Wildlife refuge opens for tree cutting

Families on the Kenai Peninsula can go pick out a Christmas tree from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge starting Thursday.

The refuge opens every year for Christmas tree cutting from Thanksgiving Day until Christmas. The public can take any tree from the refuge as long as it is more than 150 feet from a road, lake, stream, trail or picnic area. However, there is no cutting allowed in the Visitor’s Center area or along Ski Hill Road. The limit is one per household.

The trees have to be cut down using hand tools, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service requests that people cut the stumps as low to the ground as possible for aesthetic reasons.

Easy road access to cutting areas is available from Funny River Road, Swanson River Road, the Sterling Highway past Sterling and along Skilak Lake Loop Road.

Besides the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Christmas tree cutting is allowed on the Kenai Peninsula in Homer Electric Association powerline corridors and easements with the current property owner’s approval; on Kenai Peninsula Borough lands, for personal use only; in the Chugach National Forest on National Forest lands only; and in some areas managed by the Alaska Division of Forestry, according to the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is one of only two Department of the Interior-managed refuges that allow free tree cutting. The other is the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Maine, where the trees must be cut for road safety anyway.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at elizabeth.earl@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Genna Stormer gives Santa a hug during Christmas Comes to Nikiski at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Dec. 14, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
December brings the holiday cheer

Groups across the peninsula get into the spirit of the season with public events.

Students from Tustamena Elementary School join classes from around the central Kenai Peninsula for a day of ice fishing with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Sport Lake on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020 near Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Fish and Game dives into ice fishing

The department hosted an online forum with tips on the winter sport.

Kenai City Hall on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai council set to decide on planning and zoning remote access rules

The legislation being considered, if approved, would replace the word “telephonic” with “remote electronic.”

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State cases remain low; 2 deaths reported

Statewide there were 85 COVID-related hospitalizations as of Tuesday, with nine patients on ventilators.

Kathy Romain, the executive director of the Kenai Senior Center, hosts a reception on Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 to celebrate the facility’s 50 years in Kenai, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Kenai loves its seniors’

Kenai Senior Center celebrates 50 years

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation building in October 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Study: PFD increases spending on kids among low-income families

New study looks at PFD spending by parents

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Statewide COVID cases continue drop

On Monday, Alaska’s seven-day case rate per 100,000 people was 268.6.

Anne Zink, Alaska chief medical officer, participates in a briefing with Department of Health and Social Services officials to discuss the rise of the omicron variant of the corona virus, on Nov. 29, 2021. (screenshot)
Omicron ‘an animal of its own’

State health officials emphasize unknowns, prevention measures in wake of new coronavirus variant spread.

The Kenai Community Library health section is seen on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021. The Kenai City Council voted during its Oct. 20 meeting to postpone the legislation approving grant funds after members of the community raised concerns about what books would be purchased with the money, as well as the agency awarding the grant. The council will reconsider the legislation on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai council to consider library grant again

The council earlier voted to postpone the legislation after concerns were raised about what books would be purchased.

Most Read