Yellowstone National Park seeks public comment
On future of cell phones and WiFi in the park
by National Park Service
September 17, 2008
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, Montana: Wednesday, October 1, from 6-9 p.m., at the Bozeman Public Library, 626 East Main
Idaho Falls, Idaho: 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.
The review and comment period will run for 45 days. Written comments may be submitted through the PEPC website, in person, or by mail. Comments will not be accepted by phone, fax, or e-mail. All public comments must be received or postmarked by midnight, October 31, 2008.