Thursday, April 2, 2015

AARCH, Partners To Restore Fire Towers

Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower at sunrise  Photo by Michele DrozdAdirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) has partnered with two volunteer groups, the Friends of Hurricane Mountain and the Friends of St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower to facilitate the restoration, interpretation, and management of the Hurricane Mountain and St. Regis Mountain fire towers.

Both groups were formed to advocate for the preservation and public use of these towers, which were built in the early 20th century to protect Adirondack forests from devastating forest fires. In November, 2014, the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) issued a final unit management plan that would recognize the historic significance of the towers and allow for their restoration.

Both Friends groups will operate under the nonprofit auspices of AARCH and undertake their work through a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement (VSA) with DEC. Both expect to begin active work on the towers and trails in 2015.

To learn more and to get involved, or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit the Friends of Hurricane Mountain website at and the Friends of St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower website at

Adirondack Architectural Heritage is the nonprofit historic preservation organization for New York State’s Adirondack Park.  AARCH was formed in 1990 with a mission to promote better public understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the Adirondacks’ unique and diverse architectural heritage.


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4 Responses

  1. John Jongen says:

    As a matter of aesthetics we would rather not see any structures atop the Adirondack mountains. But there are at least two compelling reasons for preserving these historic artifact: history and orientation. Like our historic forts, the ADK fire observation towers tell a story of an earlier communication technology that included the direct human observation of a persistent enemy of the forest, fire. And now that the towers are built they provide a visual reference and destination point for visitors and hikers of the ADK.

  2. David says:

    Since 1997, AARCH has been the not-for-profit umbrella for the Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine, which has restored the fire tower and trails on that mountain, as educational interpretive sites.

    The Friends is a coalition of the New York Department of Environmental Conservation,several Adirondack Mountain Club Chapters, local summer camps, and businesses, the Town of Chesterfield, and many outdoor enthusiasts

    To learn more about our work, please visit

    David Thomas-Train

  3. common sense says:

    I wish these projects great success. I have learned, and hope AARCH would agree, that the best practice is to seek out the local Forest Ranger on these projects. Retired Ranger Greg George (Blue Mountain) introduced me to what can be done when volunteers and a Ranger or two work together. Of the projects I am familiar with, volunteers and rangers have saved and restored Snowy, Rondaxe, Owls Head, Vanderwhacker, Poko, Hadley, and Adams. The guidance and support the local Ranger can provide is invaluable, especially when it comes to painting the roof….

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