Backcountry Cell Towers

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maverick
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Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by maverick » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:40 am

https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2 ... iOtE_zXgv8

Is this the beginning of cell towers flooding the backcountry? Where do you stand on this, good idea or bad idea, and why?


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rightstar76
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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by rightstar76 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:40 am

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Last edited by rightstar76 on Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by rlown » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:48 am

Yes in the front country. No in the back country. Next they'll want cellphone recharging stations as well.
Front country is easy as they already have underground services there. Back country, they do not.

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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:16 pm

On public land, OK, but NOT in Wilderness. The tower featured is next to a lodge. I see nothing wrong with that. For example, I appreciate cell coverage when I am in Yosemite Valley. I would actually like to see removal of some permanent fixtures in the wilderness, such as trail signs. You really do not even need these anymore, given most people have a GPS.

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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by markskor » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:54 pm

Related story...
Up in Tuolumne Meadows, after the heavy winter two years past, there was no summer cell or wifi service...zero. It was great! We did get newspapers...Go Dodgers!
Turns out that winter's storm knocked out Yosemite's repeating station on the Valley rim up above Indian Canyon, suffered a major avalanche there too...BTW, still an active zone to this day. Today, one of those "trees" now temporarily resides up near May Lake, and as of last September, provides the spotty cell service to the Meadows... Only Verizon though, no AT&T.
Interesting observation about all the electronically "geared-up" hikers - (PCT, some JMT) coming through ...complaining daily about the lack of connectivity. "How am I supposed to do my blog?"
Our standard response...20 miles east (Lee Vining), or 38 miles west to Crane Flat.
We do have a re-charging station at the store though.
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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by LMBSGV » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:33 pm

Another vote for yes in the front country and no in the back country. If it's designated wilderness that means no phone service except in those few locations on high ridges and peaks where you get reception from somewhere far away. For example, I once got reception on the ridge by Lower Twin Island Lake above the North Fork. If someone wants emergency contact, then carry an InReach, SPOT, satellite phone, or PLB. Wilderness is not for staying in touch with your social networks. If you need to be in daily contact with social networks, than wilderness travel is not for you.

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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by balzaccom » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:06 pm

Another related story. I was working with a trail crew down in the bottom of Summit City Canyon--one of the more isolated and wild places in the Sierra--no through trails at all, and we were working to make the only trail in our area passable. But that night I had cell phone coverage, because towering over the Mokelumne River on the far side of the canyon was Bear Valley with its own cell tower. '

My wife was quite surprised to hear from me that night!
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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by Tom_H » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:44 pm

rlown wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:48 am
Yes in the front country. No in the back country. Next they'll want cellphone recharging stations as well.
Front country is easy as they already have underground services there. Back country, they do not.
Spot on answer. They will only put them where they can make money. In Yosemite Valley and along major Yellowstone routes, there is enough demand. In the backcountry, there isn't enough demand to justify the cost of the equipment. SpaceX's Starlink constellation will drive down the cost of simply taking a sat phone with you wherever you go on Earth. Cell phones will likely be able to switch between cell towers and satellites as needed.

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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by creekfeet » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:14 pm

Having cellphone towers in designated wilderness shouldn't even be up for debate. I'm also strongly opposed to there being any coverage in national parks be it frontcountry or backcountry, unless it's a park that's close to a city and it's unavoidable. When the NPS was first established, a large part of the rationale was not just protecting invaluable resources, but preserving a space where people could essentially escape from the modern world and get a semblance of what life was like in a simpler time. I used to spend my summers working in Sequoia, and one of my greatest joys was on my move-in day to stop in Lemon Cove, fill up on gas, and change my my voicemail message before losing all service to say that I'd be completely unreachable for the next four months. Us luddites need some sort of refuge!

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Re: Backcountry Cell Towers

Post by SSSdave » Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:15 am

There have been rf communication towers on hills and mountains on non-wilderness both private and public lands across the state for decades. The only thing new here is that this is for consumer cell frequencies and are proposing a novel tree-like tower structure.

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