continued When the Disney film “Bambi” helped raise public awareness on forest conservation, the fire tower watchers provided education to visitors, though it wasn't in their job description. They'd even hand out signed cards as tokens of proof for completing a tower hike. When the Smokey Bear campaign started, they gave out silver coins with the fire-preventing bear's likeness on them.
The towers started to fall into disrepair during World War II, when the men staffing them were called away to fight. By the '70s, cheap planes began replacing the tower's fire-spotting function. Once the '80s came to a close, the DEC found that members of the public were most effective at spotting fires. They closed the remaining towers and ended most spotting flights.
To get involved in the committee to preserve the Lyon Mountain fire tower, email David Thomas-Train at firstname.lastname@example.org.