U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Visit Mitchell During 2015 Tour


Media Contact:
Jen Johnston

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to Visit Mitchell, SD During 2015 Tour
“People’s Tree” To Make Historic Journey from Alaska to Washington D.C.

MITCHELL, SD (November 10th, 2015) – For more than 50 years, a tree has graced the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the holiday season. The Chugach National Forest in partnership with nonprofit Choose Outdoors will bring this special gift from Alaska to Washington, D.C. for the 2015 season, involving more than 15 communities along the way, including an appearance in Mitchell on Thursday Nov. 12 at 8:30am at the World’s Only Corn Palace.

The tree will be cut on Oct. 27 near Seward, Alaska and prepared for the 4,000-mile expedition by land and sea. With great fanfare, the tree will leave the Chugach National Forest followed by a caravan of caretakers for the journey to the U.S. Capitol. 15 community celebrations are being planned throughout the tour, culminating with the official tree lighting in early December. Smaller companion trees also will be provided by the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association to decorate offices inside of the U.S. Capitol building and other sites throughout Washington, D.C., along with 4,000 ornaments designed and created by artists and school children across Alaska.

“We are honored that the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will visit Mitchell on its way to Washington, D.C.” said Katie Knutson, Director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our community looks forward to being a part of this gift to the nation and the joy it will bring to our own community this holiday.”

Associated costs are paid for in part by the U.S. Forest Service, while costs for the tree’s transportation and special events are covered by in-kind services, donations and overall support both locally and nationwide, including major 2015 supporters Shell, Alaska Airlines, SkyBitz, Alaska Railroad, Alaska Crane, Granite Construction Company, Lynden Transport, ReThink Wood, Truckload Carriers Association, TOTE Maritime Alaska, Hale Trailer, Kenworth Truck Company and more.

For more information on the Mitchell tour stop, visit www.visitmitchell.com/events. For related news, events and tour information, and to track the tree cross-country, visit www.capitolchristmastree.com and on Facebook @ USCapitolChristmasTree (#chugach2015 and #capitolchristmastree).

About Chugach National Forest
Established in 1907, the Chugach National Forest is the northernmost national forest. The Forest’s 5.4 million acres form a great arc around Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Alaska that stretches more than 200 miles from the Kenai Peninsula past the remote and wild Copper River Delta. Just 50 miles south of Anchorage, the Chugach National Forest serves as the backyard to more than half of Alaska’s population. The Forest’s 48,000 acres of lakes and 18,000 miles of streams produce more than 66 million salmon a year and host the largest recreation fisheries for Chinook, Sockeye and Coho salmon, and rainbow trout in the state. The Forest is a place with vast recreational opportunities where distinctive cultures, customs, and ways of life connect. A unique convergence of long-held traditions of stewardship continue by the first nations of Alaska, including the Chugach, Eyak, Ahtna, and Dena’ina Athabascan. For more information, visit www.fs.usda.gov/chugach.

About the U.S. Forest Service
The mission of the U.S. 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 is a coalition for outdoor recreation comprised of people and organizations who are passionate about outdoor recreation, support public lands, waters, and the agencies charged with their care. www.chooseoutdoors.org.