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Cell Phone Tower Issue At Theodore Roosevelt National Park Raises Questions Of Connectivity In National Parks

Nov 21st - 20:43pm | rmackie

Rick must agree with you, EC, others, as long as the towers are out of designated wilderness and sensibly placed, I am not opposed. High tech is here to stay, I see it every fire season up in a major iconic park. Most people use them intelligently, they are an amazing tool, On the PCT last season I ran into a really sharp guy who had started at the Mexican border.

Nov 21st - 20:16pm | ecbuck

Well Rick, you are mellowing in your old age ;)  I'm not a fan of towers in the backcountry but if coverage can be achieved with minimal visible impact, I am with you.  There are far more potential benefits that overwhelm a few potential (rude) distractions.  And best wishes on your health.  Getting out in the Parks is always therapeutic.

Nov 21st - 19:35pm | Rick B.

My opinions in this issue are populated by two thoughts --- one, a combination of my 20+ year history in EMS along with my personal failing physical health, and two, the fact that the technology of creating cell towers that aesthetically mimic tall trees continues to improve.  

Nov 21st - 15:40pm | ecbuck

 I do not want to hear their conversations which are usually loud and totally without meaning. That happens whether they have phones or not.  Many people are just plain rude.  Denying them a cell phone isn't going to change that.  

Nov 21st - 15:04pm | Harryb3570

I vote no on the addition of cell towers to our large national parks. Just because we have the technology to connect everyone in a park using their cell phones does not mean we should do it.

Nov 21st - 08:11am | momakasue

Unacknowledged is the reliance on cell phone GPS, maps, etc.  which have proved unreliable even in more urban settings.  While one could argue that those who don't know to have map and compass backup should not be in wilderness, the availabilitiy of coverage misleads the uninformed/uninitiated. False safety.

Nov 20th - 19:32pm | Laura Horton

I still argue that this is a safety issue. There are major dead zones along certain roads and it can take up to 35 minutes to get into coverage areas or find a landline. I have experienced this first hand while traveling from Canyon to Norris and came upon a dangerous situation for a grizzly with visitors behaving badly. If you don't want coverage in the backcountry, don't take a device in.

Nov 20th - 18:55pm | ecbuck

You have it wrong Ruth.  They don't want to just control how they enjoy the parks, they want to dictate to you how YOU should enjoy the parks.  Afterall, they know better how you should live your life.  

Nov 20th - 16:17pm | Ruth

if you don't want connectivity, don't bring your cellphone along. For those of us that rely on connectivity to maintain employment, connectivity is essential. 

Nov 20th - 16:17pm | ecbuck

Samsam or Debby, could you tell me who or what is being harmed by radio waves going through the Wilderness?

Nov 20th - 14:14pm | Debby Trunnell

No connectivity 

Nov 20th - 13:02pm | samsam

Why call it wilderness if its not really that? Wilderness - the last frontier - will be gone in a decade.

Nov 20th - 09:30am | ecbuck

I understand 100% not wanting to put mar the landscape by putting towers into a Wilderness area.  That clearly has a negative impact for all visitors.  But to argue that PEER or anyone else should dictate whether an individual can use a cell phone or any other technology that has no impact on other users is just ridiculous.

UPDATED: Obama Administration Withdraws 30,000 Acres Near Yellowstone From New Mining Claims

Nov 21st - 18:14pm | Lee Dalton

And the next president likes to have everything covered with gold leaf.

Nov 21st - 14:12pm | Rick B.

My fear is that any good that one President can do to protect the land can be undone by fiat of the next President.

Yellowstone National Park Lone Dissenter To Plan For Managing Grizzly Bears If They Are Delisted From ESA

Nov 21st - 14:46pm | Owen Hoffman

Robert Aland claims that Federal and State officials use a mathematical formula to estimate the size of the number of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and that they manipulate the inputs to their "abstract" equations to obtain a preferried conclusion.  If this were true, it would be a clear example of scientific malpractice.

