The Buck Rock Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the tradition of fire lookouts and other historically significant buildings in the southern Sierra Nevada. Our mission is to restore fire lookouts for the purpose of fire detection, education, interpretation and historic preservation. Our vision is to create an atmosphere where the concept of stewardship of our conservation heritage can flourish with adults and children from all walks of life.
Over the past 50 years, fire lookouts have been disappearing from our mountains at a rate of one per week. At one time there were over 8,000 towers, but now there are fewer than 1,000 in the United States with only a few hundred actually staffed and working.
Until just a few years ago, Buck Rock Lookout was left to decay into the landscape. Shuttered in the mid-80's through 1998, it was basically abandoned, used only for emergencies during the summers. In 1997, a group from the local community formed the Buck Rock Foundation with the sole purpose of saving the lookout from fading away. Working in partnership with the Sequoia National Forest, we obtained funding, recruited volunteers, and finally re-opened the lookout for good in 2000. Today, Buck Rock serves as a primary location for reporting wildfires and is open to the public 7 days a week during fire season.
The Foundation continues to work on the restoration of Buck Rock as well as other fire towers in the local Southern Sierra Nevada mountains and foothills. In addition, the Foundation recruits and trains volunteers to help staff Buck Rock and two other fire towers in the Kings River watershed - Delilah Lookout and Park Ridge Lookout - providing early fire detection protecting our communities and public lands from devastating wildfires.
The Buck Rock Foundation is an all-volunteer association with many opportunities for service.