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Fire Lookouts category proposal (version 2)

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Well, THIS is frustrating.

 

I messaged all the officers of the Look-Out Towers category last week with the topic of adding new variables to include Fire Lookouts as destroyed, part of the National Historic Lookout Register or World Historic Lookout Register as well as in the Former Historic Lookout Register and got ABSOLUTELY NO RESPONSE BACK. I also asked each officer if he or she weren't willing to add these variables, if they would make me an officer so that I could accomplish this task myself. NOTHING.

 

With that said, my plan is to refocus my words for a second Peer Review in hopes of establishing a Fire Lookouts category.

 

The previous category denial centered around redundancy issues and I can understand the concerns from others regarding an already-existing category for fire lookouts. BUT... here are my responses to those who voted 'NO' for this category:

 

1) The current Look-Out Towers category does NOT allow waymarks for DESTROYED fire lookouts. The proposed Fire Lookouts category WOULD allow them AS WELL AS defunct fire lookouts (not in use).

 

2) The current Look-Out Towers category does NOT allow non-accessible lookouts (i.e., those which are off-limits to the public) as waymarks. The proposed Fire Lookouts category WOULD allow non-accessible Fire Lookouts.

 

3) The current Look-Out Towers category contains NO VARIABLES for fire lookouts which may be included in the National or World Historic Lookout Register OR the Former Historic Lookout Register. There are two websites devoted to conservation of previous and current fire lookouts and have a national database and world database for the public to seek out fire lookouts. www.nhlr.org and www.firetower.org are the websites which devote their energies to conservation of any fire lookout out in the world and they do the public a GREAT service by trying to save many fire lookouts from destruction.

 

The above three points I've addressed should be enough, IMHO, to warrant another take at a new Fire Lookouts category, especially if NONE of the current officers of the Look-Out Towers category are willing to address my concerns.

 

Fire Lookouts do a great service to the country and to the world in that they constantly sniff out potentially destructive fires, thus SAVING LIVES in the process. If the Waymarking world could CARE ENOUGH about fire lookouts as they currently do with all the fast food restaurant categories that currently exist, then a Fire Lookouts category DESERVES a second chance!

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I think you need to differentiate between "climbable" and "accessible"... for lookout towers they must be climbable (or ascendable by some means) as that category is about the view from the tower whereas fire lookouts need to be accessible at the ground level at least to get photo if they are extant but not necessarily climbable. Secondly I think it important to point out that some fire lookouts are not towers at all but rather are structures located on top mountains where a tower is not needed.

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Well, THIS is frustrating.

I can understand your frustration, but there may be reasons for the lack of response. A little more patience may be in order.

 

1) The current Look-Out Towers category does NOT allow waymarks for DESTROYED fire lookouts.

 

I don't see the point in Waymarking something that is not there, if that is what you mean by destroyed

 

 

2) The current Look-Out Towers category does NOT allow non-accessible lookouts (i.e., those which are off-limits to the public) as waymarks. The proposed Fire Lookouts category WOULD allow non-accessible Fire Lookouts.

 

I think this would be a reason NOT to vote for this category. We should not be Waymarking sites/structures that are off-limits to the public, just as we don't place geocaches in such places. Are you expecting people to visit off-limit places to get coordinates and post a visit?

 

 

3) The current Look-Out Towers category contains NO VARIABLES for fire lookouts which may be included in the National or World Historic Lookout Register OR the Former Historic Lookout Register.

 

While these variables might be good, I don't see that the lack of them as sufficient justification for a separate category. That's like saying, "I don't like the way this category is written, so I'll write another one the way I think it ought to be done."

 

If the Waymarking world could CARE ENOUGH about fire lookouts as they currently do with all the fast food restaurant categories that currently exist, then a Fire Lookouts category DESERVES a second chance!

