Every year, the Forest Service plays an integral role in providing the annual Capitol Christmas Tree, known as “The People’s tree”, from one of the agency’s 155 national forests to bedazzle the U.S. Capitol lawn. This year’s tree, a 73-foot Engleman Spruce, comes from the White River National Forest, in central Colorado.
Have you ever wondered how this tree gets transported from one of our many national forests to the nation’s capital?
This year, former U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, an avid trucker, returned to drive a Mack Pinnacle truck to deliver the tree to Washington, D.C. In 2000, Campbell helped drive the truck delivering a 65-foot Colorado Blue Spruce selected from the Pike National Forest. However, this time, he is embarking on an even longer trek driving to the nation’s capital.
Trucking has been a big part of the Senator’s life, from his college years to the time he spent in Congress from the late ‘80s, most of the ‘90s and early-to-mid 2000s.
Many cities, towns and states across the nation had celebrations at stops along the way to the Capitol giving visitors an opportunity to see the tree and more than 5,000 ornaments crafted by Colorado’s youth.
The tree arrived today on the Capitol lawn. It will be decorated and lit with 10,000 low-energy LED lights in a Dec. 4th ceremony led by Speaker of the House John Boehner. It will remain lit throughout the holiday season.
We look forward to seeing you at the Capitol in December!
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I heard about this tree about a week ago when it stopped in Nashville, TN. The Sirius radio host interviewed the Tree Coordinator live on the air. It was very interesting and a great way to promote forestry/conservation. Thanks to all who were involved in this project from handling the tree to making the ornaments. Merry Christmas!