There's she is. That is Montana's official state capitol Christmas tree.

I just have one question: is it bigger or smaller than the Griswold family Christmas tree?

Last week, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte made it official:

It’s official — our State Capitol Christmas tree has been harvested in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. Now, onto Helena!

The lighting of the Capitol Christmas tree will take place Tuesday morning November 29th at 11:30 a.m., and the governor and first lady are encouraging Montanans to attend the ceremony. Songs from the Helena Middle School Choir will also be featured at the ceremony.

The Christmas tree will remain on display in the capitol throughout the month of December.

I also like the backstory on this tree. For those who stay up to speed on Montana politics and policy, one thing Governor Gianforte did during his first year in office was double the number of acres of timber harvested under what is called "Good Neighbor Authority" agreements.

According to a release from the governor's office, "the 2022 State Capitol Christmas tree was harvested from the Rancho Deluxe Good Neighbor Authority (GNA) timber sale in coordination with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest Pintler District, Sun Mountain Lumber, Parke Logging, Inc., and the Montana Logging Association. This is the first capitol Christmas tree harvested from a GNA timber sale."

One reason the GNA agreements have been so successful is because the state takes the lead instead of the federal government.

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