For over a century, the Adirondacks have managed to maintain the gentle balance of a vast wilderness that encompasses great woods and good people within its soaring peaks, raging rivers and solitary communities.
Fortunately, the region seems to be locked in a time warp where the authentic, small town, American culture still exists and it mixes easily with actual wild lands, where unfettered travel through remote woods and waters is still possible, for miles on end. Even though USA Today lists the region as one of the "Ten Great Places on Earth," fewer than 135,000 people are smart enough, and just plain stubborn enough, to call it home.
The iconic towers, which sit atop St. Regis and Hurricane Mountains, have not been officially utilized for decades. Despite their official abandonment, the towers continue to serve as a destination for generations of hikers and as a familiar landmark for residents.
Once considered nothing more than rusting remnants of their proud past, the towers will now represent a new hope for the future, where traditions are respected and residents have a seat at the table. The towers will stand tall to provide a visible and symbolic reminder that local voices can still be heard, howling from the wilderness.
In March 2005, the St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower was listed on the National Historic Lookout Register and in June 2007, the Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
There are indications that the Gulf Brook leanto, which had also been scheduled for removal, may be replaced, rehabilitated and relocated from its current location.
Now that they are paying attention, we should also remind the decision makers that locals have been drinking fresh, cold water that comes from mountain springs since the time when people actually knew King Philip personally...and nobody has died yet.