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Lookout trees in Kaibab National Forest facts for kids

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Lookout trees in Kaibab National Forest
Area less than one acre
MPS National Forest Fire Lookouts in the Southwestern Region TR
NRHP reference No. 64000046
Added to NRHP January 13, 1992

The lookout trees in Kaibab National Forest are the survivors of a system of improvised fire lookout towers that used tall, straight trees as vantage points. The practice of using trees as lookouts was widespread in the western United States during the early 20th century, as there was no need to build a foundation or to pack and assemble a tower structure. Instead, a prominent tree could be selected, and a ladder or a series of spikes could be attached to the tree trunk. For transient use this could be all that was done, but for more permanent use the top 10 feet (3.0 m) of the tree could be lopped, and a platform constructed on the resulting stump. This railed platform was then outfitted with a seat and a platform for an Osborne Fire Finder.

A Multiple Property Submission survey of lookout trees in Kaibab National Forest and Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona was carried out in 1987 as an addendum to a survey of fire towers in Arizona. Surviving trees with significant remains of their lookout function were individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places and were described in the MPS. Many of these lookouts were established between 1905 and 1920. Many more trees existed than were nominated, but the missing trees have either disappeared or were not located. No lookout trees were noted in Grand Canyon National Park, though some had existed.

All were individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 13, 1992.

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