Western Colorado again has the honor of being the source of the Christmas tree for the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building.
The 2020 United States Capitol Christmas Tree will be harvested from the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison national forests, according to a forests advisory to the media Monday.
Forest officials will be holding a press conference on the selection as the source for the 2020 tree Friday, and spokeswoman Kim Phillips said she couldn't provide further details before then.
The tree apparently will be coming from the Ouray Ranger District, as the district ranger is among those scheduled to attend.
The 2012 Capitol tree, a 73-foot-high Engelmann spruce, was carefully cut down with the help of a crane in the White River National Forest east of Meeker, with hundreds of spectators on hand to witness the event.
According to Daily Sentinel coverage at the time, the tree was cut in early November of that year, wrapped and sent on a journey that stopped in 28 communities, including Grand Junction and others in Colorado, as well as stops in other states while being trucked to Washington, D.C.
The superintendent of the Capitol grounds was on hand when that tree was harvested and said it was chosen based on characteristics such as its conical shape, height, density of branches and uniformity of appearance, as the tree was to be viewed from 360 degrees.
"It can't be a Charlie Brown tree. It can't have a bad side" that can be shoved in a corner, the superintendent said.
This year's tree is coming from the Carson National Forest in New Mexico and is now on its cross-country tour, according to uscapitolchristmastree.com.