A historic cabin in Mount Rainier’s Longmire area was recently restored to be used as a bunkhouse for search and rescue staff.
On Saturday, Aug. 10, Mount Rainier National Park celebrated with a re-dedication of the cabin in the Longmire National Historic Landmark District.
“This cabin will improve the park’s ability to house volunteer staff to support an intense workload, and improve conditions for staff as well as outcomes for visitors who may require medical or SAR support,” according to a press release from the Mount Rainier National Park.
The cabin was originally built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and had fallen into disrepair.
It needed to be restored before it could be used by Search and Rescue. The funds for the restoration came from the American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s “Partners in Preservation: National Parks” campaign, which awarded $2 million to 20 parks across the country.
“Mount Rainier National Park’s search and rescue rangers do so much with so little,” Washington’s National Park Fund Executive Director Laurie Ward said. “During their missions, they often rely on volunteers from local Mountain Rescue teams to assist. This project will have a direct impact on those who serve injured or lost visitors.”
Mount Rainier National Park receives nearly 2 million visitors annually. As a result, park staff and volunteers respond to over 50 search and rescue incidents and more than 100 emergency medical events across the park, according to the press release.
Intense visitation combined with the remoteness of the park and the frequency of search of rescue calls leads to challenges with housing volunteers during searches, according to the park.
Washington's National Park Fund (WNPF) is an organization with a mission to support all three National Parks in Washington state. It served to provide additional funding from REI and private donors to complete the preservation work.