In the early days of the U.S. Forest Service, pack animals carried critical supplies and equipment to crews fighting forest fires. In 1929, a severe fire season exhausted the supply of trained mules and skilled packers. Forced to use unbroken…

The U.S. Forest Service USFS moved the district headquarters for the Middle Fork drainage to Schafer Ranger Station in 1925. Schafer Creek was one of the few sites in a region noted for its rocky narrow canyons that had the water, building material,…

Constructed in 1939, the bunkhouse now known as the Boys Dorm has an L-shaped plan with a small porch marking the entrance. Small gables interrupt the roofline, bringing light into the interior. The one-story cross-gable building provided housing…

In 1930, three years after building the Ranger’s House, the Forest Service constructed this one-and-one-half-story, shingle-clad building. First used as a warehouse, it features a high gambrel roof and a screened-in single-story entrance porch.…

In 1917-18, the Forest Service recognized the Big Creek Ranger Station as the “most important secondary protection station site in the Lower North Fork district.” Ten years later, the Forest Service reinforced the designation by building this…

Little was known about Montana’s vast, unmapped wilderness when presidential proclamations set aside U.S. forest reserves during the 1890s. In 1904, this site became one of the region’s first year-round ranger stations. Ample water, land suitable…