Colorado’s gift to the people of America

MEEKER I The decision to harvest the 2012 United States Capitol Christmas Tree from the White River National Forest, the nation’s most visited, more specifically from the Blanco Ranger District, was announced at the end of 2011 in Meeker by Blanco District Ranger Ken Coffin and Meeker Mayor Mandi Etheridge, kicking off a year of “Celebrating our Great Outdoors,” the theme of the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree.
Now after months of preparations the tree has been selected, its location was publicly announced earlier this week and the celebration of the harvest will begin a weekend of activities in Meeker.
Employees of the Blanco District selected several tress which met the criteria for the Capitol Christmas Tree and in August of this year, the superintendent of the Capitol Grounds came to
Rio Blanco County and selected a 73-foot Engelmann spruce.
The 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree is located on a site which is currently being used by WRNF special use
permit holder Ripple Creek Lodge, approximately 40 miles east of Meeker on the Flattops Scenic Byway (RBC Road 8).
Dan and Keri Schwartz owners of Ripple Creek Lodge, which was built in 1926 and has served visitors of the WRNF since that time, will host an open house Friday, Nov. 2 before the tree is harvested.
“We are elated that the 2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree representing the state of Colorado was selected from our permit area,” Dan Schwartz said.
The tree will be harvested, loaded onto a trailer and scheduled to arrive in Meeker Friday at approximately 4:30 p.m., when the
celebration will continue.
Please see the 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree schedule of events in the special B section of this week’s Herald Times.