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Wireless upgrade would give Yellowstone a black eye -environmentalists

From Reuters - October 12, 2017

PINEDALE, Wyoming, Oct 12 (Reuters) - A U.S. government proposal to improve cellphone service at Yellowstone National Park, including the installation of microwave dish antennas, will mar views at one of the parks most scenic spots, Mt. Washburn, an environmental group said on Thursday.

The nations oldest and arguably most famous park in the western United States is poised to become an electronic hub in violation of its mission to preserve its natural, cultural and wildlife resources, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility said.

The summit of Mt. Washburn has been the biggest destination for hikers and now its going to be like hiking to a telecommunications bunker, PEER head Jeff Ruch said by telephone. At this point, we would not be surprised if Yellowstone renamed the peak Mt. Verizon.

At issue is a plan by Yellowstone to boost cellular coverage, bandwidth and other digital information services by erecting a steel lattice structure to mount microwave dish antennas around an historic fire lookout atop Mt. Washburn, the second highest peak and a popular hiking destination in a park that sits mostly in Wyoming.

The project would relocate equipment attached to the lookout, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, to the new metal structure and also install two vaults to hold four additional microwave antennas, according to Yellowstone documents.

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