Yellowstone National Park officials, in an effort to limit electronic intrusions in the park, are banning cellphone towers in campgrounds and recommended wilderness and limiting wireless access in some hotels.
Additionally, they say they will work to relocate the existing cell tower at Old Faithful and to reduce the visual impacts of cell equipment on Mount Washburn.
The restrictions, which some might find too stringent and others not stringent enough, come amid the explosion of electronic communications, whether by cellphone or the Internet.
"Wireless communications in Yellowstone will be allowed in very limited areas to provide for visitor safety and to enhance park operations," park officials said Monday in releasing the plan. "The plan restricts towers, antennas, and wireless services to a few limited locations in the park in order to protect park resources and limit the impact on park visitors."
Yellowstone last fall released an environmental assessment on the proposal to erect more cell towers in the park. You can find that document, which later had changes integrated to reflect public comments, at this site.
Plans addressing wireless communications have been completed or are under way at other National Park Service sites, including Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Nevada and Arizona, and Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC.
Yellowstone's plan prohibits cell towers in recommended wilderness, in campgrounds, or along park road corridors. No cell phone service will be allowed in the vast majority of Yellowstone. Cell service is currently limited to the immediate vicinity of Canyon, Grant Village, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Old Faithful. The park would accept proposals to establish cell service for the Fishing Bridge/Lake Village area.
In Yellowstone, "Park concessioners would be allowed to offer Wi-Fi service in some buildings. In response to comments, Wi-Fi will be prohibited in the Old Faithful Inn and the Lake Hotel in order to preserve the historic lodging experience. Concession operators will be permitted to offer Wi-Fi service in other park lodging and general stores."
The plan also calls for Yellowstone to actively promote the courteous and respectful use of cell phones and Wi-Fi devices and to establish and sign "cell phone free zones" in the park.