Fire Tower Restoration Project
Friends of Bald Mt., Box 206, Old Forge, NY 13420
2006 Progress Report
Construction - Construction!
In spite of the construction on Route 28 and the Rondaxe Road by NYS DOT, thousands of visitors have been to the Bald (Rondaxe) Mountain Fire Tower this year. The expanded parking lot at the trailhead has been very much appreciated and has greatly reduced the number of cars lining the Rondaxe Road. The Friends of Bald (Rondaxe) Mountain met in April 2006 in Old Forge, NY to schedule projects for the summer. In attendance were Co-Chairman Ann MacBride, committee members Kevin MacBride, Linda Cohen, Janice Ferrick, Peg Masters. Also attending were DEC Forester from Herkimer Pat Whalen, DEC Forester from Lowville Fred Munk, SUNY Potsdam/Sagamore Institute Prof. Michael Wilson, and Sarah Cihak, 2006 SUNY Potsdam Environmental Studies Bald Mt. Summer Student. A second committee meeting was held August 19th in Old Forge with Co-Chairmen Ann MacBride & Barb Ball attending, Sec. Peg Masters, committee member Kevin MacBride, and 2006 Summit Steward Sarah Cihak.
During work days in late June and early July, the new 30" map table we purchased from Northco Products was installed in the cab (photo right). The map is made of an all-weather composite material that will resist scratching and will remain in the tower year-round. Ann MacBride and Heather Robinson, 2005 Summit Steward, took GPS way-points for trail interpretative signs. The committee is working with DEC to get a new trailhead kiosk installed and 5-7 trail interpretative signs along the hike to the summit. Another workday is scheduled this fall to re-stain the wooden stairs, platforms, and cab flooring, repaint grafitti in the cab, and removal of trash.
Sarah Cihak (photo left) began work as the summer summit steward July 1st. The interpretative program is paid for by the donations to the Friends of Bald Mountain in partnership with the DEC, the Town of Webb, SUNY Potsdam, and Sagamore Institute. On August 19th, The Friends of Bald Mountain received a generous $2,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties' Town of Webb Fund. (photo below). The grant application was prepared by FOBM member Linda Cohen and was one of eight grants awarded to not-for-profit groups in the Town of Webb. Many thanks to Peggy O'Shea of the Community Foundation, the Foundation donors, and to Linda for obtaining this grant.
Sarah Cihak reports there has been very little trash found on the trail or summit this summer - THANK YOU HIKERS! She also reports very favorable comments from visitors who are pleased to see the tower open year-round. Not all hikers sign the trail register - which she has encouraged. This is an important way of letting DEC & the legislators in Albany know how many visitors hike the trail and appreciate the re-opened fire tower.
Volunteers on the committee are always welcomed. Contact the Friends of Bald Mountain at the address above or email link for more information.
Presentation of the Community Foundation Grant August 19th at the Thendara Golf Club.