A crisp jaunt in the snow, the exhilaration of finding the perfect one, a quick and thorough check for owls: if you've never gone out into the bush to find the perfect Christmas tree, this might be the year to do so.
On Thursday, the government announced it will be axing a $5 fee for harvesting Christmas trees from Crown land.
“I hope Albertans take the time to go out with their families to find the perfect Christmas tree this year. Alberta has so much to offer and we’re blessed to live in the most free and open place in the world," said Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen in a media statement.
By law, a permit is still required to harvest a tree, but the corresponding fee has been chopped. The Personal Use Forest Products Permit can be found online and comes with a map to show Albertans where they can get their trees from.
The permit is valid for 30 days, and during those days the permit holder can harvest up to three Christmas trees. Permits also allow the holder to harvest five cubic metres, or three level truckloads, of firewood and roundwood, as well as 20 tree transplants.
Anything harvested cannot be used for resale. Harvesting Crown tinder without a permit is against the Forest Act and subject to fines.
Last year, 8,353 permits were sold. It is expected that, altogether, Albertans will save $100,000.
Owls are not included.