The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge has been open for cutting Christmas trees since right after Thanksgiving, and according to Refuge manager Robin West, folks may be waiting for some warmer weather to stalk that perfect family tree.
"A few people got right out there after Thanksgiving and got their trees immediately, but of the several hundred families that usually cut trees, I expect a lot of them have been waiting for the weather to warm up a bit," said West. The family tradition of cutting a tree has increased over the years with many families having their favorite areas on the Refuge to find their tree according to West. Trees may be taken anywhere on the Refuge except within 150 feet of a road, lake, stream, trail, campground, or picnic area.
No tree cutting is allowed at the Refuge Headquarters/Visitor Center area and along Ski Hill Road. Also the public is requested to trim the stumps as close to the ground as possible for aesthetic reasons. Here are the best Christmas tree cutting tips, if you are venturing onto the KNWR for the first time, according to West,
"You need to find a little drier area so that you're getting white spruce rather than some of the more scraggly black spruce in the more swampy area, but there are lots of places to go. Out on Funny River road is a popular area and Marathon Rd. is a nice area go out towards the end there and work toward the power line because most of those trees are going to be removed as they grow up any way, so there a quite a few to choose from out there," said West.
For further details contact the KNWR Headquarters on Ski Hill Rd. in Soldotna at 262-7021.
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