the latest information regarding area closures.
TRAILS: Many trails have been reopened after being closed for most of September and much of October due to wildfires in the area. Some trails remain closed (see list below) and will reopen in the spring/summer of 2013. Winter is coming to the high country so be prepared for snow and winter weather.

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