Every year, a different national forest is selected to provide a tree to appear on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building for the holiday season. The Carson National Forest in partnership with nonprofit partner Choose Outdoors will bring this special gift from New Mexico to Washington, D.C. for the 2019 season, involving more than 25 communities along the way including an appearance on Wednesday, November 13, from 8:00-9:00 a.m., at Shiprock High School, in Shiprock, NM.
 
Under the theme of Delivering Enchantment, the 60-foot tall Blue Spruce will be cut on the Questa Ranger District on November 6 and prepared for the 2,000-mile expedition. The journey will include a series of community celebrations November 11-25 throughout New Mexico and across the U.S. and culminate with the official tree lighting on the West Lawn in early December. Smaller companion trees also will be provided to decorate offices inside of the U.S. Capitol building and other sites throughout Washington, D.C., along with 10,000 handmade ornaments created by New Mexicans.
 
Festivities during the tree’s visit to Shiprock will include a short program with schools officials, invited guests, and music from the Shiprock High School Band. Ojo Amarillo Elementary students will sing Christmas carols. Activities are open to the public and free for all to enjoy.
 
"We are honored that the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will visit Shiprock on its journey to Washington, D.C., and that our Ojo Amarillo Elementary third grade students were chosen to make ornaments for the tree. It gives us great pride and joy for them to be able to share our cultural uniqueness. Our students will definitely remember this experience for the rest of their lives!,” said Dr. Pandora Mike, Ojo Amarillo Elementary principal.
 
“Our inspired community looks forward to experiencing and sharing this gift to the nation and the joy it will bring to our own fervent community as One Vision, One Mission,” said Dr. Dave Goldtooth, CCSD Interim Superintendent. “With humbleness, I’m incredibly proud of our scholarly students for their participation and for the way they have represented the district in this marvelous event.”
 
The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is made possible with cash and in-kind contributions from companies large and small as well as volunteers locally and across America, who provide vital support of time and resources. Sponsors include Kenworth Truck Company, Wilbanks Trucking Services, LLC, Spireon, Inc., Elvis Duran & Alex Carr, Hale Trailer, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Alaska Airlines, Meritor, PNM Resources, TravelCenters of America, Truckload Carriers Association, Great West Casualty Company, Taos County, New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, National Forest Foundation, Christmas Tree Promotion Board, National Press Club and LexisNexis VitalChek Network, Inc.
 
“We are grateful to the host cities such as Shiprock, who play a vital part of bringing the tree across the country and this annual celebration”, said Bruce Ward, President, Choose Outdoors.
 
For news, events and tour information, and to track the tree cross-country, visit uscapitolchristmastree.com.
 
For photos of this and other events, visit our Facebook page.
 
About the Carson National Forest
Located in northern New Mexico, the Carson NF is one of five national forests in the state and one of the 11 national forests in USDA Forest Service Southwestern Region. The Carson NF’s 1.5 million acres include some of the finest mountain scenery in the Southwest, where elevations rise from 6,000 feet to 13,161 feet at Wheeler Peak, the highest peak in New Mexico. The Carson NF offers unlimited recreational opportunities throughout all four seasons of the year. The Carson NF has 400 miles of sparkling clean mountain streams and numerous lakes. Its five wilderness areas encompass 86,193 acres of peace and tranquility. Learn more at fs.usda.gov/carson.
 
About the USDA Forest Service
The mission of the USDA Forest Service 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. For more information, see www.fs.fed.us.
 
About Choose Outdoors
Choose Outdoors works to increase all American's enjoyment, appreciation and support for outdoor recreation activities that connect them to our public lands. These connections will ensure that our public lands will always be there for future generations to cherish. www.chooseoutdoors.org.