Burns Lake residents start planning where to buy their Christmas trees this season. (Wren Gilgan photo)

Christmas tree shopping options and the law

Christmas is just two weeks away and Burns Lake residents are making plans to get Christmas trees for their homes.

Most people in the village opt to buy their Christmas firs and pines from supermarkets like Wholesale Club or Save-On-Foods.

More adventuresome souls choose to grab their saws and venture out into the vast local forests to cut down their own trees.

However, that seemingly harmless and easy task is illegal and violates Section 52(1) of the provincial Forest And Range Practices Act, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development told Lakes District News.

“A person must not cut, damage or destroy Crown timber unless authorized to do so,” the section reads.

People caught cutting down timber on public land can face fines of $150.

No violations involving Christmas tree cutting were recorded last year, the Ministry spokesperson said.

The legal option for those who can’t resist cutting their own trees is obtaining a free permit from the local Natural Resource District to cut a Christmas tree on Crown land for personal use.

READ MORE: Christmas tree licences now available

The permit does not allow selling the cut trees.

Obtainees must carry the permit at all times, understand the rules and show the permit to a

Natural Resource Officer, Conservation Officer or Peace Officer if requested.

Check https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/natural-resource-use/natural-resource-permits/christmas-tree-permits for more information on obtaining a permit.

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