The MMT Blog / From the Chugach to D.C.: The 2015 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

Many people who live in Southcentral Alaska are fortunate enough to call the Chugach National Forest their backyard, with 5.4 million acres of land and waterways stretching from the shores of Prince William Sound to the Kenai Peninsula and the remote Copper River Delta. Locals and visitors alike enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, kayaking, wildlife-viewing, and many other activities in the mountains, rivers, lakes, coastlines, and wetlands that comprise this ecologically diverse area. With 500 miles of trails and 41 public use cabins, it’s no surprise that the Chugach National Forest is near and dear to the hearts of many Alaskans.

This year, Alaskans get to share a piece of this beloved area with the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Since 1970, the U.S. Forest Service has provided the Christmas tree for the lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building, and 2015 marks the first year that the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will come from Alaska, from our very own Chugach National Forest.

Capitol Christmas Tree seal

The U.S. Forest Service, Alaska Geographic, and Choose Outdoors, along with dozens of local and national business sponsors, have teamed up to organize special events and support for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree program. The celebrations kicked off on July 25th with a Very Merry Chugach Christmas Tree party, a holiday-themed family event in downtown Anchorage with ornament decorating, music, food, and a ceremonial tree planting. Major Marine Tours and Alaska Railroad cruise and train packages for two were given away to three lucky guests.

Alaska Geographic and U.S. Forest Service employees gather at the Very Merry Chugach Christmas Party on July 25th.

The tree’s long journey will start in November, when it will be shipped to the lower 48 and travel across the country to arrive at the U.S. Capitol Building in time for the holidays. Ornaments made at events in Alaska and across the country throughout 2015 will decorate the tree.

Major Marine Tours is proud to be a sponsor of the 2015 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree program. We are excited to help share a piece of Alaska with Washington D.C. while introducing people across the country to the incredible beauty and recreational opportunities that can be found in the Chugach National Forest. Click here for more information about the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree program and for updates on the latest events planned in Alaska and throughout the country. You can see the Chugach National Forest for yourself on one of our cruises into Prince William Sound, which cruise along the rugged coastline of this beautiful area and feature narration by an onboard Chugach National Forest Ranger.