The National Park Service (NPS) is reviewing a proposal by Verizon Wireless to construct a cell phone tower to serve the Lake and Fishing Bridge areas of Yellowstone National Park.
The Lake/Fishing Bridge area is the only location in the park where construction of a new cell tower was permitted under the park's Wireless Communications Services Plan Environmental Assessment (Wireless Plan EA).
The proposed 100 foot tall gray steel lattice tower and accompanying ground facilities would be erected at an existing utility site, next to existing telephone and electric lines.
A crane and weather balloons were used to simulate the height of the proposed tower in order to ensure that it would not be visible from the nearby Lake Hotel, Fishing Bridge and Lake Lodge historic districts. This particular site was also selected in order to minimize the cell signal's reach into the park's backcountry.
Additional details including the categorical exclusion, a minor amendment to the Wireless Plan EA, and an electronic form to submit comments on the internet can be found online.
Written comments may be submitted through the Web site, in person or by mail to Compliance Office, Attention: Lake Cell Tower Proposal, National Park Service, and P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190. Comments must be received or postmarked by midnight, November 16, 2012. Comments will not be accepted by phone, fax, or e-mail, and submitted responses may be made publicly available at any time.
Comments will be reviewed by the NPS prior to approving a right-of-way permit for the facility.
If the right-of-way permit is approved, construction would begin later this fall or in early 2013.
What are your thoughts on this? I saw comments on Glacier's Facebook page from a couple of people calling for cell phone coverage in Glacier in light of the two missing hikers that searchers are currently looking for. Are we as a society so addicted to our cell phones that we can no longer visit a national park or go into the wilderness without having to be connected to the outside world? What is wilderness? Why were national parks created in the first place? At some point can't we just say "no" to technology?
Hikes in Glacier National Park