December 1, 2013
Capitol Christmas tree felled in Colville National Forest
Condensed by Native Village
Washington: Hundreds of spectators recently attended a ceremony in the Colville National Forest to mark the cutting of the Capitol Christmas tree. The tree, an 88-foot-tall Engelmann spruce, will be taken to Washington, D.C., where it will be decorated and lit on the National Mall.
“It’s the people’s tree,” said Jen Knutson, the U.S. Forest Service’s Capitol Christmas tree coordinator. “It’s from the people of Washington to the people of the U.S.”
The tree joins 80 others donated from across the state. All wil be decorated by more than 7,000 ornaments made by Washington schoolchildren. The ornaments are made of lentils, wheat and other local products to reflect Washington.
“This gift of the people’s tree represents a commitment and labor of love for so many,” said Laura Jo West, Colville National Forest Supervisor.
U.S. and Pend Oreille County dignitaries, as well as representatives from the Kalispel Tribe, joined the crowd to make speeches before the tree’s journey began.
Francis Cullooyah, a Kalispel tribal elder, led the group in prayer and blessed the tree. Cullooyah said he feels blessed to be a part of a new beginning in Washington’s history.
“It makes us proud to be a part of this small corner of our country,” he said.
Village © Gina Boltz
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