Whoa! I don't think it is about none of us not caring about forest fire prevention or anything else. This sounds like a gratuitous accusation to me. The issue is about the structure of the category and its relation to an existing category. Let's not confuse the issue by needlessly injecting emotions into the debate.

 

The primary argument in favor of such a category is that the existing Lookout Tower category is limited to those which can be climbed in order to get a view. If that limitation holds, then many of these fire lookouts, including non-tower types, my be excluded, thereby justifying a dedicated category of their own. But this, it seems to me, ought to be the focus of your argument.

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I think it's pointless to ask for these variables. If I was the the leader of the Lookout Towers category, I would not do it. Fire Lookouts just don't fit into this category, redardless of what some uninformed voters in peer review said.

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silverquill, I disagree with your opinion of not Waymarking fire lookouts that have been destroyed. Fire lookouts SHOULD be able to be waymarked to record any remaining evidence of their existence, much like an archeologist looks for ancient evidence of prior civilizations and documents any discoveries (below picture is of a destroyed former lookout and its current replacement in the background and represents my point).7b77664e-51e9-468a-822e-8bddc6432e9a.jpg The official Former Fire Lookout Sites body (www.firetower.org) WANT people to seek out evidence of prior fire lookouts that have been destroyed and document them for their Former Fire Lookout Registry. I'm not asking waymarkers on Waymarking.com to submit destroyed or even active fire lookouts to the official Fire Lookout Historical Registries, but this would be a PERFECT OPPORTUNITY for a category like this in its long description to aid a waymarker in learning about the official Fire Lookout Registries and inviting them to submit their documentation to these Registries if they choose. It should also be noted that the Benchmarks category currently allows Waymarking of destroyed benchmarks (as well as Geocaching.com) to let other waymarkers know that they have been compromised and shouldn't be searched for and the pictures they upload are the proof of their demise. Benchmarkers can even submit their recoveries to the NGS and USGS folks to share with the surveying community.

 

In reference to non-accessible fire lookouts that a waymarker may come across, I'll clarify that I am NOT intending for waymarkers to log and visit publicly-inaccessible fire lookouts that may be on private property. I'm referring to fire lookouts that a waymarker may come across on public lands but can't access the lookout due to it being shut down for the season, closed temporarily due to lack of funding, or inaccessible to the public because the fire lookout operator isn't willing to allow visitors to climb the lookout or visit the inside of the lookout. BruceS is correct in that a fire lookout that isn't climbable to get a view shouldn't be a reason to dissuade a waymarker from visiting the fire lookout, taking some pictures of its surroundings and logging the coordinates.

 

silverquill, I agree with you in that I think the focus of a potential new Fire Lookout category should be centered around the fact that many fire lookouts (towers and non-towers) cannot be waymarked into the current Look-Out Towers category because they can't be climbed or accessed in accordance with the requirements dictated by that category. Some fire lookouts are not, in fact, towers at all but are dug outs in the side of a cliff. A separate category allowing these fire lookouts to be waymarked without the current limitations of the Look-Out Towers category should be some justification for a separate category. Complimenting this argument with the Waymarking of destroyed or defunct fire lookouts as evidence as well as variables to help those waymarkers possibly submit fire lookouts to the official Fire Lookout Registries would be icing on the cake.

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Go for it beav! Be sure to be careful in the words you choose and keep it clear, like you see a little slip up of a word causes a great deal of debate and misunderstanding. You have made the point well that current cats don’t serve the need. Don’t let anyone tell you if it is interesting or not, that is the place of the self righteous to do, let the voting tell if it is interesting and viable. What scares so many folks is that McDonalds did make it as a cat! Go for it! Voting is free, lets see what happens.

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Go for it beav! Be sure to be careful in the words you choose and keep it clear, like you see a little slip up of a word causes a great deal of debate and misunderstanding. You have made the point well that current cats don’t serve the need. Don’t let anyone tell you if it is interesting or not, that is the place of the self righteous to do, let the voting tell if it is interesting and viable. What scares so many folks is that McDonalds did make it as a cat! Go for it! Voting is free, lets see what happens.

