A 60-foot blue spruce tree is on its way to the U.S. Capitol in Washington. It was cut down Wednesday during a ceremony in a forested canyon in northern New Mexico, starting a 2½-week journey that will take it to the Capitol to be this year’s Christmas tree.
The tree was harvested from the Carson National Forest. The tree will tour New Mexico before leaving on a trip scheduled to conclude November 24 at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington. Stops are scheduled in Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia.
Each year a national forest is selected to share a tree with the nation.
This year there were doubts whether a tree could be harvested from a national forest in New Mexico after a judge placed a halt on logging and tree cutting in five national forests in New Mexico and one in Arizona. The judge wanted wildlife managers to develop a better plan to protect the threatened Mexican Spotted Owl. A judge finally revised the order allowing the holiday tree to be cut down.