Thursday, May 04, 2006

Godsend or eyesore?

National Park Service officials are developing a plan to cover new wireless towers, antennas, Internet and radio services in Yellowstone National Park.

Some applaud it as a way to make a park visit easier. Others believe it is an unwanted intrusion. A cellular tower built in the Old Faithful region five years ago drew criticism from advocates of the environment and historic preservation. It was eventually shortened 20 feet from its original 100-foot height so it was less visible.

What do you think about cell phones and national parks? Do you feel unprotected when your phone doesn't work? Are you relieved to be in a place where no one is on the phone? Are you offended by the idea of the phones themselves, or the unattractive towers they require?


Roci said...

I am OK with phones. Particularly in wilderness areas, they can be very practical to call for help. They cost the park nothing and can be a source of revenue to support parks programs.

With a little creativity, you can make them look like trees and only the most observant people will even notice them.

Do people complain about the other park improvments too? (roads, fences, paved trails, bathrooms, indoor plumbing, gas station, places to eat, electricity, conventional phones, with telephone poles every 50 feet and overhead wires).

There is nothing here worth complainng about. I would rather they ban outdoor smoking in the parks. I find that much more annoying.

UltraRob said...

I think things can be done to make cell towers not too bad. I actually have a bigger problem with the phones. I go in to the outdoors to enjoy nature and to get away from the noise and distractions of the modern world. Cell phones are great in emergencies but please turn them off when out in nature.

One time when I was training for Montezuma's Revenge, I came up the back side of Gray's Peak and enjoyed the quiet and the beauty of the mountains. When I got to the summit there were at least 50 people there. Every few minutes a cell phone would ring and half a dozen people would start grabbing for their pack to see if it was their phone. It certainly wasn't my idea of enjoying being in the mountains.

Yellowstoner said...

-- It's not the phones, nor the towers. The towers can be made to be unobtrusive, the phones don't have to ring unless their owners want them too.
-- It's the sneaky way that the planners in the park go about their illegal meetings. And their "shoot visitors" attitude is a bit mind-numbing.
-- The tower at Old Faithful was cited by the contractor without respect for the viewscape, or the legal nicities of the project. It was too tall and completed before it's permit was issued.
-- The tower on Mt. Washburn is leaking radiation at dangerous levels, the park safety officer has reported it but no action has yet been taken.
-- The blatant audacity, that the administration of Yellowstone Park shows in it's disreguard for the planning process & public involvement, is sad and dangerous.
-- The park roads have destroyed many thermal features in their latest re-alignments. The culverts are inadequate in the wetland areas, and the toilets at Norris have polluted both Steamboat and Whirleygig Geysers. The spill from the sewage plants at Old Faithful and Madison are still leaking into the Firehole & Madison Rivers.
-- Both the 'upper' & 'lower' gas stations at Old Faithful have tanks that have been re-lined twice in 5 years and still leak. The above ground tanks at Canyon have had three unreported spills in the last two winters.
-- There is nothing here to complain about - unless you are ignorant of the facts.
-- Check these out: