Grouse Ridge Lookout Restoration Gears Up for Field Season - Updated 1/12

Nevada City …… Although heavy snow this year may limit access until mid summer once again, the Grouse Ridge Restoration volunteers are planning several events to continue the restoration and fundraising efforts. According the Larry Gruver, volunteer project coordinator, several work weekends will be hosted this season, both at the lookout and in the Nevada City/Grass Valley area. “One work day is planned locally to paint all the siding and trim. And before work on the actual lookout can be done by public volunteers, some preliminary work will be done by the Forest Service and licensed contractor volunteers to complete the hazard mitigation on the lower part of the lookout, reconstruct the outhouse, and cement work. Later in the summer, several work days will be scheduled once the pre-work is completed. The big unknown right now is when snow melt will allow access,” stated Gruver.

Grouse History
The lookout was constructed in 1923 and has not been used since 1970’s. Intense summer sun, winter storms, and vandals have taken their toll on the building. The interior was gutted, windows broken, and cabinets damaged. The exterior has suffered as well. Monetary donations will be used to buy supplies/materials for the restoration with the labor being donated by the restoration team. Once restored, the lookout will be a rental facility in the Tahoe National Forest. Last season, the hazard mitigation was completed for the upper portion or “cab” of the lookout by volunteer contractors, Wagner Construction Group and Element 26.

Not for Profit Organization
The restoration effort is a part of the Forest Fire Lookout Association, a not for profit organization so that all donations are tax deductible. “Once the lookout is restored, the lookout will be available to the public to rent. The rental fee will help maintain the facility. What we need now is the funding for supplies. We estimate that it will cost $26,000 for materials,” stated Larry Gruver. The Forest Service and the Nevada and Placer County Resource Advisory Committee both provided about $10,000 for supplies.

Location: Grouse Ridge Lookout is located north of I-80, about half way between Nevada City and Truckee, overlooking the popular Grouse Lakes/Bowman Reservoir area.

Updated 1/30/12