 

No need to be scared, McDonald's did not make it; it was there from the beginning long before Peer Reviews started. All those chain store and restaurant categories would not make it anymore today. So it is not helpful to refer to them because they can be considered historic relics in this respect.

 

Don't go for it too fast! It was denied the first time, if you do not manage to convince some of the Nay voters this will happen again.

 

Unfortunately most voters do not read the forums, so what was said here will not have any effect on Peer Review, it all has to be in the proposal itself.

 

First you have to make clear that Fire Lookouts are NOT Lookout Towers. Then you have to find clear and concise words for all the points that created confusion, that is "accessible" and "destroyed".

 

My idea is that a fire lookout should be accessible to be waymarked. Not the lookout platform, then it would be a lookout tower, but the base or a location close enough to the base. It does not make any sense to allow submissions that are not accessible at all. How would you get the coordinates and pictures?

 

The same with "destroyed", what does this mean? Are you intending to allow a location of a former fire lookout with no remaining traces at all? How could you tell this is the right spot? And why should I go there? But if destroyed means ruins, then I am fine with it. Active, converted, abandoned, or even ruined; but not completely gone.

 

I think this is an interesting category and I would like to see it fly.

Edited by fi67
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Go for it beav! Be sure to be careful in the words you choose and keep it clear, like you see a little slip up of a word causes a great deal of debate and misunderstanding. You have made the point well that current cats don’t serve the need. Don’t let anyone tell you if it is interesting or not, that is the place of the self righteous to do, let the voting tell if it is interesting and viable. What scares so many folks is that McDonalds did make it as a cat! Go for it! Voting is free, lets see what happens.

 

No need to be scared, McDonald's did not make it; it was there from the beginning long before Peer Reviews started. All those chain store and restaurant categories would not make it anymore today. So it is not helpful to refer to them because they can be considered historic relics in this respect.

 

Don't go for it too fast! It was denied the first time, if you do not manage to convince some of the Nay voters this will happen again.

 

Unfortunately most voters do not read the forums, so what was said here will not have any effect on Peer Review, it all has to be in the proposal itself.

 

First you have to make clear that Fire Lookouts are NOT Lookout Towers. Then you have to find clear and concise words for all the points that created confusion, that is "accessible" and "destroyed".

 

My idea is that a fire lookout should be accessible to be waymarked. Not the lookout platform, then it would be a lookout tower, but the base or a location close enough to the base. It does not make any sense to allow submissions that are not accessible at all. How would you get the coordinates and pictures?

 

The same with "destroyed", what does this mean? Are you intending to allow a location of a former fire lookout with no remaining traces at all? How could you tell this is the right spot? And why should I go there? But if destroyed means ruins, then I am fine with it. Active, converted, abandoned, or even ruined; but not completely gone.

 

I think this is an interesting category and I would like to see it fly.

 

Thank you so much to all who have replied to this topic. I agree with most all points and suggestions and I will spend time to CAREFULLY choose my words and points before I submit this potential category again for Peer Review. The Look-Out Towers officers have shown no interest in absorbing any new variables into their current category. With that said, I'll do my best to make convincing arguments that Fire Lookouts deserve a category to themselves. In reference to ACCESSIBLE fire lookouts, YES. I agree, they need to be accessible in order to waymark them. That doesn't mean they need to be able to be climbed to the top. But they need to be able to be driven or hiked to without trespassing on private property. As for DESTROYED fire lookouts, read the home page of Former Fire Lookout Sites Register website (http://www.firetower.org/) and it explains well their mission of recording any traces of former, abandoned or removed fire lookouts and all they require are some memories and pictures. I feel we could apply those same principles to this category. We would be helping their organization in tracking down former fire lookouts and providing coordinates to these places for historical value. I've been communicating with both the current and former Historical Lookout bodies and they have been very supportive of what I'm doing.

