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Tupper Triad gives to Mount Arab

Larry Lee, treasurer for the Friends of Mount Arab, accepts a $1,000 donation check from Katie Stuart, Tupper Lake regional marketing manager for the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, on behalf of the Tupper Lake Triad. ROOST manages the Triad, which challenges hikers to summit Mount Arab, Goodman Mountain and Coney Mountain. (Photo provided)

TUPPER LAKE — Tupper Lake Triad continues the tradition of supporting mountain restoration efforts with a $1,000 contribution to the Friends of Mount Arab (FOMA).

FOMA is a nonprofit volunteer organization formed in September 1997. Working with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, FOMA’s mission is to preserve and restore the fire tower and observer’s cabin on Mount Arab to a safe condition, and to educate the public on the human and natural history of the site. Part of that mission is encouraging proper stewardship of our wild places and historical sites.

“Over the years, FOMA has made a great deal of progress restoring and maintaining the tower and cabin on Mount Arab,” said Dick Bentley, chairman of FOMA. “In 23 years, we’ve created a mountaintop museum, added a new outhouse, built two benches and made great strides restoring the steel fire tower, which was originally built in 1918, including installation of new steps, landings and floors, safety caging on the stairway, and new footings and anchor bolts to secure the tower to the bedrock. Of course, these were pricey projects, and more will come up as part of routine maintenance. As a volunteer organization, donations, like this one from the Triad, are critical to our success.”

Within the last decade, FOMA has also installed a map table in the tower cab, panoramic panels above the tower windows, and added new, aluminum-framed Plexiglas windows. The Student Conservation Association also gave the tower a fresh coat of special “rust grip” paint.

Apart from physical maintenance, FOMA has also heavily invested in education. For many years, a summit steward has been employed by FOMA to enhance visitors’ experience.

The fire tower and ranger cabin atop Mount Arab are restored, thanks to Friends of Mount Arab. (Photo provided)

“The steward has considerable knowledge of the site and its history,” said Piercefield Town Supervisor Neil Pickering. “This is an incredible asset to our community. Visitors young and old can ask questions and gain a better understanding of the area and the people who have dedicated time to preserving the history.”

Tupper Lake Triad was established by Charlie Hoffer, a retired physical education teacher in Tupper Lake. The challenge consists of the three family-friendly hikes of Goodman Mountain, Coney Mountain and Mount Arab. In the spring of 2018, management of the Tupper Lake Triad was transferred to the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism and currently operates out of ROOST’s Tupper Lake office on Park Street.

“When Mr. Hoffer created the Tupper Lake Triad hiking challenge, he not only created a unique experience for people, but he also set an excellent precedence of donating a portion of the proceeds back to organizations, like the Friends of Mount Arab, who are working to improve and enhance our outdoor experiences,” said Katie Stuart, the Tupper Lake regional marketing manager with ROOST. “We are pleased to be able to honor the agreement to continue that tradition and look forward to continuing to work with the Friends of Mount Arab in the future.”

ROOST is the destination marketing and management organization for Essex counties and Hamilton counties, along with the communities of Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake, all located within the Adirondacks. In addition to the hiking challenge, ROOST launched a new Tupper Lake Triad Paddling Challenge in 2020.

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