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Christmas tree permits online

By Mark Freeman

Mail Tribune

Permits to cut Christmas trees on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest can now be bought online so cutters don’t have to go to forest offices or local stores.

The forest is one of 13 national forests participating in the online selling of Christmas tree permits through the Open Forest system, allowing buyers to print them at home before heading to the field in search of that perfect Tannenbaum.

The permits can be found at https://openforest.fs.usda.gov/christmas-trees/forests.

Just like permits for sale by the forest and vendors, they cost $5 apiece, and there is a limit to five permits per household. Each tree needs a permit, and permits are nonrefundable.

As in previous years, fourth-graders who this year received an Every Kid Outdoors pass can bring their pass into any Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest office to receive a free permit. The online system this year cannot redeem Christmas tree permits with these passes.

For more information, including tree-hunting tips and guidelines to where people can cut trees, visit the forest’s website at www.fs.usda.gov/detail/rogue-siskiyou/passes-permits/forestproducts/?cid=stelprdb5327574.

Boat registration renewals online

More than half of the roughly 75,000 Oregon boat registrations up for renewal in 2020 have been sent out in the form of emails this year under the Oregon State Marine Board’s effort to make renewals easier, faster and cheaper for the agency.

The Marine Board sent renewal emails to about 38,000 boat owners last week and mailed renewals to about 37,000 boat owners whose two-year registrations are set to expire Dec. 31.

The online renewal option is cheaper, faster and likely easier for boat owners through the Marine Board’s Boat Oregon online store, Marine Board spokeswoman Ashley Massey says.

Those who do so can print a temporary permit and go boating immediately, Massey says. Also, there is no transaction fee for the purchases, which can be done with debit or credit cards.

Permanent renewal decals are typically mailed within seven to 10 business days, but they can take up to four weeks to arrive by mail, according to the Marine Board.

The Marine Board ran a test of the online option last year with email notifications to 10,000 boat owners, and the response was positive enough to offer the option this year to every boat owner with an email address on file with the agency, Massey says.

Boat owners still have the option of registering through the mail.

Any watercraft with a motor or sailboats 12 feet or longer are required to register with the Marine Board. Registration fees vary based on boat length. The average boat length in Oregon is 16 feet, so the cost of a two-year registration is $100.20, which includes the invasive-species validation.

To view the payment scheduled, see www.oregon.gov/osmb/Pages/Boat-Fees.aspx.

Hunter-ed field day set

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a hunter-education field day Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Denman Wildlife Area to give youth hunters a chance to qualify for their field requirements in time for upcoming youth deer and elk hunts next month.

The field day will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the wildlife area, 1495 E. Gregory Road, and will target youths or adults who have finished the independent study options for the online class or workbook in their quest for a hunter-education card.

During their field day, hunters-to-be practice their shooting skills and things like showing they can safely transport firearms over fences.

Hunter education is mandatory for all hunters younger than 18 and is recommended for any new hunter. The course covers topics such as firearms safety, hunter ethics, wildlife identification, hunt preparation and techniques, and outdoor survival.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.