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Fire Lookouts and Food Aug. 11
August 9, 2006

The Heritage Museum will host the Montana Committee for the Humanities Speakers Bureau program “Fire Lookouts and Food” with author and journalist Libby Langston on Friday, August 11.

The program will be at the Heritage Museum at 7:00 PM. The presentation is free and open to the public. Partial funding for the MCH Speakers Bureau program is provided by a legislative grant from Montana’s Cultural Trust. This program is part of the Smithsonian Exhibition Key Ingredients: America by Food that is touring Montana.

“Working on a lookout is like going on an extended camping trip while still enjoying all the comforts of home—a warm bed, a stocked cupboard, full kitchen facilities, hot and cold running lightning bolts, and a rattlesnake in the outhouse” wrote 27-year lookout Rod Schaefer in the Lookout Cookbook published in 2005 by Libby Langston. Chris Baker, another veteran lookout featured in the Lookout Cookbook said of her office and summer home high above Glacier National Park that “my lookout is 5 ¾ miles from the nearest road…All my supplies are packed in by mule train, and I find I can get most any ingredient up here if I’m just willing to box them correctly.” These quotes about life on a lookout are just a few images Libby Langston will describe when talking about food and eating at a remote lookout over the past century.

This speaking engagement will also include some stories from Don Hayden, a Libby resident who was in the CCC in northwest Montana and at a fire lookout on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River region in 1940. Ms. Langston will be bringing along some treats from the Lookout Cookbook for sampling.

Libby Langston is a journalist, videographer and fire educator for the U.S. Forest Service and an active member of the Forest Fire Lookout Association. As a passionate supporter of lookouts, Libby tries to rally people to preserve as many fire lookout structures as possible. By drawing attention to lookouts, the people and structures, Libby sees a continued enthusiasm across the country to protect, rather than destroy or neglect, these unique buildings. Look for a feature this year on the Discovery Channel’s “Mega Movers” to see one lookout tower in western Montana that Libby helped save. Libby is new to the MCH Speakers Bureau.

For more information, please call the Heritage Museum at 406-293-7521.

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Heritage Museum

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