Outdoors blog

Idaho forest fire lookouts featured on Public TV

A mountain goat greets volunteers assembling at sunrise for a work party at Mallard Peak lookout in the St. Joe National Forest. (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)
A mountain goat greets volunteers assembling at sunrise for a work party at Mallard Peak lookout in the St. Joe National Forest. (Rich Landers / The Spokesman-Review)

FORESTS -- I've had a long fascination with hiking into forest fire lookouts, sometimes reserving and renting one for the ultimate room with a view.

The next-best thing is the Outdoor Idaho program that premiers Thursday on Public TV.  

Eyes of the Forest explores the history of Idaho's forest lookouts through reminiscences of those who lived in them and studied them -- and through journeys to many of Idaho's mountaintops.

Some lookouts are still being staffed. Others are in disrepair, while some are being restored.

More than 8,000 lookouts once dotted the nation at the peak of their usefullness a half century ago. Idaho boasted the most, with nearly 1,000 overlooking its vast forest lands and wilderness areas.




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Rich Landers


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