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Potential freshness warning signs to look for in a Christmas tree is how vibrant the green needles are and how easy it is for the needles to be plucked from the tree.

The look on this little critter’s face made me smile. In many national forests across the country, families can hike into the woods to cut their own trees. In North Carolina, this is not the case. Why? Because of this adorable little critter.

All four of North Carolina’s National Forests do not issue tree-cutting permits by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. According to the Forest Service, part of the reason is the limited amount of Christmas tree favorites including Fraser Firs and Red Spruces.

However, what is the most important reason? Well, it’s a little under five ounces of cuteness. CBS17 recently published an article about this endangered species in North Carolina. It is the flying squirrel. Carolina Northern Flying Squirrels are endangered. It is only found in high-elevation areas in North Carolina, Tennessee, and southwest Virginia, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service. Throughout the year, it makes Red Spruces and Fraser Firs it’s home.

 

GALLERY: Northern Flying Squirrels

 

Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige