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Some national parks have already expanded cellular service towers within their boundaries to make using a phone easier. But with such, other factors come into play that we should all consider.

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News Blip: 

Do Cell Towers Belong In National Parks?

The Miami Herald Reports On The Debate Of Whether It's Better To Enable More Use Of Cellular Devices While In Remote Parts of National Parks...Or If This Will Defeat The Purpose Of Coming To The Natural Lands. 

Friends take a selfie on snow trail in Mount Rainier National Park [Photo Credit: Elaine Thompson-AP/Miami Herald]

Editor's Note: This news item was retrieved through Miami Herald's website via Google.

Some national parks have already expanded cellular service towers within their boundaries to make your selfie a bit easier to take and post on your favorite social media channel. But with such, other factors come into play. Now, I'm certain social engagement isn't the main reason for expansion, as one's safety relates directly to if they are able to have access signal via their phone when lost in the wilderness. However, there are reasons people like to go into the remote wilderness in these national parks, and it doesn't involve a cellular device. But these days at Yosemite National Park, hikers to Half Dome are likely to encounter people talking on cell phones as they climb to the top. Similar scenes are playing out at other national parks as the call of the outdoors increasingly comes with crisp 4G service. Great for tourism, but not everyone is as excited about this. 

Stuart Leavenworth of The Miami Herald conveys in his article: "In Yosemite, Yellowstone, Mount Rainier and other iconic parks, environmentalists are pressing the National Park Service to slow or halt construction of new cellular towers within park boundaries. They say the NPS is quietly facilitating a digital transformation with little public input or regard to its mission statement — to preserve 'unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System.'" Yosemite is one park that has come under scrutiny for its adding cell service towers . In October, using public records request, the watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) found that Yosemite superintendents, over the years, quietly approved six cellular towers in the park. On the business side, Verizon, AT&T and other telecom companies are competing to "win" national parks across the country that many people visit and get their towers in there. Under the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, the parks are obligated to at least review proposals for new cellular towers. Yet because the National Park Service is highly decentralized, NPS headquarters does not track construction of cellular towers in parks nationwide. It leaves it up to individual park superintendents to decide on proposals for new cellular towers and other communications infrastructure.

Read the full article here at The Miami Herald


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