Yellowstone National Park officials have extended for 30 days the public comment period on a proposal to erect a 100-foot-tall cell tower to serve the Lake and Fishing Bridge areas of the park.
According to park officials, the Lake/Fishing Bridge area is the only location in the park where construction of a new cell tower was permitted under the park’s Wireless Communications Services Plan Environmental Assessment.
Initially, the comment period on the proposal was to run through November 16. Park officials on Monday announced, without explanation, the decision to extend the period through December 17.
The proposed gray steel lattice tower and accompanying ground facilities would be erected at an existing utility site, next to existing telephone and electric lines. However, the tower as proposed would rise 30 feet above the surrounding tree tops.
Yellowstone guidelines "state that towers taller than 20 feet above the surrounding tree height require a detailed explanation of why a shorter installation is not feasible," park documents note, adding that, "The extra ten feet of height in this case avoids the need to construct additional towers in the area in the future. Designing the tower with an extra ten feet will promote site-sharing by multiple users, consistent with the 2008 Wireless Plan EA."
Information relating to the proposal, including documentation regarding compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, as well as an electronic form to submit comments on the internet can be found online.
Written comments may be submitted through the web site, in person or by mail to Compliance Office, Attention: Lake Cell Tower Proposal, National Park Service, and P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.
Comments will be reviewed by the NPS prior to approving a right-of-way permit for the facility. If the right-of-way permit is approved, construction would begin in early 2013.