Do you have pictures of fire lookouts? Do you know where those lookouts once stood? Have you talked with folks that remember lookouts? Do you like to sniff out old trails and roads and see if you can find footings or remnants of old fire lookouts?
If the answer to any of the above questions is "yes," then you have something to add to the forestry history of the U.S. All you need 1) is a memory, 2) pictures, and ) the ability to use the Internet. You can post your information with recognition for your efforts.
At one time there were 8,000+ fire lookouts in 49 states according to the national inventory completed by FFLA and partners in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service. Today fewer than 2,000 lookouts remain and FFLA's goal is to recognize, help maintain and restore as many as possible. Currently there are nearly 1000 lookouts registered on the National Historic Lookout Register, and most are received some kind of maintenance and about 500 are staffed by paid observers or volunteers.
We are in a race with time, as abandoned fire towers are sold for scrap to make way to new electronic facilities, including cell phone towers, on high points throughout America. Members of FFLA continue to do all they can to prevent that, and are becoming more successful every year. Some lookouts get moved to parks, fairgrounds and museums where people can visit and learn of the proud history of these recognized symbols of forest conservation. Others are sold to private parties who move them to their own woodlands and farms to enjoy and preserve them. A few, especially in the south, revert to the landowner when the forestry agency no longer can staff them and face an uncertain future until one of us comes forward with an offer to help.
Find a lookout in your state using the map below or view lookouts worldwide on our Lookouts page!