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SANTA FE, NM – The New Mexico State Land Office announced today that it is again offering low-cost Christmas tree-cutting and farolito sand-gathering permits on state lands in advance of the upcoming holiday season.

Christmas tree-cutting permits are available for $10. The permitted area is located east of Black Lake and South of Angel Fire. A limit of one tree, no taller than 15 feet, is allowed per permit.

Permits are also available to gather sand to fill farolitos for $5. The permits allow for the removal of up to 20 gallons of sand per permit, which is enough to fill approximately 100 farolito bags. Seven areas have been made available across the state for sand-gathering purposes.

Interested individuals can visit the agency’s website to download and return a permit application, find maps and directions, along with all other important details regarding the permits.

“With the holidays quickly approaching, families across New Mexico are beginning to make plans. We’re excited to once again offer permits to cut down Christmas trees and collect sand for farolitos at a low cost so every New Mexican can get into the spirit of the season,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard. “The holidays are a time we should be enjoying our loved ones, not worrying about the cost of providing a memorable experience for our kids. Hopefully this program can take some stress off some families this year and help make it a magical holiday season. As a bonus, the nominal fee it costs for a permit will directly benefit New Mexico public schools, so it supports a good cause too.”

Sand gathering locations have been spread out across the state near the following areas:

  • Albuquerque
  • Santa Fe
  • Las Cruces
  • Bloomfield
  • Eddy County
  • Silver City
  • Socorro

Permit applications and payments must be received by the State Land Office no later than 5 p.m. on December 13, 2023, and the permits are valid through December 25, 2023.

Click here to fill out your permit and to find maps and directions to the Christmas tree and sand collection sites.



Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard has overseen the New Mexico State Land Office since 2019. In that time the agency has raised more than $5 billion for New Mexico public schools, hospitals, and universities. Over 13 million acres of state trust land are leased for a variety of uses, including ranching and farming, renewable energy, business development, mineral development, and outdoor recreation. The State Land Office has a dual mandate to use state trust land to financially support vital public institutions, while simultaneously working to protect the land for future generations.