Nov 21st - 09:24am | Rick Smith

Hooray for Dan Wenk and the Yellowstone staff.

Nov 20th - 21:54pm | Robert Aland

There is only one method to obtain an accurate count of the number of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem:  An actual physical count.  Of course, a physical count is  not possible as a practical matter.  Thus, those federal and state officials who are responsible for "managing" the GYE bears happily resort to an abstract mathematical formula,

UPDATED: Fort Sumter National Monument Honored With 25-Cent Piece

Nov 21st - 12:52pm | Kurt Repanshek

Nice catch, samwise. No great excuse, just one of those things. We've got it fixed now.

Nov 21st - 12:43pm | samwisep86

"...while under attack from British ships during the Civil War." Something's not quite right here...

By the Numbers: Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

Nov 21st - 11:45am | [email protected]


Nov 21st - 08:45am | ecbuck

Deborah, the Indians consisted of many different tribes.  Their history prior to the "white mans" landing was one of wars and land acquisition from each other.  Such has been the history of the world.  

Nov 21st - 03:06am | Deborah W.

I totally disagree - first the Indians didn't conquer anyone for the land - they migrated here from Europe - technically from Africa via Europe and Asia across the tundrra in Russia - across the Bering Sea (which was land at the time) and were the original settlers of North America.  We stole the land from them, often killing them with our diseases (Indians had no crowd communicable diseas

Angels Landing In Zion National Park To Close Thursday For Cleaning

Nov 20th - 21:55pm | ecbuck

F35 may not be funding worthy but given our defense spending as a  %  is at historical lows, I don't see taking the funding from defense ( a Constitutionally enumerated power) as opposed to the entitlements pool.  

Nov 20th - 20:48pm | Dana Baird

totally agree.   peemits for this and even the narrows bottom up should be implemented.   it felt like Disneyland rather than a spiritual place that I love!

Nov 19th - 21:54pm | Lee Dalton

One good place to start would be by scrapping the F35.  They are grounded again for yet another "technical" problem.   But Congress had declared that they WILL fly whether the armed forces want them or not -- and whether or not they actually work.

Nov 19th - 19:21pm | ecbuck

Mike, I agree with you.  Where do you think we should cut spending to increase spending for the parks?

Nov 19th - 16:58pm | Mike Ranier

The American public, particularly those who love the NPS and the parks, should be ashamed of how little money is budgeted to the NPS by a Congress AND an executive branch that simply don't care about prioritizing funding for our failing parks. No money, no staff, lots of abuse by uncaring visitors. 

Fence Proposed To Keep ORVs, Target Shooters Out Of Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument

Nov 20th - 21:41pm | ecbuck

Lee, agree 100%

Nov 20th - 21:29pm | Lee Dalton

The problem is NOT responsible shooting or ORV use.  It's the irresponsible kind that plagues our public lands.  For the irresponsible ones, signs mean nothing.  Signs just become additional targets.

Nov 20th - 21:04pm | ecbuck

Dick, I agree there should be a source of funds whenever a new unit is established.  On the otherhand, there is no excuse to trash someone elses property whether it be a National Park, BLM Land, National Forest or your neighbor's yard.  

Nov 20th - 20:05pm | Dick

If the issue is trash, then it shouldn't matter which federal agency manages the land. Dumping is illegal on BLM and NPS lands. If the issue is responsible recreational shooting or ORV use, it falls upon the NPS to properly demarcate the boundary of the Park. Congress should have appropriated additional funds for this purpose when the Park was established back in '14.

Nov 20th - 17:25pm | Rick B.

Pretty lousy way to treat anyone's property, not just the Park's. My impression is that if it isn't your own personal property, don't take a dump on it, so to speak.

Nov 20th - 17:00pm | Lee Dalton

Maybe so, Dick.  But is that reasonable excuse for trashing the place?

