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2013 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Tour Begins

Newport, Wash., Oct.31, 2013 – The Colville National Forest and its nonprofit partner, Choose Outdoors, announce the kickoff of the 2013 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree tour with a cutting ceremony on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013. The "Peoples Tree" will be harvested and is scheduled to arrive in downtown Newport, Wash., that afternoon. The tree will visit 22 cities on its way to Washington, D.C., arriving on November 25th.

Last summer, Ted Bechtol, superintendent of the U.S. Capitol Grounds, selected an 88 foot Engelmann Spruce located on the Newport Ranger District of the Colville National Forest in Washington State. The tree will be delivered to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. where it will be decorated with lights and thousands of handcrafted ornaments made by Washingtonians. In December, Speaker of the House John Boehner and one student from Washington State will light the tree and showcase the state's historical, cultural and natural beauty.

Throughout the holiday season, the tree will be lit at dusk and enjoyed by people from around world. The theme of this year's Capitol Christmas Tree is "Sharing Washington's Good Nature." For more information on the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree tour, please visit . Follow the 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree on Twitter and Facebook.://

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, part U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.


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