 

Peer Review Version 2 coming soon...

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I hope you can make it this time. I will vote yes, but I am aware that creating categories is getting very frustrating, mostly because of the silly comments attached to many of the "ney" votes.

Edited by Torgut
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Peer Review Version 2 coming soon...

 

Any thoughts on reviving the Fire Tower category proposal?

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Peer Review Version 2 coming soon...

 

Any thoughts on reviving the Fire Tower category proposal?

 

I was excited to create a writeup with a better explanation for Fire Lookouts as a separate category but got caught up in Waymarking so many locations in other categories this past year that I haven't taken the time to choose better words and arguments for this potential category. But your inquiry has gotten me thinking about typing something up again and posting it here in the forum. I'll see if I can tacke this in the next week.

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Peer Review Version 2 coming soon...

 

Any thoughts on reviving the Fire Tower category proposal?

 

I was excited to create a writeup with a better explanation for Fire Lookouts as a separate category but got caught up in Waymarking so many locations in other categories this past year that I haven't taken the time to choose better words and arguments for this potential category. But your inquiry has gotten me thinking about typing something up again and posting it here in the forum. I'll see if I can tacke this in the next week.

Looking forward to it.

I might recommend the very start of the write up lists the reasons why the category wouldn't be totally redundant with the existing lookout category. This might help combat people who jump to conclusions, don't visit the forums, don't read the entire description, etc.

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Reading this with fresh perspective, I think that there may be some possibility with this one.

 

"Publicly accessible towers or other structures where people can climb on and enjoy a great view."

As I understand it, the focus of the existing Lookout Towers category is on towers and other similar structures, that one can ascend in some fashion as a viewpoint. While fire lookouts may be included, as long as they may be ascended, they are only a fraction of what is included. I really wonder if all of these fire lookouts in the category are open to the public? It seems to me that this requirement is NOT adhered to consistently. This one, for instance: Promontory Point Look-out Tower This appears to be fenced and of a type that isn't just open to the public. I think there are many other examples.

 

I think that a carefully written description that focuses specifically on fire towers would include many of these excluded towers. Having the specific databases is a plus, too. In regard to former towers, I think there has to be something there to see in order to waymark it - and old foundation, perhaps, AND some sort of documentation to authenticate the site. And, I think having a good set of variables would add value to the category, serving a greater purpose in documenting this worthy sites that just doesn't and wouldn't happen within the existing category.

 

Maybe I'm just nostalgic about the summer I spent with my cousin in Idaho climbing one of these towers by Lake Lowell. I think it was supposed to be locked, but what is that to curious boys?

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This one, for instance: Promontory Point Look-out Tower This appears to be fenced and of a type that isn't just open to the public.

If you look closely, that tower was actually submitted without a category back in 2010 by outwest63. Then along came philbeer in July who submitted it to Lookout Towers. It appears to me that outwest63 knew full well that the tower didn't fit in Lookout Towers, so they submitted it uncategorized so it could wait for an appropriate category (ie. the new Fire Lookouts category in question). Philbeer, who may never have even been to the site, thought it could go in Lookout Towers when it doesn't look like it should. The fact that there isn't a photo of the inside of the tower or view from the top is pretty indicative that the tower isn't open to the public and probably shouldn't be in that category.

 

As for a Fire Lookout category, I'd fully support it. When you think about it carefully, there is very little overlap with Lookout Towers due to the "publicly accessible" criteria. The lone example of an extant Fire Lookout in my area happens to be open to the public because it was officially abandoned many years ago, but I would expect more Fire Lookouts would be closed to the public than open and would therefore not be allowed in Lookout Towers.

 

I'm curious about thebeav69's reference in the first post to the "World Historic Lookout Register". I've been unable to find such a register. If you Google it, almost all of the results are simply the same phrase saying that the NHLR is the US equivalent of the World Lookout Register, but there's no other information about it. I live in Canada, so the NHLR doesn't help me much. There's a site that lists Canadian lookouts, but there's no information for most of them other than their name and a rough location (some don't even have that!), so a world register with more information could be very helpful. Maybe that register isn't online?

