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State Landmark Getting Fixed

Harney Peak Lookout Improvements
photo from USFS

The Harney Peak Lookout Tower in the Black Hills is receiving much needed “tender loving care.”

Volunteers are installing 19 replica windows and three replica doors. The Forest Service is repairing the mortared stone stairs attached to the tower. Materials were transported to the tower by a mule pack string.  All maintenance work will be done the old fashioned way, meaning no motorized equipment or wheeled tools will be used.

The Harney Peak Lookout tower was constructed by the Civil Conservation Corp. It is a National Historic, and is renowned by South Dakotans and visitors for its landscape views of the Black Hills and beyond.

The lookout tower is located on United States Forest Service Land, within the Black Elk Wilderness. It is not in Custer State Park, although the hike to get to it starts at Sylvan Lake.

Sherri Schwenke is the Federal District Ranger for the area, “The Harney Peak Project, is a great kick-off for the year-long countdown to the 50th anniversary of America’s Wilderness Act, which was signed into law on September 3, 1964.”

An interesting side note or two:

. The Black Hills Backcountry Horseman are volunteering their time and stock to assist in movement of materials to the worksite.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation through the Historic Preservation Fund provided financial support to the Forest Service for this project. The Region 1 Historic Building Preservation Team from the Forest Service office in Missoula, MT constructed the windows and doors during the past year and will have specialists on site supervising the installation.  A number of local individuals are also volunteering their time for this project.

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