The Grinch Stole my Fir:
Christmas has always been a time of Merry and Bright for our family. We enjoy the festivities like everyone else, shopping for gifts for family and friends, but one of the most magical times for us has always been searching for the perfect tree that would warm our house with bright lights and family ornaments.
The US Forest Service has rules and regulations we certainly abide by to help keep our forest healthy and neighbors happy. No cutting within 100 feet of a residence, and by all means not in 10 feet of some one’s yard.
Since enjoying our years in South Lake Tahoe, we have also picked another Christmas tradition. We like to share the beauty of our trees with our family, friends and neighbors, by decorating a tree that is seen by as many and enjoyed by all.
We have a special tree that I can see from our kitchen window when washing dishes. We enjoy this tree while sitting together at the dinner table. This tree was special to all of us. It had a tinge of “Grinch” in it, but since we adorned it with lights, it became our special tree we light up each Christmas season.
This year has been no different. Its lights danced from white to red to multi in time with our outdoor music. As dusk arrives each night, on go the dancing lights in our beautiful pine tree reminding us of Merry and Bright.
Something happened though to our special tree. Just 10 feet from our property, adorned with lights and a bright orange extension cord, our lights did not come on. Was it the storm of rain and sleet? It was dark, and a very strange dark as there were no dancing lights out our dining room window.
No worries we said, we can fix those lights. But, it is with much sadness I feel the need to report, the bright lights of our tree became, oh not so bright, for someone, or somebody came and took it way. They cut the cord, the trunk and all, and left our yard with our lighted tree.
Our hearts are saddened by losing our tree, our bright and merry that we looked forward to each year. What kind of person hikes into a yard, and sees a tree personalized with lights, takes out a saw and cuts it apart? Our Christmas now will never be the same because someone has taken away one of our favorite holiday traditions.
I’m sharing this story to bring awareness and change to the cutting of Christmas trees in South Lake Tahoe, and the importance of abiding by the rules and regulations of the U.S. Forest Service.
As I stopped to ask if there was anything we could do, they said send a letter and let others know. Our forests are important to our environment and we are already 90% cleared in areas where people cut trees, so it is highly important to listen to the rules of where to cut.
According to a USDA Forest Service press release, “Cutting a Christmas tree offers a traditional holiday experience, while helping to thin the forest of excessive smaller diameter trees, which creates a healthier forest over time.”
This little tree stood alone with room to grow and was within 10 feet of a residence. It may be time for the Forest Service to reevaluate the areas permit holders are allowed to cut.
To keep this tradition a sustainable one moving the boundaries up the mountain and out of our backyards may save someone else’s family tradition.
In all respects, it was NOT A TREE TO CUT. We love our tree cutting tradition, but with the Grinch like action of someone actually stealing our Christmas tree full of lights it has made us think, perhaps it’s time to discuss whether or not people are actually following the rules…