“People’s Tree” Delivering Enchantment on cross–country journey from New Mexico to Washington D.C.
MESCALERO, NM Oct. 15, 2019 – 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 in Mescalero on Friday, Nov. 15 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Community Center.
Under the theme of Delivering Enchantment, the 60-foot tall Blue Spruce will be cut on the Questa Ranger District on Nov. 6 and prepared for the 2,000-mile expedition. The journey will include a series of community celebrations Nov. 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 Mescalero on Friday Nov. 15th will include social songs and dancing, hot cocoa, live singing by Head Start students, and more. Activities are open to the public and free for all to enjoy.
“We are pleased to host the U.S. Capitol Christmas on our beautiful reservation on its way to Washington, D.C.” said President Gabe Aguilar. “Our Tribe looks forward to being a part of this gift to the nation and the enjoyment it will bring to our own community this holiday season.”
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 Mescalero who play a vital part of bringing the tree across the country and this annual celebration”, said Bruce Ward, President, Choose Outdoors.”
For more information on the Mescalero event, visit www.mescaleroapachetribe.com. For news, events and tour information, and to track the tree cross-country, visit uscapitolchristmastree.com, along with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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.
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.
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.