Friday, September 10, 2010

Some say the "wild" in wilderness will be lost if broad cellular service reaches the BWCA

Blackberries won't be just on the bushes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness if a giant cell phone tower gets built nearby. AT&T's proposal to build a 450-foot tower makes Minnesota's premier wilderness the latest to feel the pressure to extend the reach of cell phones to the great outdoors. Disputes have erupted from Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to Acadia National Park in Maine about towers and their visual impact. But even outdoor lovers can feel torn between the desire to get away from it all and the need to call for help. "If one life could be saved by [better] cell phone coverage it would be worth it," said Carrie Cartier of Shoreview. "But I do not want to hear nine cell phones ringing across the bay from my campsite because a group of teens has to be able to keep in touch with all of their friends." AT&T proposes to build the tower on a ridge east of Ely, about 1.5 miles from the wilderness boundary...more

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