Judge says no to 450-foot cell tower near BWCA, but 199-foot tower OK

  • Article by: ABBY SIMONS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 3, 2011 - 10:01 PM

But a judge allowed AT&T to build an unlit 199-footer instead.

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FrankLAug. 3, 11 4:59 PM

The problem with this ruling is that any private property outside the BWCA is now restricted in its use if it can be seen (heard or smelled?)from the BWCA. What's next, will the BWCA sue to keep a person from using on chain saw on their own property because it could be heard within the BWCA?

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AJBeastroAug. 3, 11 5:28 PM

This is great news. Nobody says you can't cut down a tree on your own property, that is temporary. The BWCA is a special place that needs protection like this from people who wish to exploit it. If you live near this place, you need to accept the fact that living this remotely will also mean less in the way of access to all the technology found elsewhere. If you absolutely have to be able to make a cell phone call from the middle of the woods, you have more problems that naturalists who blocked this to save the view.

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swampman210Aug. 3, 11 5:33 PM

Please explain to me why a Hennepin County judge has jurisdiction over this. Lake County or at least a 6th district judge should be deciding this.

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swschradAug. 3, 11 5:35 PM

good. you can't intrude on a federally protected (and internationally protected) designated wilderness. you can't leave any of your trash in the BWCAW, and that includes visual trash. good. you don't need steenkin' cell phones up there anyway, look for blueberries and rocks. you could mine aluminum off the surface of too many rocks.

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jugglerAug. 3, 11 5:42 PM

This judge is an IDIOT!!! "The affected natural resource, broad scenic views with no visible signs of man, is not replaceable." What does he mean by that? there have been physical signs of man up there for hundreds of years. Trust me on this, I live up there. I've seen the signs of man all over the BWCA. Every from the more modern latrines at every campsite and iron fire grates to cook on, portages that are well marked to massive areas that were logged years ago. Most of the trees up there are new growth. I know there is at least one stretch of trees that is less than 25 years old because me and the Boy Scout troop I was with then planted about 10 acres of them. Besides the former logging, fires and winds storms have down more "damage" than man has. It all grows back. You people that have never lived up there have no clue about "nature". You all think it's pristine and must be protected. It's not pristine and it grows back. But it is typical that Liberal environ'mental'ists would put a tree before a persons life.

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ogishkemuncieAug. 3, 11 5:56 PM

Good move, but we should recognize that the mere existence of said tower could dramatically change the average 'wilderness' experience. If cell coverage is available, how many BWCAW goers will leave their phones at home? And if they take them along, how many will resist the temptation to use them? This will be a watershed change to the area.

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bosshogAug. 3, 11 6:07 PM

Did people not read what was said??? AT&T outright LIED to people that the taller tower was far superior to the shorter tower when in fact it would have only increased the coverage by 17%.

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radster63Aug. 3, 11 6:08 PM

Just so you know cuz it's obvious that you don't, but in the very near future, Cell phone towers will become obsolete with new technolgy that is being devoloped and put into place in tne few years.

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BurntsideAug. 3, 11 6:26 PM

Couple of points: 1. Why is the future of our area being decided by a Twin Cities judge ignorant of the ways of NE Minnesota? 2. The proposed tower is not inside the BWCA nor is it for the purpose of supporting phone service within the BWCA. It is for those of us living outside the current boundaries of that preserve. 3. Don't you think that ATT would have proposed a less expensive 200 foot tower if it was economically feasible to build one? 4. Do migratory birds suddenly learn how to avoid tall structures once they fly past Ely? Of all the inane decisions made about our area by outsiders, this is the least justifiable and possibly the most dangerous because it expands the influence of the BWCA to all areas perceptible from within. The contrails of overhead commercial airliners will be next. You Twin Cities wilderness zealots ought to preserve some of your own area.

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goof11Aug. 3, 11 6:32 PM

These same people who sued to block the tower will sue because they did not have coverage during an emergency

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