Daily visits to the Lookout Tower are estimated to contribute approximately $75 to the local economy.
Old fire towers and lookout sites have heritage and recreational value, drawing tourists and locals alike. The Woss Fire Lookout, a unique heritage model built in the 1940s, offers spectacular views of mountains and valleys in the Nimpkish region. However, due to major water damage and deterioration, the structure’s poor condition makes it unsafe for public access.
Balancing historical values with practical solutions, it was decided the old lookout should be dismantled. In its place, a replica tower using modern construction was built. Weather and vandal-resistant building materials were used to ensure the life of the new structure, while some original wall panels and siding were salvaged and re-used. Other components, such as the old wooden cistern and cedar eaves, were repaired and incorporated into the new tower. Directional and interpretive signs were also installed. A helicopter landing pad was created to enable construction in the hard-to-reach area and the trailhead and parking area were also improved.
The community of Woss, established as a logging camp, has a long history of forestry. The construction of a new fire lookout complements existing forestry attractions, as well as new attractions planned for Heritage Park. There is a niche tourism market of visitors with a passion for fire lookouts and other forestry related experiences and it is expected that the project will create additional visitation and business opportunities in Woss and other nearby North Island communities.