Camelback Christmas tree controversy: Group told to stop carrying it up the mountain

- The Christmas tree high atop Camelback Mountain has become an annual tradition for one valley group, but they're being told to no longer bring the tree up the mountain. 

This is a tradition that's been going on for 15 years -- a group of people bringing a holiday tree up to the top of Camelback Mountain to warm hearts this Yuletide season. 

This year's tree is a 15 footer, weighing upwards of 200 pounds and cost some $600.  It took rotating teams of six people for hours to carry it up the side of Camelback Mountain.

Take a look at the video. You can see it it was decorated and it's a festive treat for people to hike to the top of the mountain, so this group is very dismayed to learn that the Parks and Recreation Department cut the tree in half and hauled it back down the mountain.

They said they have been given permission by Park Rangers to bring it up and they've never had any problems before, so they can't understand the opposition now. 

Statement from the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department:

"We deal with these kinds of things throughout the year: Christmas trees, flags, religious symbols. Our concern is these can present a safety hazard bringing them up the trail. They could easily fall down off the trail and hurt someone. We must protect the natural state of the mountain preserves in desert parks."

VIDEO: FOX 10's Steve Krafft reports.

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