Rep. Terry Gestrin, R-Donnelly, reports that a 60- to 85-foot-tall tree will be cut from the Payette National Forest next November to serve as the “People’s Christmas Tree” and be displayed at the U.S. Capitol; he proposed a resolution today encouraging Idahoans to participate in the effort, including involving schoolchildren in handcrafting ornaments for the tree.
“There’s been some smokejumpers that have been snowshoeing around this winter in the forest,” Gestrin told the House State Affairs Committee. “They selected half a dozen trees. ... The Capitol architect will come out from Washington, D.C. and make the final selection.” It’ll to be a tree that’s near a road that can be accessed by a flatbed truck and a crane, Gestrin said, “because this tree will have to be picked up with a crane, not like we always did with a log loader … drag it out with a skidder. It’s going to have to be taken care of better than that.”
The House committee was so enthusiastic about Gestrin’s resolution that it voted not just to introduce it, but to send it directly to the full House without further hearing. The resolution says in addition to the big tree, 70 smaller “companion trees” also will be sent to the nation’s capital for display at federal offices. It calls this “an excellent opportunity to highlight Idaho and the national forests located here.”