Lookout tower reopens for public tours

HALSEY - - The Scott Lookout Tower at the Bessey Ranger District near Halsey has reopened and tours can be scheduled with advanced notification. The Tower, originally built in 1944, is on the Nebraska Historical Register and has been a key tour attraction for visitors on the Bessey Ranger District. Scott Lookout Tower is 50-feet tall and has been used throughout the years to scan the horizon for smoke when fire danger is high. According to Tim Buskirk, Bessey District Ranger, the tower offers views of the forests and pasturelands and almost to the Dismal River, which is located approximately 10 miles south of the tower. The tower was closed to tours in 2009, to begin the extensive, comprehensive safety repairs and restoration. All plans and work were approved by the State Historical Society to assure the site's unique historical aspects would not be unintentionally altered or damaged. Buskirk said "It's great to have the tower open again to the public. We will have the tower open to the public between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. If you'd like to arrange a tour at another time, be sure to contact the office a couple of days in advance." Tours can be arranged by calling (308)-533-2257.