Durango group sells harvested forest trees for Christmas

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DURANGO, CO.- A group in Durango is hoping the community will take part in their wildlife preservation efforts and try the real deal this year.

For many families, picking out the perfect Christmas tree is a tradition. But this time, the trees are more than just a Christmas decoration.

"These trees that are perfect Christmas trees are prime fuel if a fire were to break out,” said Stephanie Weber, executive director for San Juan Mountains Association.

And so, eight years ago, the San Juan Mountain Association started the Christmas Trees for Conservation Program – where fir trees are harvested from wildfire mitigation efforts in the San Juan National Forest.

"They would be cut down regardless and just discarded, instead they get to come down here and be adopted by a family and brighten somebody’s home for the holidays,” said Weber.

This also serves as a fundraiser for the San Juan Mountain Association, supporting its education and conservation programs for healthy forests.

With the help of volunteers, the trees were cut down in late November and they’ve also helped run the lot.

"We started out with 848 trees, just under 850, and at this point, we have sold in our first five days of business about 400 trees,” Weber said.

The San Juan Mountain Association hopes to sell all of the trees within the next few weeks.