US Forest Service to remove monuments at fire tower location


The U.S. Forest Service will be removing several monuments set up by citizens if they are not removed themselves, according to a press release.

There are several remembrances of deceased pets set up at the Newport Simmons Fire Tower by members of the public. The U.S. Forest Service reminds the public that placing private memorials or remains on national forest lands is prohibited.

"We are sympathetic to folks who have lost pets, but this is not the right place to memorialize them," said Croatan District Ranger Cody Hutchinson. "We are requesting that the people who placed the monuments remove them from the historic fire tower site."

Any remaining monuments will be removed by Forest Service staff on June 15 and held at the Croatan Ranger District office for 30 days for owner pick-up.

The Newport Fire Tower was built in 1935 by the African American Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Patterson and later named in honor of fallen World War II veteran, Furnifold McLendel Simmons. Before serving in the war, Simmons manned the lookout from 1935 to 1943. The tower is the last of six fire towers still standing on the Croatan National Forest and is the last standing structure to have been built by Camp Patterson. It is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

For more information, contact the Croatan Ranger District office at (252) 638-5628.