Christmas Tree cutting


Looking for the perfect tree? Try the tree lot in your backyard…the Kootenai National Forest. You can purchase a permit for Christmas tree cutting from any office. A permit is required for each tree cut and removed from National Forest land.

There are no special areas designated for cutting. However, you are asked to observe the following rules in cutting your tree:

  • Be sure you are on National Forest land. A landowner might get angry if you aren’t.
  • Cut your tree at least 200 feet away from main roads, campgrounds, and other recreation sites. These are closed to all tree cutting.
  • Select your tree from thickets or crowded areas. Do not remove trees from thinned plantations or other sparsely stocked areas. Please leave the isolated or single trees growing alone.
  • Cut only one tree for each permit and attach the tag to the tree before you put the tree in your vehicle.
  • Help us maintain roads by removing all discarded limbs and sections of the tree from roads and ditches.
  • Please do not cut a large tree (over 12 feet high) just to get the top.
  • Cut the stem off below the lowest live limb or within 8 inches of the ground, whichever is lowest.
  • On back roads, you are encouraged to cut trees which are growing within the road prism (from the top of the cut bank to the bottom of the fill slope) of little used roads. This helps to keep roads open and safe for travel.

Be prepared for cold weather and snow. The National Forest is mountainous terrain and almost always has snow on the ground in December. Drive safely!


Troy’s annual Christmas lights contest

The Troy Christmas Lights contest is an annual contest open to residences located within a two mile radius of downtown Troy.

This annual contest will take place this year from Dec. 18 to 20. Categories include Most Over the Top Display, Classic Christmas (Tasteful and Traditional), Most Unique, and People’s Choice. Each prize category winner will receive $100. Entries must be received by Dec. 16.

A list of contestants will be available on the Troy Christmas Lights Contest Facebook page and in the foyer of First Montana Bank in Troy. Come join in the holiday cheer and tour the displays. For more information visit the contest’s Facebook page, email troylightscontest@gmail.com or call Angie at 291-6315.



Pacific Northwest Trail, Yaak Valley Forest Council update

Work continues on effort to route a National Scenic Trail through Libby and Troy, Mont. The Yaak Valley Forest Council continues to explore economic development opportunities for northwest Montana in the upcoming year, participating in the Main Street Montana Project and brokering conversations about economic opportunities in geo-tourism and outdoor recreation  as well as protection of special places in Lincoln County.

71,000 jobs and $7.1 billion in consumer spending are directly related to the outdoor recreation industry in Montana according to the Montana Department of Outdoor Recreation Sept. 2018 report. Expanding business partnerships and networks of connectivity will be a key to business prosperity as Troy and Libby look to an economic future that includes the outdoor recreation industry.

To learn more about the Pacific Northwest Trail (PNT), the potential impacts on the Yaak Valley ecosystem and a possible reroute through the towns of Troy and Libby, visit http://yaakvalley.org/programs/pacific-northwest-trail-route/.

The Yaak Valley Forest Council continues to do outreach and education and acts as a clearinghouse for ideas about a reroute of the proposed PNT that will avoid designated core grizzly habitat, for the benefit of hikers and grizzlies alike, while providing economic and cultural benefit to the communities of Libby and Troy. We continue to visit with interested and potential stakeholders in this conversation. Currently, they are looking at a reroute that will involve more trail miles for hikers less road walking, and will avoid grizzly core habitat and lead hikers through the towns of Troy and Libby. Connecting the two towns via the Old Highway 2 trail will create more economic and recreational opportunities, including more opportunities for locals to get out and enjoy the outdoors. The Yaak Valley Forest Council is exploring the opportunity to construct the 1.2 miles of trail necessary to complete the full connection, via the Old Highway 2 Trail, between Troy and Libby.

Having the PNT pass through these towns will increase county revenue due to hikers resupplying at local stores, treating themselves at local restaurants, and even spending nights at local motels. Each hiker can spend between $100 and $200 on their trail town visits. The trail may also bring new people to the area who may choose to invest in property or settle in the area in the future.  A successful re-route of the PNT will help create a new sustainable way to build the economy and work with stakeholders will allow our communities, families, landscape, and wildlife to prosper.