Partnering to Protect Wilderness
Completed on Oct. 5, 1911, the Kendrick Mountain Lookout Cabin was first staffed during the 1912 fire season. It is the second oldest remaining fire lookout cabin in the Southwestern Region and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Students from the Wilderness Management Class have collaborated closely with Kaibab National Forest resource specialists to focus on management of Kendrick Mountain Wilderness, a 6,660-acre area that encompasses Kendrick Peak, one the highest peaks in the San Francisco volcanic field, on both the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests. On top of Kendrick Mountain is a fire lookout tower and cabin, which have been important for many decades in the detection of wildland fires.
Over the years, several hundred students have participated, and the partnership has blossomed into a valued collaboration that includes other agencies such as Arizona Game and Fish Department, National Park Service, and Coconino County Search and Rescue.
Since spring 2000, the Forest Service has been teaming the School of Forestry and their Wilderness Management Class at Northern Arizona University on an educational partnership to assist the agency with managing wilderness areas while also providing students with practical land management experience.
During the 2017 Boundary Fire, which encompassed the Kaibab and Coconino National Forests, archaeologists and firefighters worked together to protect the historic Kendrick Mountain Lookout Cabin by wrapping the cabin. The use of fire-resistant fabric, known as Aluminized Fiberglass Fabric (AFF), aka Aluminized Structure Wrap (ASW), to cover and protect structures against wildfires, is a well proven and effective technique. The aluminum surface reflects more than 95% of radiant heat while the inflammable heat-resistant fabric provides thermal insulation.
Northern Arizona University students have and continue to provide important assistance to forest managers in helping maintain the cabin and complete critical repair work. As part of their efforts to ensure long-term survival of the historic site, the students have created a Kendrick Mountain Cabin Facebook Page to share their projects, perspectives and experiences. To find the Kendrick cabin follow the Kendrick Mountain Trail #22 and near the top of the climb is the cabin right before the Kendrick Mountain Fire Lookout. We hope that you’ll take a look and learn about the value of this special site.