Deadwood Lookout

While there are a number of active fire lookouts still in service throughout Idaho many are idle and in disrepair. In recent years though there has been a new emphasis on refurbishing some of these unused structures for use by the general public. It's all part of the Forest Service's lookout rental program. One of the most popular rental locations in the state is Deadwood Lookout on the Boise National Forest.

The stairs leading up to the Deadwood Lookout

"This structure at Deadwood Lookout was built by the Civilian Conservation Corp around 1934. Our records indicate that it was discontinued as an active fire lookout around 1972. One of the challenges with lookouts when they go out of use is what do you then do with them, and the best thing you can do for an historic building is use it and care for it. So it is satisfying when we can take care of them because they should be taken care of but it's a big job. It's a really big job. We have so few of them left."
— Susie Osgood, Boise National Forest archeologist

Looking out from inside the Deadwood Lookout

"What I particularly like about working on historic buildings is that you can see the results. The results are immediate. So, it's just neat to take something that is seventy years old and represents such an important period of both forest service history and Idaho history and save it and then be able to offer it to folks to come and enjoy that.
So putting lookouts in the rental program is great from a historic preservation standpoint, not only are you putting the building back into use but you're actually offering it to the public so they can come up here and have the lookout experience… the solitude of staying on a mountain… being able to see for miles and miles."

— Susie Osgood, Boise National Forest archeologist