By Marcy Thompson
Picturing The Past 

Lookout Towers Played Role In Preserving Forests


October 24, 2016

Rich Mountain lookout tower and watchman's cabin, 1963.

Lookout towers played a vital role in forest history for over a half-century. In 1910 the U.S. Forest Service was devastated by the loss of 85 firefighters, 8 billion board feet of timber, and 5 million acres of forest from fires in Montana and Idaho. Fire prevention and control would become an essential piece of forest management.

Lookout towers in western North Carolina are normally locate...

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