 

If documentation is a requirement, that could be a problem for lookouts outside of the US. At least for Canada, there seems to be little to no available documentation for many current and former lookouts. As I mentioned above, the only online repository of Canadian fire lookouts I've been able to find is woefully light on information. I know of several locations near me that used to have lookouts and there is still evidence (concrete footings, guy-wire mounting points, etc.), but I only know these were fire lookouts by word-of-mouth. If I was asked to prove these were fire lookouts to a category officer, I probably wouldn't be able to do so. Trust me, I've already done a lot of searching to find information about these locations.

 

I look forward to seeing this go to peer review again.

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This would be an interesting category & I'd be inclined to vote yes. I couldn't locate any fire lookout register in Australia & the one you refer to - Former Fire Lookout Sites Register is US centric as, despite indicating you can view lookouts worldwide, it only lists the US states. I wouldn't bother looking for lumps of concrete in the bush & would have no way of verifying that they once supported a fire lookout. Fire lookouts here can be on top of a tower, a mountain, a building or a tree so the requirements should be broad enough to encompass all types. The majority are out of bounds to the casual visitor.

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Peer Review Version 2 coming soon...

 

Any thoughts on reviving the Fire Tower category proposal?

 

I was excited to create a writeup with a better explanation for Fire Lookouts as a separate category but got caught up in Waymarking so many locations in other categories this past year that I haven't taken the time to choose better words and arguments for this potential category. But your inquiry has gotten me thinking about typing something up again and posting it here in the forum. I'll see if I can tacke this in the next week.

Looking forward to it.

I might recommend the very start of the write up lists the reasons why the category wouldn't be totally redundant with the existing lookout category. This might help combat people who jump to conclusions, don't visit the forums, don't read the entire description, etc.

 

Supported, unconditionally.

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Yeah, very funny, Bruce :anitongue:

Edited by silverquill
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Peer Review Version 2 coming soon...

 

Any thoughts on reviving the Fire Tower category proposal?

 

I was excited to create a writeup with a better explanation for Fire Lookouts as a separate category but got caught up in Waymarking so many locations in other categories this past year that I haven't taken the time to choose better words and arguments for this potential category. But your inquiry has gotten me thinking about typing something up again and posting it here in the forum. I'll see if I can tacke this in the next week.

 

Did you make any progress on this?

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Ditto. There is a base of a fire tower at my neighbor's house, and I have historical photographs of the tower, which have been submitted to the MOGenWeb site as Washburn Fire Tower (down the page). And there are two other fire towers in the area that one cannot climb, but they are of historic interest and they are still standing in good condition.

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Still has my support. Let us know if you would like to go forward.

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If and when the Dated Architectural Structures Multifarious category makes it past Peer Review, I'll focus on this category next. It's been too long that a category devoted to Fire Lookouts has not become a reality.

 

More to come soon.

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Hey :-) The "Dated Architectural Structures Multifarious category makes it past Peer Review" is done. How about this one? Just today I created a folder of pics awaiting for category and there were a few for this one. Also I can work as an officer on this one.

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Hey :-) The "Dated Architectural Structures Multifarious category makes it past Peer Review" is done. How about this one? Just today I created a folder of pics awaiting for category and there were a few for this one. Also I can work as an officer on this one.

 

Hey, here they are with 200+ submissions already: Dated Architectural Structures Multifarious

 

If I can make a guess, I bet you tried to find this category through category page and key word in the search box, didn't you?

Do not believe this search. It's one of the site bugs - it ignores a lot of (new) categories.

I use to go to Category Master List (Full category list link) and CTRL-F there. It is complete.

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How about a renewed effort?

