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FARMINGTON – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is inviting families to celebrate the holiday season with a locally sourced Christmas tree.

Beginning Friday, the bureau will be selling Christmas tree permits at offices in Albuquerque, Socorro, Taos, Farmington, Las Cruces and Santa Fe, according to a press release. The permits, which sell for $5, allow families to harvest their own evergreen tree on land administered by the bureau, the release states.

Bureau spokeswoman Allison Sandoval said Tuesday the areas designated for tree cutting need to be thinned out, so the program is actually a benefit to the region.

This year, a free permit will be made available to any fourth-grader who has signed up for the Every Kid in a Park Program.

"Any kid that goes on the website and gets the pass is able to go to a BLM office and get a Christmas tree permit," Sandoval said.

The Every Kid in a Park Program was created earlier this year to provide an opportunity for every fourth-grade student across the country to visit federal public lands and water, according to the National Parks Foundation website.

Fourth-graders can obtain an Every Kid in a Park permit by visiting the program's website.

Families will be provided with a map that shows where lands open to tree cutting are located when they purchase their permit.

The Farmington field office is located at 6251 College Blvd., suite A.

Administrative officer Vicki Switzer said the Farmington field office sold 326 permits last year. The permits will be sold until Dec. 23, and they expire on Dec. 31.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644. 

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