Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Small Steps Forward in Restoring Spruce Mountain Fire Tower

I had read a few months ago that there was a push by Saratoga PLAN, a conservation organization, to restore the 73' tower on Spruce Mountain, which has been closed to the public for 20 years. The main obstacle for the project is land ownership. The trail to the summit passes through privately owned land and Saratoga County owns 2.5 acres of land under the tower. Transfer from county to state ownership would allow volunteers to work on restoration efforts with the Department of Environmental Conservation. The county previously relied on the mountain as its only source of radio communications, but has upgraded their communications system and can now remove a pair of radio towers from the mountain. Without the dependence on the mountain for communication towers, they county will be more willing to transfer ownership to the state.

According to an article posted today on PostStar.com, representatives of the group Friends of Spruce Mountain Fire Tower met on February 2nd with a committee of county supervisors to ask them to consider transferring ownership of the 2.5 acres to the state. While the committee put off making a decision on the land transfer, they did consult with County Attorney Mark Rider to research the necessary steps to make the move. If successful, restoration could begin in late summer or early fall of this year. New stairs, landings, and windows would probably be needed in the restoration effort and could cost as little as $10,000. With restoration, the structure could be removed from John P. Freeman's list of Endangered Towers in my copy of his book Views from on High: Fire Tower Trails in the Adirondacks and Catskills!

1 comment:

storybeader said...

it looks right now like a sleeping giant!