Nov 20th - 13:53pm | Dick

I'm somewhat sympathetic to those who continue to use the land as they had for many years in the past. There is virtually no signage or identifiable boundary markings for the Tule Springs Fossil Beds NM. I'd venture to guess that most people have no idea the area is national parkland. Another unfunded mandate from our "friends" in Congress...

Nov 20th - 11:04am | Lee Dalton

A fence?  Yes! But this is a continuing problem not only at Tule Springs, but throughout virtually all our western lands. When it comes to trying to deal with ATV users who have no common sense, how about adding a mine field?  

House Committee Grills National Park Service Deputy Director Over Misconduct

Nov 20th - 11:51am | [email protected]

I worked at the Grand Canyon National Park at the El Tovar Historical Hotel.  Everyone lived under a blanket of fear due to the threat of termination of employment for any reason, at anytime.  The problem is, if you get terminated, you loose your home and you have to relocate with out any advanced notice.  I have seen people devestated over it.

Three Days In Big Bend National Park

Nov 20th - 10:17am | Lee Dalton

Thank you very much, Dick. 

Nov 20th - 02:15am | Dick Shattuck


Nov 20th - 02:02am | Dick Shattuck

Actually, the Basin Campground in the Chisos is open, and I believe has not been closed at all during the bear activity, unless it was just briefly at the time of your post.   From the NPS Big Bend site on Nov 20:   "The Lost Mine Trail and some backcountry campsites in the Chisos Mountains are closed until further notice due to increased bear activity."

Traveler's View: Concerning Times For National Park System

Nov 19th - 23:09pm | Lee Dalton

I agree, Ron.  But the main point of Ms. Noonan's column was that we're stuck with him, so we have no choice but to try to make the best of it.

Nov 19th - 21:43pm | rmackie

Lee, I did read the column, must say I was not impressed. I am neither smart enough or informed enough to venture any expert opinions. From the election data I have researched, Secretary Clinton won the popular vote by a million plus. Peggy is right about the nonvoters, almost 1/2 of our citizens did not vote. Mr.

Nov 19th - 12:29pm | Harryb3570

Thank you

Nov 19th - 12:28pm | Lee Dalton

Peggy Noonan's post election Wall Street Journal column just became available online.  As usual it is worth reading and considering.  Here's a link:

Nov 19th - 12:21pm | Harryb3570

Much of the future well-being of our parks and other public lands will depend on who is named as the next Secretary of the Interior and Director of the National Park Service. Does anyone know the names of the  candidates for these positions?

Nov 19th - 12:11pm | Lee Dalton

Prospects are not looking good for environmental policies under Trump.  He has a fella named Myron Ebell working to help find cabinet members who will make environmental decisions.  Ebell is a top dog in Competetive Enterprise Institute.  That's a Koch funded organization with the stated objectives of rolling back most of the clean energy polices now in place; dismantling all of

Nov 19th - 09:32am | CWA

Some commentators are optimistic about the incoming administration; I hope you're right.

10 New National Historic Landmarks Illustrating America's Diverse History, Culture

Nov 19th - 21:00pm | wild places

Interesting tidbits of history but given the HUGE budget shortfall it hardly seems like a wise move to be adding more. Bigger is not always better.

Reader Participation Day: Will Expanded Wi-Fi Enhance The National Park Experience?

Nov 19th - 09:49am | Margaret Stocker

As a RV volunteer at national parks and other national recreational facilities, access to wi-fi is among the incentives for me to give my time and the expense of going to a park that is distant from my home territory.  In fact, it's essential.

Interactive Exhibits Part Of New Look For Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

Nov 18th - 18:44pm | Rick B.

My wife was the curator for this collection for some years before we left Alaska last summer. At various times nearly all park staff and many local citizens were able to contribute to the efforts. We're glad to hear of this success as well as Jeff Smith's Parlor.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

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