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Comment Needed (and a Poll)

Poll Results: Expand Cell Coverage in Yellowstone Park?

Poll expired: Nov 23, 2008  
  • 5% (2)
    I've been to Yellowstone and I support expanded cell coverage.
  • 71% (28)
    I've been to Yellowstone and I oppose expanded cell coverage.
  • 5% (2)
    I've never been to Yellowstone and I support expanded cell coverage.
  • 17% (7)
    I've never been to Yellowstone and I oppose expanded cell coverage.
39 Total Votes  
post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hi, all.

As many of you probably know, I live in Jackson Hole. We're only a few miles from Yellowstone National Park, which I consider to be one of the most amazing places on earth.

The Park is currently considering a number of alternatives with regard to cell phone and wireless internet availability in Yellowstone. The Park Service has been under considerable pressure to expand service within the Park. They are accepting public comment for about another week, so I hope that any of you who feel strongly one way or the other will mail (you can't phone, fax, or email) your opinions to the address below.

I'd love to see people's comments on how you feel about this. The primary argument FOR expanded coverage is safety and convenience. The primary argument AGAINST is visual pollution and solitude.

What do you think?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2008 08-080
Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2015
----------------------------------------------------
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE
----------------------------------------------------


Yellowstone National Park Seeks Public Comment On Future Of Cell Phones And WiFi

Yellowstone National Park has completed work on a plan which addresses the future of wireless communications in the park.
The Wireless Communication Services Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) is now available for public review and comment. It addresses a wide range of wireless technologies, including cellular telephones and wireless internet service.
Under the preferred alternative, cell towers would be excluded from recommended wilderness, from along park road corridors, and from minor developed areas such as Norris and Madison.
The preferred alternative would restrict towers, antennas, and wireless service to a few developed areas, in order to protect park resources and limit the impact on park visitors. This would limit cell service to major park developments and would limit WiFi service to hotels and stores. Cell phone reception outside developed areas is not intended, and therefore would be variable and should not be expected.
In addition, the preferred alternative calls for moving the current cell tower at Old Faithful to reduce its visibility from the historic district and geyser basin, improving and consolidating communications facilities on Mt. Washburn, and adding cellular service to the Lake and Fishing Bridge area.
The environmental assessment also calls for Yellowstone to actively promote the courteous and respectful use of cell phones and WiFi devices.
Two public meeting have been scheduled to help the public learn more about the plan:
Bozeman, MT: Wednesday, October 1, from 6-9 p.m., at the Bozeman Public Library, 626 East Main
Idaho Falls, ID: Thursday, October 2, from 6-9 p.m., at the U.S. Forest Service Office, 1405 Hollipark Drive

The environmental assessment and an electronic form to submit comments on the Internet can be found at the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov. The document is also available on CD or in hard copy by writing the Yellowstone Center for Resources, Wireless Communication Plan EA, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.
post #2 of 10
I've been to Yellowstone numerous times and I'd say no to the proposal. The more connectivity I have at the office, at home, in the car the more I value the times I get away from it.

My primary thought about Yellowstone and development has always been "isn't this one place that we can just leave alone..."
post #3 of 10
The last thing YSNP needs is expanded cell phone coverage and wireless internet. I've extensively backpacked in the Park. One thing that has remained constant over the years is that once you get a 1/2 mile down most trails, you rarely see any humans. Last September, my crew backpaced from the Pelican Valley TH (near Fishing Bridge) to the Lamar River Valley TH (on the NE Entrance Road). We saw one Ranger and a day hiker for a few miles when we began and not another soul until we neared the end of our hike 4 days later. I believe expanded cell phone coverage will put more people out on the trails (people without the skills to be there) because they will see the cell phone as a safety net - this is not a good thing.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmerz View Post
I've been to Yellowstone numerous times and I'd say no to the proposal. The more connectivity I have at the office, at home, in the car the more I value the times I get away from it.

My primary thought about Yellowstone and development has always been "isn't this one place that we can just leave alone..."
Thanks for your thoughts, gregmerz.

It's reached the point where you can't sit in a public place anywhere (except maybe Yellowstone Park?) without being treated to the dubious honor of listening to other people's constant conversations about every subject under the sun. The thought of standing at Artist's Point looking at the magnificent waterfalls of the Yellowstone River and then having to listen to some loudmouth talk about his golf game/stock portfolio/business deal or whatever just makes me nauseous.

Worse yet is the idea that city kids, who hardly ever see our natural world anymore, will sit in the car staring at little screens texting their friends back home rather than viewing one of the most wonderful places there is.

I agree with you completely... isn't this ONE place that we can just leave alone????

Also, this is just my opinion. I'm sincerely interested in how many of you would LIKE to see cell coverage in Yellowstone. It's an anonymous poll, so please feel free to vote if that's how you feel. I don't agree, but I'd love to see you express your feelings.

I'll also mention here that since most of you who vote will probably not take the time to actually send a comment to the Park Service, I am going to compile the votes and comments (pro and con) and send them off myself before the end of the comment period.

I'm already amazed at the response in just a few minutes. Please keep voting.
post #5 of 10
Never been, but want to.

Are they going to make the cell towers look like trees? Reminds me of the old (70's?) fake X-mass trees...

IMHO wireless internet and cellphones are 2 completely different issues. I don't really like the idea of either.
post #6 of 10
Maybe the Park Service can pony up for some satellite phones for park rangers, especially backcountry rangers, so that they can keep in touch with each other and with the outside world. Maybe they already have something like that, I don't know.

Or the park (or park concessionaires) could offer satphones for rent for people who have legitimate backcountry permits and who want to have that kind of lifeline in the wilderness. Other than that, I think having to live with a "no service" cell-phone message while hiking in Slough Creek second meadow is a good thing, a very good thing.
post #7 of 10
I've been to Yellowstone and oppose the expanded coverage. I indeed want to get away from it all.

I am very passive agressive, but when someone pulls out a pager, cell phone, bluetooth, etc., when I'm out in the wilderness, I want to smash it with a hammer!
post #8 of 10
No cell phones and no electricity. Too many cars and too many roads. And then there's the snowmachines.

Feeding the animals

I guess I vote no to more cell phone service Call me a tree hugger or an environmentalist (I'm not) but Yellowstone is the jewel of our national parks. Once the towers go up it's hard to take them down.
post #9 of 10
Next thing you know they're gonna put up wind power generators.
post #10 of 10
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