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It's wintertime. There's snow and rain outside. Since I'm stuck indoors, I might as well go back to the drawing board on the original category writeup I did in 2012 and see if I can get this pushed through Peer Review (again). I promise this time around the category will be well thought out and include as many variables as possible to aid the waymarker in submitting a fire lookout, whether it be still in use, closed (but accessible to the public), abandoned, or even destroyed (as long as there are ruins or visual evidence of its past). I've grown as a waymarker within the community and have a new set of eyes set on Fire Lookouts!

 

I noticed in the three-plus years since I gave this category idea any serious thought, the National Historic Lookout Register website has improved greatly. They've also embedded the worldwide lookouts from other countries on this page (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Norway, Sweden). In addition, they still have their sister website, the Former Fire Lookouts Sites Register for submitting pictures or evidence of former lookouts to their registry. These websites look fantastic now and I love the map of the USA allowing visitors to click on their home state and view all the current and past fire lookouts that exist.

 

More to come soon...

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Fellow waymarkers, before I spend the time and energy necessary to rework the Fire Lookouts category again, I thought I should reach out to the leader of the Lookout Towers category one more time to see if he will reply back to me. I've included my e-mail message to him below and I guess we'll just wait and see. As stated in my e-mail, I would personally like to see the Lookout Towers category expand to include the fire lookouts that CANNOT be climbed up for a view rather than try creating a new category. If I don't get a courtesy reply back, I may try reaching out to the Groundspeak administrators to see if they may be willing to jump into the ball game and help me along with this endeavor before I move forward.

 

Greetings, harleydavidsonandy,

 

It's been a few years since I last reached out to you as the leader of the Lookout Towers category.

 

In 2012 I sent you an e-mail regarding the possibility of editing the category to include fire lookouts that may not be accessible to the public to climb up and enjoy a view. Since the Lookout Towers category only accepts fire lookouts that can be personally accessed (go up by foot, lift, rope, ladder etc.), it leaves out hundreds of current and historical fire lookouts that can be publicly accessible for pictures and closeup inspection BUT with the limitation that many aren't open to the public to climb up for a view because of safety regulations, concern,s etc.

 

Unfortunately, you nor any other officer of the category responded to my e-mails. I responded by creating a Groundspeak forum topic here.

 

I then attempted to create a Fire Lookouts category here.

 

I was new to Waymarking in 2012 and didn't fully understand the nuances in creating a good category writeup and making a good case and it failed in Peer Review. It's now 2016 and I am going back to this category with a renewed interest in either seeing the Lookout Towers category expand to include fire lookouts that may not be publicly accessible to climb upon OR to tweak the Fire Lookouts category I created in 2012 and try sending it through Peer Review again. I'd personally prefer to see the Lookout Towers category be more inclusive and include fire lookouts that cannot be climbed up rather than try creating another category again.

 

I encourage you to read the Groundspeak forum topic (especially my last post regarding the awesome websites that cater to these fire lookouts, current and former) and give me your thoughts as to how we may work together on this. If your are interested in working together, would you also be willing to promote me as an officer so that I may add fire lookouts information to the category description? You can demote me to a regular member afterwards.

 

I've been a huge fan of fire lookouts for many years and I've visited many in my state. Unfortunately, I've only been able to submit a small fraction of them to the Lookout Towers category because so many in my state don't allow the public to climb up them, as required by your category.

 

Please reply with your thoughts as soon as conveniently possible and we can go from there.

 

Respectfully,

Doug

thebeav69

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I still support this category. It was only denied the last time because too many people thought it was redundant with look-out towers, which is not true. So what we have to do is to find a way to correct this impression in a clear but unobtrusive way.

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I think there aren't many fire lookouts in my area, but I also support this category. Will the category also include fire lookouts in urban areas? I found out that the Stadtturm (City Tower) in Enns was used as a fire lookout, but it was also a clock and a bell tower. Would that fit into a fire lookout category?

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