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FIRE LOOKOUTS - Volunteers are refurbishing a national forest lookout ravaged by age, weather and vandalism on Spyglass Peak in the upper reaches of the North Fork Coeur d'Alene River.
The Idaho Panhandle National Forests have partnered with Lutherhaven Ministries and the Forest Fire Lookout Association to renovate three historic structures, including Spyglass lookout tower, a groundhouse where workers who staffed the lookout lived when the lookout was operational, and an outhouse.
The structures have been vacant for more than 20 years.
Lutherhaven offered assistance with grant funding applications and a youthful labor force of volunteers from Shoshone Base Camp. Additional volunteers and expertise have come from the Forest Fire Lookout Association and local Forest Service employees.
Through Lutherhaven’s efforts two major regional grants were awarded totaling more than $25,000, the Forest Service officials said. Additional funding was granted by the Forest Fire Lookout Association and combined with funding from the Forest Service, which enabled the groups to begin work on the site this year.
Lutherhaven Ministries owns Shoshone Base Camp, a Christian youth camp which operates Idaho Servant Adventures, a program that brings youth from around the country to North Idaho for public service projects.
Steve Matz, retired Forest Service archeologoist, is coordinating the multi-year project with the goal of incorporating the site into the forest’s recreational cabin rental program, which generates funding for maintenance on-site.
Info: Coeur d’Alene River Ranger District’s Fernan office at (208) 664-2318.