Ruining the Wilderness? Or Necessary? Verizon to Build 138-Foot Cellular Tower in Sequoia National Park, CA

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Yellowstone, cellular, selfie
Officials say the improved service at Sequoia NP will improve safety and staff communication. Credit: Yellowstone

Officials at Sequoia National Park in California have approved a plan for Verizon to build a new 138-foot cellular tower, USA Today reports, to improve the currently “very limited” service throughout the park.

Officials explained that it’s more about bringing more safety to the rugged terrain than enabling visitors to post that #BearSelfie:

“Many visitors and park staff will view the service as a welcome benefit for purposes of accessibility, coordination, communication, and safety,” Ginger Bradshaw, the park’s environmental protection specialist, told USA Today.

sequoia, cell tower, Verizon, selfie
How the tower might look in the park. Credit: NPS | Verizon

The service will also enable park officials to communicate with one another and with visitors about park conditions, and offer real-time information on weather, traffic, and more.

“Cellular service will also assist the park in providing educational and interpretive materials to park visitors, information about events and activities, maps and other services, which could enhance the visitor experience and help protect park resources,” Bradshaw said.

sequoia, cell tower, Verizon, selfie
Credit: Brigitte Werner | Pixabay

The plan for the tower was available for a public review and comment period last year. 42 comments were received, of which 17 expressed concerns about cellphone coverage.

“While some visitors may view cell phone service as an unwelcome intrusion, the National Parks Service is committed to a public education program to promote considerate use of cell phones in shared public facilities and spaces,” Bradshaw told USA Today.

The tower will be up and operational west of Wuksachi Village sometime in 2020, according to officials.

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2 thoughts on “Ruining the Wilderness? Or Necessary? Verizon to Build 138-Foot Cellular Tower in Sequoia National Park, CA

  1. I have no problem with cell phone service in national parks, if it keeps the idiots more concentrated and means fewer people in the true wilderness then I’m all for cell service. The reality is most park visitors don’t go into the backcountry , I totally agree with ray , the trade off is worth it, it’s the world we live in , though I don’t understand why so many people are dying taking pictures ? How dumb are you that you fall off a mountain taking a picture ? Put the phone down and appreciate the amazing scenery that surrounds you !

  2. All the major national parks are already sacrificed and full of tourists and tourist ammenities. It is not meant to be protected Willderness wilderness.

    If this helps keeps the tourists concentrated in that park area, let it be sacrificed so the tourists can have a good time have some appreciation for nature so they vote for things, and the human impacts contained and regionalized to just that area.

    It is a tradeoff to help keep the true wilderness protected, with as few humans as possible in true wilderness.

    Also, see Deer Valley Ski Resort, or any elitist resort.

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