RHINELANDER/STATEWIDE - On a budget this holiday? You're in luck. You can find your perfect Christmas tree, and it'll only cost you $5.
Forest Service Ranger stations are offering permits to cut your own Christmas tree. You can pick a tree from almost anywhere within the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Just make sure you stay out of campgrounds, and designated wilderness areas.
One benefit of cutting your own tree is, it may last longer, just make sure you give it plenty of water.
"Get it right in water really, really fast cause even though it's a cut tree, it's still going to absorb water," said Dave Melancon, Public Affairs Specialist at the Chequamegon-Nicolet Forest office in Rhinelander.
Other guidelines include choosing a tree at least 50 feet away from a road, and picking the right size tree- Don't just cut the top off a larger tree.
Rangers also want you to keep safety in mind before heading into the woods. Keep in mind that many National Forest roads aren’t snowplowed, and dress for the weather- it may take a while to find your perfect tree.
"I would recommend get an early start, pack a lunch, tell some friends where you're going… It's just part of being safe in the forest," says Melancon.
To purchase a permit, stop by any of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Ranger Offices.
RHINELANDER - Our record breaking snow storm left more than 6,000 people across the Northwoods without power.
WPS had to rely on 20 extra crews from Green Bay, Wausau and Menominee to restore power.
But getting to the outages was a challenge.
A representative for WPS says workers are expecting even more outages to be reported.
"Not all of the back roads are plowed yet and that's where a lot of outages are located," said Leah Van Zile, WPS Community Relations leader. "Throughout the day as the temperatures warm, we expect to receive additional calls due to the unloading of snow off of the tree branches."
Eagle River had one of the highest number of customers affected by the outages.
Representatives for WPS say this was one of the hardest winters they've had to deal with.
"We've had some really, really severe wind chills which has really made the temperatures below zero. Typically, only in emergencies do we work in those conditions," said Van Zile. "But pretty much any other time, whether it's a rain storm, a snow storm, a wind storm, our guys are out there working, getting that power back on."
The number of outages dropped below 4,000 since earlier today.
If you're still without power to call 1800-450-7240.
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