Glacier National Park Taking Comments On Communications Plan
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — New cell towers and communications gear will be built and installed in Glacier National Park in Montana, park officials said.
The National Park Service plan would designate locations for cellular infrastructure, increase the height of radio towers from 40 to 80 feet (12 to 24 meters) and move some communications equipment to a site outside the park on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, the Missoulian reported Monday.
Limitations in park communications “reduce administrative and visitor service capabilities; increase costs; limit communications for law enforcement, backcountry patrols, and resource management; can affect emergency response capabilities; and present an increased safety risk to personnel,” park officials said in a statement.
The park agency is already taking public comments for an environmental assessment and plan that would make communications improvements for both park staff and the visiting public.
The park plans to collect public scoping comments through March 9, prepare the plan and its environmental assessment by May and release a decision by July, officials said.
Opponents of the plan have argued that creating a communication infrastructure would degrade the wilderness experience.