The following outlines our mission and offers a brief overview of the current situation.
Our mission is to save the St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower and then to restore it for safe public access so it can remain permanently on the summit of St. Regis Mountain where we feel it belongs.
The St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower is located on the 2,874' summit of the St. Regis Mountain in the town of Santa Clara, Franklin County in the Adirondack Forest Preserve of New York State. The current tower on St. Regis Mountain was erected in 1918 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This tower provides spectacular views of the high peaks and the many water bodies of the northern Adirondacks. In 1990 St. Regis Mountain Fire Tower was closed, being one of the last four towers in the Adirondacks to be manned by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
There has been considerable support of this historical local landmark. Over 2,500 individuals/families added their names to our petition to save and preserve the tower as an educational asset. Several organizations and local government bodies have written resolutions of unanimous support for the retention of this tower and it's preservation. These government bodies include the Franklin County Legislature, the Town of Santa Clara, and the Town of Brighton, the Rainbow Lake Association, and the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board.
The State Land Master Plan (SLMP) was amended in 2011 to designate the Saint Regis Mountain Tower Historic Area. This designation allows the tower to remain. The Saint Regis Fire Tower Historic Area (SRMFTHA) Draft Unit Management Plan was released October 16, 2013 in which it recommends alternative #4 - "Full Public Access"! The UMP goes further to propose maintenance of the tower to insure a safe facility for public use and enjoyment. This was a giant step in attaining our goals for tower preservation and use. We greatly appreciate the effort from the various organizations, individuals and DEC personnel for their positive response to our concerns.
On April 6, 2014 the state Adirondack Park Agency (APA) held a hearing to provide an opportunity for public comment on whether the Saint Regis Fire Tower Historic Area (SRMFTHA) Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP) was compliant with the State Land Master Plan (SLMP). The SRMFTHA UMP was found to be in compliance by the full APA Board at their meeting on May 9, 2014.
On November 7, 2014 DEC Commissioner, Joe Martens issued the final Saint Regis Fire Tower Historic Area (SRMFTHA) Unit Management Plan which would allow restoration to proceed. The Friends of the St Regis Fire Tower applied for a Volunteer Service Agreement (VSA) which was approved on January 16, 2015. The Friends can now begin working closely with DEC personnel to restore the tower and to develop educational and stewardship programs. See the latest news for more details.