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Buck Rock Foundation

Buck Rock at dawn – Matteo Geer

The Buck Rock Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the tradition of fire lookouts and other historically significant buildings in the southern Sierra Nevada. Our mission is to restore fire lookouts for the purpose of fire detection, education, interpretation and historic preservation. Our vision is to create an atmosphere where the concept of stewardship of our conservation heritage can flourish with adults and children from all walks of life.

Over the past 50 years, fire lookouts have been disappearing from our mountains at a rate of one per week. At one time there were over 8,000 towers, but now there are fewer than 1,000 in the United States with only a few hundred actually staffed and working.

Until just a few years ago, Buck Rock Lookout was left to decay into the landscape. Shuttered in the mid-80's through 1998, it was basically abandoned, used only for emergencies during the summers. In 1997, a group from the local community formed the Buck Rock Foundation with the sole purpose of saving the lookout from fading away. Working in partnership with the Sequoia National Forest, we obtained funding, recruited volunteers, and finally re-opened the lookout for good in 2000. Today, Buck Rock serves as a primary location for reporting wildfires and is open to the public 7 days a week during fire season.

The Foundation continues to work on the restoration of Buck Rock as well as other fire towers in the local Southern Sierra Nevada mountains and foothills. In addition, the Foundation recruits and trains volunteers to help staff Buck Rock and two other fire towers in the Kings River watershed - Delilah Lookout and Park Ridge Lookout - providing early fire detection protecting our communities and public lands from devastating wildfires.

The Buck Rock Foundation is an all-volunteer association with many opportunities for service.


Our accomplishments include:

Reviving three fire lookouts in the Kings River Watershed providing fire detection service to local foothill and mountain communities in the Southern Sierra Nevada.

Restoring and maintaining fire towers and guard stations - we have assisted in the rehab of The Needles, Buck Rock, Delilah, Mount Tom, and Fence Meadow Lookouts; Beach Meadow Guard Station and Big Meadows Guard Station.

Developing a comprehensive training program for volunteer and seasonal fire lookouts. Over 50 fire watchers participate in our program annually.

Creating an outdoor education program for local elementary schools and local youth camps in an effort to get more kids into the woods.

Providing interpretive programs and special events at Buck Rock Lookout.

The Buck Rock Foundation and Buck Rock Lookout have been highlighted in several magazines and newspapers and was featured on an episode of Huell Howser's "California Gold".

How to Support

The Buck Rock Foundation is an all-volunteer organization which relies soley on contributions from individuals and grants. We appreciate all donations, including those that come in the form of materials and supplies. There are many volunteer opportunities, from working as a fire watcher or helping with restoration projects, to staffing a booth during an event or fund-raising. For those that would like to make a contribution, volunteer or need more information, please visit our website at or contact us by email at [email protected]. Donations can be sent to the Buck Rock Foundation, P. O. Box 540, Squaw Valley, CA 93675. All donations are tax-deductible.

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