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Old 07-09-2009, 08:01 PM   #1
Mavs00
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2009 ADKHP Foundation Project #1...... and the winner is?

Mt. Adams Firetower Restoration

This year, the first (of hopefully 2) grants and awards that the Adkhighpeaks Foundation will make (and will be the focus of our fundraising efforts), will be the restoration and adoption of the Mt. Adams Firetower in the High Peaks Wilderness area. As most of you know, this little gem of mountain is NOTHING without the view from the firetower.

We are currently working with the DEC to adopt this "resource" and provide the funding to restore it to a "usable" condition (with a roof this time), so that it can be enjoyed by all once again. This will not just be a "donation" effort, as there will be some physical help involved too :tup: . The DEC will provide most of the profession labor/assistance and the helicopter lift to get most of the materials up top. We'll need a few strong men/woman to assist with some of the restoration, and more importantly, the hauling of stuff back down as well as ongoing support issues.

The projected cost to restore this beauty is ~$2500. We are going to raise and award $3500 in order to 1) provide the capital needed to get it fixed and reopened (including a roof). 2) plus enough extra for the "stuff that always comes up" , 3) The balance to either be held for when inevitable repairs are needed, or even to support educational programs much like the Mt. Azure and Arab firetower folks do.

It wasn't many years ago that this firetower was slated to hit the scrap-heap. For those that don't know, the tower was in operation from 1917-1972 by the ranger service in the use of forest fire prevention and then it fell into disuse and suffered years of abuse at the hands of the brutal mountain conditions. At one time it looked as if it was going to be dismantled altogether, rendering Mt. Adams to just another hilly bump in a vast sea of towering peaks around it.

For those that do not know the rest of the story; In 2003, the Open Space Institute bought all the land around it with the intention of donating all of it to NYS to be added to the High Peaks Wilderness Area. The would have required removal of the tower as a non-conforming structure. A large public outcry led the OSI to withhold donating all of the land and made exceptions for the 1/2 acre footprint that the tower sits on, thus ensuring the tower's survival for the foreseeable future. This was done on the condition that the tower be restored for public use. It initially was, but only for a brief time. Fierce windstorms in January, 2008 caused so much damage that the DEC had to close it once again for safety reasons. It will remain closed, and unusable (which puts it once again in jeopardy) until such time as SOMEONE ponies up some cash and a little sweat equity to put it back into a safe and usable condition.

That SOMEONE will be us :tup: . We chose this as the first grant of 2009 because we felt that it was something that would resonate with our community. The Firetowers are a uniquely ADK/Catskill (NYS Forest Preserve) icon and its historical significance is something that can be appreciated by all of us. Additionally, it will stand as a tangible symbol of our dedication to the betterment of the Forest Preserve areas that we are so passionate about. We hope to get the tower reopened in the Spring of 2010.


view from the tower

We are still sorting through a couple other requests to determine what our other 2009 project will be, so stay tuned on that front. Exciting times.
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Old 07-09-2009, 08:35 PM   #2
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Cool! I have a soft spot for firetowers. My first climb of Blue at age 3 for my birthday and lots of days spent on them with my son. Mt Adams is a worthy cause. Nice choice!
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Old 07-09-2009, 09:34 PM   #3
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:20 AM   #4
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Outstanding!!

For another view from this tower, check this month's photo on the ADK High Peaks Foundation calendar!
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Old 07-10-2009, 12:47 PM   #5
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So you're restoring the mountain by taking the firetower down?

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Old 07-10-2009, 01:28 PM   #6
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watch it kevin, you're tall and gangly enough to qualify as a non-conforming structure yourself!
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:19 PM   #7
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When writing a LOI, I found the ADK area has firetowers with a need for restoration.I read MAVSOO post. So,I will stop writing today,but will send it out next year.My project will aim at preservation of trails through volunteering and providing field experience for youth . This already is happening in my area,and teens are finding ways to clean-up a leanto on Morgan Hill,near Highland Forest,Tull,NY. kEEP ON THINKING PRESERVATION!!!! lOONCRY
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Old 07-10-2009, 02:42 PM   #8
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watch it kevin, you're tall and gangly enough to qualify as a non-conforming structure yourself!
Kevins non0conforming all right.

Not sure if there is any structure there though.....

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Old 07-10-2009, 04:33 PM   #9
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So you're restoring the mountain by taking the firetower down?

Nope, the powers that be have already established that the tower will stay. But right now, it's closed, so essentially it serves no purpose. We'll at least make the structure safe, usable (and useful), while all the while preserving an important historical part of the park.

Sort of like an inexpensive Duck Hole. If we had a $.5M, we'd probably try to save that to. Baby steps.


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Originally Posted by looncry View Post
When writing a LOI, I found the ADK area has firetowers with a need for restoration.I read MAVSOO post. So,I will stop writing today,but will send it out next year.My project will aim at preservation of trails through volunteering and providing field experience for youth . This already is happening in my area,and teens are finding ways to clean-up a leanto on Morgan Hill,near Highland Forest,Tull,NY. kEEP ON THINKING PRESERVATION!!!! lOONCRY
Why, We're still looking for one more project this year. Get it submitted by next Wednesday and it'll be considered if it fits within the 3 parameters listed.
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mavs00 View Post
Nope, the powers that be have already established that the tower will stay. But right now, it's closed, so essentially it serves no purpose. We'll at least make the structure safe, usable (and useful), while all the while preserving an important historical part of the park.

Sort of like an inexpensive Duck Hole. If we had a $.5M, we'd probably try to save that to. Baby steps.
It's too bad that a number of organizations/foundations could not combine their efforts and direct them at Duck Hole. I think it's one of the highlights of the Adirondacks. Originally dammed for logging, then restored by the CCC if I'm not mistaken under the direction of Clarence Petty, probably the most influential person in the designation of the Adirondack classifications.

It supports a thriving ecosystem, still has fish, is usually bustling with waterfowl.

Top that with the fact that several trails come together there and it is a stopping off point for many hikers, including thru-hikers on the NPT.

It just seems a shame that it isn't a priority with anyone.

Hawk
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Old 07-10-2009, 11:05 PM   #11
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Wilderness Act...LBJ had a way with words.
Appropriate quote Hawk.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:33 AM   #12
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This sounds like a great cause. Do you have an idea when you might want volunteers to help with the labor part of this project? I am very interested in helping.
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:16 AM   #13
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This is great news!
Can we fix (save) the Lake Jimmy crossing as well, since it goes along with
the Adams firetower trip?
Thanks,
Mary
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Old 07-14-2009, 09:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
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It just seems a shame that it isn't a priority with anyone.

Hawk
If Tim is right, and the cost is half a mill to fix it, I'm not sure that it isn't a priority with anyone, it's just that it's out of the realistic reach of most grass-root organizations. It's too bad -

BTW - there used to be a Save Duck Hole website, but I can't find it anymore.
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