Reprieve likely for Cornwall lookout

The Four Wheel Drive Association of BC is working on a partnership agreement with BC Parks for the decommissioned Cornwall lookout.

The Four Wheel Drive Association of BC is in negotiations with BC Parks to take over the Cornwall lookout, which was decommissioned earlier this year and scheduled for destruction.

They should know by this spring if negotiations were successful.

“One of our members in the area read about the fate of that lookout tower (in The Journal),” said Kim Reeves, president of the association.

The group already has partnership agreements with the province for the Nahatlatch Fire Tower and the Mt. Lavina Fire Lookout Tower.

Reeves says it fits right into his association’s mandate.

“We advocate for public access to public lands,” he says. “When a tower is threatened with decomissioning, the access road is lost and everything connected to it.”

Hikers, fishers, hunters and geocachers are among the many people who would use those roads.

“These are all terrific pieces of BC history,” he says.

He and his wife visited the Cornwall site in September and were happy to see that it wasn’t in bad shape. And the view was outstanding, he said.

Association member Wes Kibble from Kamloops brought the Cornwall decomissioning to the attention of the association.

“All sides are confident that we will be able to save this important piece of history,” said Kibble.

“The tower is a true piece of BC back country history that needs to be saved,” he said. “From my understanding, it is one of the last manned forest lookout station in BC, if not the last. It was closed in the early 1990’s. We are very lucky that one of our members is the last full time employee of the lookout and his insight to the project has been incredible.”

Overall, he said, the lookout is in great shape. A few weekend work parties with a good group of volunteers will make it look like new. There has been a lot of support from other outdoor enthusiasts in the Ashcroft – Cache Creek area, as well as Kamloops, 100 Mile House and points beyond. Kibble says the association will be looking for assistance in the future  for materials, labour and dollars in order to give the lookout a face lift and continue ongoing maintenance.