The Future?
R.H. SPRAY, April, 1995


The Future?      Danger of the complete destruction of fire lookouts which seemed imminent in the 1960's and 1970's is over. Active lookouts on the best mountains are here to stay. The trend in construction seems to be toward total rehabilitation or replication of the old lookout designs. The Willamette completed a replica D-6 Cupola on a tower on Warner Ridge in 1987. The Sand Mountain Society (a private association) constructed a replica L-4 Grange Hall on a short tower in 1989. The Deschutes is in the process of totally rebuilding an L-4 Grange Hall on East Butte. Many other restorations or replications are underway or being planned.
     The other trend which we see is the construction of lookouts of unique design for each mountain top situation. The Deschutes lookout structure on Spring Butte constructed in 1992 and the new tower on Black Butte are examples of this trend.
     Whatever happens, fire lookouts are here to stay. Those that are not used as active lookouts are being placed on rental programs for the public, seasonally or all year, depending on fire detection needs. The program has been extremely successful, satisfying historic preservation needs and public recreation needs at the same time.

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