KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — It really was unforgettable.
When the Fremont Point Cabin burned down, a victim of the devastating 2002 Winter Fire, Forest Service managers promised they would try to rebuild and reopen the popular historic rental cabin.
Nearly a decade later, Doug Uran hasn't forgotten that promise.
It's the second time around for Uran, the Silver Lake-Paisley Ranger District's recreation specialist. In the late 1980s, he helped preserve the 24-foot-by-16-foot cabin built in 1931 by Civilian Conservation Corps crews. After it was decommissioned for use as a fire lookout in the 1980s, the cabin was repaired and opened for public use in 1990.
Now he wants to have a new structure built on the old cabin's footprint.
"We want to rebuild something that's historically correct," Uran says.
Similar to original
Like the original, which was built to house people who manned the nearby 90-foot-tall Fremont Point Fire Lookout, the simple cabin Uran wants to build won't have electricity or running water. But, like the original, it will be located on an overlook 3,000 feet above Summer Lake and Eastern Oregon's expansive high desert.
Tim Stack, a natural resource specialist with the Fremont-Winema National Forest's Northeast Zone, which includes the Silver Lake and Paisley ranger districts, is supporting Uran's efforts.
"We want to rebuild it, but we don't have the money. We want to see if we can get a groundswell of volunteers to help," Stack says.
Because of its simple construction, he and Uran believe a new cabin can be built for about $10,000. He and others have volunteered to do the construction. Forest managers have completed most of the necessary paperwork, including a 2010 Fremont Point Cabin Reconstruction & Expansion Project environmental assessment.
Also under discussion is the formation of a Friends of the Fremont Point Cabin group to serve as a coordinating organization.
During its 12 years of operation, the cabin proved so popular that reservations were filled months in advance. Although located 36 miles from Silver Lake, the nearest community, it was being used more than 300 nights a year. Uran and Stack say that figure is more impressive because at an elevation of 7,135 feet, winter travelers had to go eight miles from the nearest road by snowmobile or on cross country skis to the cabin.
Because of that popularity, the Forest Service is proposing a second, overflow cabin along Winter Rim, 2-1/2 miles north of Fremont Point. Tentatively dubbed the Carson Cabin, the overflow cabin would be slightly smaller, 14 feet by 20 feet.
Like the Fremont, the Carson cabin would have a nearby 8-foot-by-8-foot outhouse. Both cabins would be near the Fremont National Recreation Trail while the Carson would be a quarter-mile from the Harris Trailhead and have corrals for people traveling on horseback. "We're trying to rejuvenate the interest," Stack says of rebuilding the Fremont Point Cabin and adding a second cabin.
"Our goal is to let people know what we're trying to do," Uran echoes. "We think there are a lot of people willing to help."
Information from: Herald and News, http://www.heraldandnews.com
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.