Yellowstone eyes last link in cellphone system
By Mike Koshmrl, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
October 18, 2012
A proposed Verizon Wireless cellphone tower at Fishing Bridge will be the last piece of Yellowstone National Park’s wireless service infrastructure.
The 100-foot-tall steel tower was included in a 2008 Wireless Communication Services Plan, an environmental assessment that called for “limited increases” in service. It’s the last tower that will go in at Yellowstone in the foreseeable future, said Bret DeYoung, Yellowstone’s branch chief of telecommunications.
“That’ll be it,” DeYoung said. “All the ones that are detailed in the Yellowstone Communications EA are already in existence.”
The site of the proposed Fishing Bridge-area tower was selected to limit coverage in the backcountry, DeYoung said.
The aim of the plan “was generally just to cover the developed areas, and minimize penetration into the backcountry,” DeYoung said.
“The public comment we received had a strong emphasis on keeping the wilderness wild.”
While the tower is not camouflaged, park officials worked to ensure it is not visible from the nearby Lake Hotel, Fishing Bridge and Lake Lodge historic districts, DeYoung said.
“It’s low on the hillside, so it’ll disappear with the trees,” he said. “We take great pride in trying to hide them. I can’t even find the thing.”
A crane and weather balloons were used to simulate the height of the proposed tower when its location was being considered.
Comments will be reviewed by the National Park Service prior to approving a permit for the tower. For a form to submit comments, click here.