Forest Fire Lookout Association
The Forest Fire Lookout Association (FFLA), founded in 1990, is an organization involved in research of current and former forest fire lookout sites, ground cabins and early forest fire detection methods. It promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of Lookouts.
The organization encourages efforts of public groups and others in the restoration of forest fire lookouts. Some lookout projects are undertaken by chapters of the organization itself. The Forest Fire Lookout Association's by-laws prohibit the lobbying for retaining lookout operator jobs and there is no political connection to any such groups that encourage these efforts. The membership is composed of lookout enthusiasts, hikers, conservationists, forest fire personnel, foresters, story writers, and members of the environmental community.
The Forest Fire Lookout Association has been involved with all aspects of Fire Lookouts since 1990. Many of which include:
- The organizing of Lookout Restorations
- Provides grants for Lookout projects
- Documenting Lookout sites
- Historical research of Lookouts
- Assembling of programs to increase Lookout awareness
- Documenting anecdotes of Lookout operators, past and present
Conferences are held twice a year in the eastern and western United States and Canada. A Board of Directors meeting is held each January and state chapter meetings are held periodically. The Forest Fire Lookout Association issues a quarterly newsletter, Lookout Network and is a benefit of membership. The Forest Fire Lookout Association has chapters in most states and are represented by directors. Correspondence is currently received by almost all fifty states. Chapters are also located in Western Australia and Canada..
The Forest Fire Lookout Association was formed during a meeting of a handful of folks gathering to discuss fire towers in early 1990. This meeting, of what is often referred to as "the committee of forest fire lookout enthusiasts", was held in the District 17 garage at the French Creek state Park in Pennsylvania. After the meeting, the group took a tour of the nearby Hopewell Fire Tower and ground cabin. From that small meeting, gathered around on old chairs and crates in the maintenance garage at Hopewell Tower, is what eventually became the Forest Fire Lookout Association.