“PeoplesTree” will make cross-country journey from Montana to WashingtonD.C.
Libby, MT – September 14, 2017 – Every year, a different National Forest is selected to provide a tree to appear on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the Christmas season. The Kootenai National Forest in partnership with non profit Choose Outdoors will bring this special gift from Montana to Washington, D.C. for the 2017 season, involving more than 15 communities along the way.
The tree will be cut on Wednesday, November 8 and prepared for the more than 3,000-mile expedition, which includes a series of community celebrations and culminates with the official tree lighting in early December. The tree will make special appearances at whistle stops including:
- Monday, Nov. 13: Eureka, MT; Whitefish, MT
- Tuesday, Nov. 14: Libby, MT; Troy, MT; and Trout Creek, MT
- Wednesday, Nov. 15: Thompson Falls, MT; and Missoula, MT
- Thursday, Nov. 16: Helena, MT; and Great Falls, MT
- Friday, Nov. 17: Harlem (Fort Belknap), MT; and Glasgow, MT
- Saturday, Nov. 18: Glendive, MT; and Dickinson, ND
- Sunday, Nov 19: Grand Forks, ND; and Browns Valley, MN
- Monday, Nov 20: Kansas City, MO
- Tuesday, Nov. 21: Springfield, MO
- Wednesday, Nov. 22: Poplar Bluff, MO; and Paducah, KY
- Sunday, Nov. 26: Joint Base Andrews
- Monday, Nov. 27: Deliver to U.S. Capitol
After arriving in Washington, D.C. the tree lighting will occur in early December as determined by the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
This is the second U.S. Capitol Christmas tree to come from the Kootenai National Forest. With all of the wildfires burning on the Kootenai National Forest this summer, the 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree and back-up tree have not been affected. The initiative is made possible thanks to companies large and small as well as volunteers locally and across America, who provide vital support of time and resources, including Skybitz, Kenworth, WhitewoodTransport, Rocky Mountain Ballet Theater, HaleTrailers, AlaskaAirlines, MontanaCraneService, Meritor, Truckload Carriers Association, Sky Snap, ABC FOX Montana, National Forest Foundation, National Automobile Dealers Association, and Permit Wizard.
For tour information, event details, news and updates, and to track the tree cross-country, visit www.capitolchristmastree.com or www.fs.usda.gov/kootenai.
About the Kootenai National Forest: The Kootenai National Forest is in the extreme Northwest corner of Montana and Northeast Idaho and encompasses over 2.2 million acres, an area nearly three times the size of Rhode Island. The Forest is bordered on the north by British Columbia, Canada, and on the west by Idaho. Ranges of high craggy peaks mark the Forest with Snowshoe Peak in the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness at 8,738 feet, the highest point. The Whitefish Range, Purcell Mountains, Bitterroot Range, Salish Mountains, and Cabinet Mountains are all part of the rugged terrain radiating from the river valleys. The Forest is dominated by two major rivers, the Kootenai and the Clark Fork, along with several smaller rivers and their tributaries. Two hydro electric dams on the Clark Fork have created the Cabinet Gorge and Noxon reservoirs within the Forest boundary. For more information, visitfs.usda.gov/Kootenai.
About the U.S. Forest Service
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land; provides assistance to state and private landowners; and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. For more information, see www.fs.fed.us.
About Choose Outdoors:
Choose Outdoors works to increase all American's enjoyment, appreciation and support for outdoor recreation activities that connect them to our public lands. These connections will ensure that our public lands will always be there for future generations to cherish. www.chooseoutdoors.org.