To many of us that live year-round in the Park, nothing symbolizes the need to protect the Forest Preserve more than the image of a fire tower on a mountain summit. This is especially true for those that recall the horrendous forest fires of the early 1900s. Not a day goes by that I am not saddened that DEC removed the fire tower on Crane Mountain in Warren County.
In addition to being historically significant and a symbol of man’s relationship to nature, I think there are ways such towers can be of use in the twenty-first century. In many areas fire towers are destinations for hikers. These towers should be restored to provide viewing platforms for hikers so that they can better admire the grandeur of this place.
I think a way also needs to be found for the towers to become the transmitting stations for much-needed cell service in the Park. How much better to use strategically placed fire towers on mountain summits than those fake trees that stand out as such eyesores.
Glenn L. Pearsall, Johnsburg, NY