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Thursday, February 11, 2010

DEC plans to remove two fire towers

Hurricane Mountain fire tower. Photo by Phil Brown.

Hurricane Mountain fire tower. Photo by Phil Brown.

In a controversial decision, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is recommending the removal of old fire towers on St. Regis Mountain and Hurricane Mountain.

Environmental groups have argued that the towers should be removed because they are in areas that are managed, by and large, as Wilderness. The guidelines for managing Wilderness Areas require the removal of most man-made structures. Also, environmentalists point out that both summits offer wide-open views without the towers.

Nevertheless, many local residents (and no doubt many visitors as well) want the towers to remain. They see the structures as reminders of the region’s history.

Environmentalists have split over the removal of a fire tower on Wakely Mountain, which has virtually no view otherwise. DEC recommends keeping this tower and the observer’s cabin. It would be used as a radio-repeater station.

DEC will hold a public meeting on the Hurricane tower at Keene Central School on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m. A public meeting on the St. Regis tower will be held at the Freer Science Building at Paul Smith’s College on the same night, starting at the same time.

More information about the fire-tower study is available here.

Click below to read DEC’s news release (PDF file).

DEC on fire towers PDF

Phil Brown

Contributor Phil Brown was editor of the Adirondack Explorer from 1999-2018. When he isn't at his desk, he's usually out hiking, paddling, skiing, or doing something else important.

2 Responses

  1. Tree Huggin Twit says:

    “Environmental groups have argued that the towers should be removed because they are in areas that are managed, by and large, as Wilderness. The guidelines for managing Wilderness Areas require the removal of most man-made structures.”

    I wish these people would get a life.

  2. Dick Beamish says:

    The Hurricane and St. Regis fire towers should be removed, as decreed by the state in 1972. They are not needed for fire lookout anymore or for getting a good view, as both summits offer 360-degree vistas without the towers. Plus they’re in that 1% of the Lower 48 States supposedly managed as Wilderness where no manmade structures are allowed. Isn’t it nice to have someplace in the world, even though it’s a tiny remnant,that’s preserved in a more natural condition than everywhere else? Also, keep in mind that there are many fire towers in non-Wilderness areas of the Adirondacks that have been saved and restored, and make a great destination for hikers.

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