Heavens Peak Fire Lookout Stabilization Project/Environmental Assessment Available for Public Review and Comment
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt, 406 888-5838
Contact: Mary Riddle, 406 888-7898
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier National Park officials announce the availability of the Heavens Peak Fire Lookout Stabilization Project/Environmental Assessment (EA) that analyzes the effects of a proposed project to stabilize the historic Heavens Peak Fire Lookout. The EA is now available for public review and comment. All comments are due Monday, March 21, 2011. A public meeting will be held Wednesday, March 2 from 4:30-7 p.m. at the Flathead National Forest Hungry Horse Ranger Station conference room. Park managers will make a presentation about the proposed project at 5 p.m.
TheNational Park Service (NPS) proposes tostabilize theHeavens Peak Fire Lookout in order to preserve the building. It is located in the north central backcountry of the park within the recommended wilderness boundary of Glacier National Park. Heavens Peak Lookout embodies the NPS rustic design philosophy of buildings that are harmonious with the landscape and is significant because of its association with the Civilian Public Service (CPS).
The lookout was built in 1945 by conscientious objectors in the CPS. It was in operation from its construction in 1945 through the 1953 fire season when it was abandoned in favor of aerial fire detection.
The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986; however, the original historic fabric and structural integrity of the lookout is being lost through lack of maintenance and harsh weather conditions.
The proposed project would structurally stabilize the lookout, thus preserving a historically and architecturally significant structure that represents a distinct period in Glacier’s history. The work would be limited to those repairs necessary to keep the existing structure standing and minimize further deterioration.
Two alternatives are analyzed in the Plan/EA: 1) Alternative A (No Action) and 2) Alternative B (Preferred). Under Alternative A (no action), no action would be taken to prevent further deterioration. Alternative B, the action alternative, would structurally stabilize the Heavens Peak Fire Lookout. The building’s roofing system would be repaired and new roofing installed, and the floor would be repaired. Window and door components would be repaired, plexi-glass would be placed in selected windows for viewing purposes, shutters would be repaired or replaced, exterior and some interior surfaces would be re-painted and minor re-pointing, masonry, and concrete repairs would be made where necessary. Up to 12 helicopter flights would be used to deliver tools and materials to the work site and remove debris.
The Plan/EA is available for review through the park’s planning Web site: http://parkplanning.nps.gov or http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfmparkID=61&projectID=32453&documentID=39230 where comments may be submitted directly through the Web site. Written comments may also be mailed to: Superintendent, Glacier National Park, Attn: Heavens Peak EA, P.O. Box 128, West Glacier, Montana 59936.
Did You Know?
In 1974, 93% of Glacier National Park was recommended as Wilderness. To this day, over 93% of Glacier’s backcountry is managed as Wilderness.