Cell Tower Response
In regards to the post about cell towers in the National Park, the Park Service has issued a statement
" We have no inquiries pending, formally or informally for any cell towers anyplace in the Park.
But if we received one the decision would quickly become a very public process. NPS regs and the National Environmental Policy Act would require full disclosure, analysis and comment on every possible impact: visual, ground disturbance, natural resource implications and any other concern that we or the public expressed." Bob Miller, spokesman for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
3/15/2011 10:41:37 am
but he said he had inside information on these things.
3/15/2011 10:41:46 am
Thanks for the update. Seems Juanita and now Guardian can get us on our white horses with lances drawn at the slightest provocation. I suggest we get the truth, then a plan to prevent cell towers.
3/15/2011 10:44:58 am
Well said Ken T.
3/15/2011 11:51:52 am
OK Ken. I understand your skeptisism.
3/15/2011 12:50:22 pm
Last time cell towers came up, they weren't very successful at getting beyond the "talking" phase. I believe Bob. The fed government and this process has to be made public, and any inquiry must be met with disclosure and information. Now, could certain telecommunications companies have ideas about putting them up . . . absolutely. And, it wouldn't surprise me. But, in the last decade the local public surrounding the GSMNP has done a great job at preventing unwanted sights in and arround the park. And the stance on the folks in charge at GSMNP is pretty firm from my understanding.
3/15/2011 03:41:31 pm
Recent advancements in cellular communications hardware technology have eliminated the need for unsightly towers in environmentally sensitive areas. The antenna designs have been down-sized resulting in lighter support structures that can blend in with the natural surroundings. Power requirements have been reduced and the sites can be adequately powered with solar energy eliminating the need for power lines and poles. Am I promoting cellular service for GSMNP? No--I am just saying that there are technologies that exist today that did not exist even a few years ago regarding cell sites.
3/15/2011 04:36:42 pm
Communications companies may argue for cell towers to benefit hikers in emergencies, but their real target is the hundreds of thousands of tourists who slog through the park’s roads never leaving their cars, many probably in a twit over being denied instant gratification, er, communication. Either their ignorance or self-centeredness blinds them to the fact that wild places are neither convenient nor comfortable.
3/15/2011 07:04:26 pm
Initially, I did not intent to respond to the individuals opposing cell towers in the GSMNP. However, the ideas of the anti cell tower portrayers necessitate one based on logic or opinion verses solitude. I assume the "anti" towers to not have cell phones and if they do, refrained their usage in a restaurant, auto or other public places. Solitude, is not always measured by its remotemess. I do not oppose the implementation, or possible installation, of the towers since they could save one life. If you have ever been involved in an traffic accident, you would appreciate the access to instant wireles communication. I do enjoy my treks to LeConte, but accidents could happen on the trails to and from the lodge, and one could find theirself a phone call away between life and injury or perhaps death. Why should we deny someone that chance. Perhaps, that "someone" could be you, a friend or a relative. After several trips to LeConte, I cannot reconcile the attitudes of the blog site to the people hiking to the mountain top. The mountain and the park are open to the USA and not restricted to the hiking "elite".
3/16/2011 12:35:38 am
I think hclark has a valid point. Besides, if we really considered LeConte a "wilderness" there wouldn't be a "lodge" on top of the mountain. What's the big deal with adding one more man-made structure designed for for convenience and comfort?
3/16/2011 01:34:44 am
When I was at Ice water Spring shelter
3/16/2011 07:25:41 am
I hike LeConte via Alum quite often and there are a number of areas along the trail where I have received emails as I walked into coverage. I have a Verizon HTC Droid and I have started to note where I have coverage in the park just in case I need to respond to an emergency on the trail. One of my main reasons for hiking the GSMNP trails is to provide assistance to our visitors. (Unofficial trail volunteer) I have coverage from the porch at the lodge office and at a point between the "stairs".
3/16/2011 08:40:37 am
Well heck Larry, lets just pave the trail and rent scooters to the top. Better yet let's put a gondola ride from downtown Gatlinburg to the lodge. If comfort is the name of the game, we should start clearing a strip of land for the power lines. Where does it stop Larry? I wish there could have been some vehicle for public outcry when they decided to put that lodge on top of the mountain. Maybe that would have been stopped. But just because one mistake was made, lets not keep adding to it.
3/17/2011 01:41:25 am
Based on the arguments so far, I'm with hclark. We bring scouts up into the park several times each year, and try to provide good skills training so that they can deal with emergencies in the wilderness. But not everyone comes to the park with a Boy Scout. And that's OK, because everyone has a right to enjoy this beautiful place, not just those with orienteering merit badges.
3/20/2011 12:26:31 am
I for one am personally delighted that there are still areas that a cell phone will not work. Part of the allure of hiking to a place like Leconte is the fact that for once in your life you are on your own and you have to rely on your own common sense.There isn't a cop or EMS just a call away. Also consider how unsafe it would be if some teenager was texting and not paying attention and walked off a ledge.I could go on but all of y'all get my point.
3/22/2011 07:20:43 am
a)Climb to the top of Clingmans Dome and look south and down less than a few hundred yards.
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