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August 10, 2012 in Outdoors
Rich Landers photo

A U.S. Forest Service pack string heads up the trail to Star Peak in the Kootenai National Forest loaded with materials to restore a fire lookout. In the lead is packer Cindy Betlach based in Troy, Mont., followed by mules from the Northern region mule string based at the Historic Ninemile Ranger Station northwest of Missoula. In the background is Billiard Table Peak and some of the area northeast of Lake Pend Oreille and along the Idaho-Montana border proposed as the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

Rich Landers photo

A U.S. Forest Service regional mule pack string gets saddled up along U.S. Highway 200 before packing materials to Star Peak in the Kootenai National Forest.

Rich Landers photo

A dog belonging to a Back Country Horseman knows his place as packers saddle their horses and mules before packing materials into Star Peak lookout on the Kootenai National Forest.

Rich Landers photo

U.S. Forest Service Northern Region packer Mark Pengelly leads his mule string five miles toward the top of Star Peak in the Kootenai National Forest. He fastened lumber to the Decker saddles for use in restoring the fire lookout on the mountain top.

Rich Landers photo

U.S. Forest Service packer Casey Burns leads loaded mules on the last rugged stretch to Star Peak Lookout in the Kootenai National Forest.

Rich Landers photo

U.S. Forest Service packer Casey Burns leads loaded mules on the last rugged stretch to Star Peak Lookout in the Kootenai National Forest.

Rich Landers photo

A U.S. Forest Service pack string mule sneaks in a scratch as its load is being removed after a five-mile pack up to Star Peak in the Kootenai National forest.

Rich Landers photo

U.S. Forest Service packer Casey Burns leads loaded mules on the last rugged stretch to Star Peak Lookout in the Kootenai National Forest.

Rich Landers photo

U.S. Forest Service packer Casey Burns leads loaded mules on the last rugged stretch to Star Peak Lookout in the Kootenai National Forest.

Rich Landers photo

U.S. Forest Service packer Cindy Betlach unloads a mule after packing materials to the Star Peak Lookout in the Kootenai National Forest.

Rich Landers photo

Phil Hough, right, of the Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness was among several volunteers helping Forest Service packers unload materials for the restoration of Star Peak Lookout in the Kootenai National Forest.

Rich Landers photo

U.S. Forest Service packer Mark Pengelly rigs a saddle on one of his pack mules.

Rich Landers photo

Emily Downing, University of Montana student and Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness volunteer, helps unload a Forest Service pack string for the Star Peak Lookout restoration project in the Kootenai National Forest.

Rich Landers photo

Jeremy Leibenguth, a Kootenai National Forest wilderness ranger, helps unload mules at the Star Peak Lookout restoration site. Leibenguth also coordinates volunteers for the Friends of the Scotchman Peaks project to build a better hiking trail to the peak.

Rich Landers photo

A stone cabin built by a Kootenai National Forest ranger and his wife around 1910 stands below the Star Peak Lookout.

Rich Landers photo

The outhouse for the Star Peak Lookout is a classic.

Rich Landers photo

On the way down from Star Peak Lookout, Rachael Reckin, Kootenai National Forest archeologist, and Phil Hough of the Friends of the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness, check out views from the re-routed route of a trail the agency and the group are building to the top of the mountain.