BWCA cellphone tower fight is back in court

  • Article by: JOSEPHINE MARCOTTY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 5, 2012 - 9:44 AM

A cellphone tower that AT&T seeks to erect near the wilderness area has raised a significant challenge to a state environmental law.

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daveseavyApr. 4, 1211:10 PM

It isn't a public safety issue that AT&T is concerned with; it's the profitability. AT&T does nothing unless they see dollar signs. Furthermore, people have been going to the BWCA for eons. It wasn't even a concern until AT&T said it was. People go up there to escape the daily grind - including being bugged by their phones. Residents are not relegated to a 2nd class existence; they chose to live there, presumably to escape the insanity of big cities. Now AT&T wants to shove their service down everyone's throat and ruin the natural beauty. I'm sure a judge will be bought off and it will all go AT&T's way. I trust judges as much as I trust AT&T, which is ZIP.

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bigbadbb83Apr. 4, 1211:49 PM

Well written daveseavy. You explained it perfectly.

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parker0910Apr. 5, 12 2:59 AM

Do you live up there or are you city boy who has decided that the locals there dont deserve to have the same amenities as you? Have you asked those that live there if they want reliable cell service or do you think you somehow deserve to dictate what they "need" because you spend a week eating MRE's and sitting by a camp fire?

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eastsidetomApr. 5, 12 6:57 AM

Emergencies occur frequently among people using the Boundary Waters area. If they are far back into the wilderness and experience a severe health issue, they will be grateful that getting help is but a call away on their cell phones. Seeing a tiny blinking red light way off in the distance (a FCC requirement for aircraft) is a small "offense" to accept for knowing that you are within range of a means to communicate a call for help. Those who oppose this tower need to stop whining.

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mn2niceApr. 5, 12 7:26 AM

People who venture into the wilderness do so knowing they are in A WILDERNESS AREA. You cannot expect the same level of services, and most people who want to enjoy the wilderness experience, do not want those services. When I go to the boundary waters I want to see nothing but the wilderness, not AT&T's bloody tower blinking merrily away in the night.

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Truckman182Apr. 5, 12 7:48 AM

I am originally from Ely (actually Winton which is North of Ely. My guess is none of you on here are not from the range. My family owned 80 acres up there and my dad used to be a guide in the BWCA before it was even called the BWCA. One cell tower is not going to impact anything negatively. You can portage a few lakes further in so won't have the tower blinking into the night.

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willmarresApr. 5, 12 7:51 AM

First, my wife and I are considering moving north and we do so with the understanding we may be leaving certain amenities, including reliable cell phone service, behind. We appreciate the simplicity of north woods life and that's what we want. Second, emergencies in the BW are rare AND there are alternatives to cell phones. SPOT GPS units and satellite phones are available for purchase or rent.

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DUKER77Apr. 5, 12 7:53 AM

I am not for the cell tower. I agree with all comments so far... even Parkers. Yes I'm a city boy and come up there for a week, maybe two every summer, but it is also your decision to live next to some of the most prestine wilderness in our country. And, living close to it would probably make it your top resource up there and it probably correlates in some shape or form to yours and many others income. Maybe you don't think you have a responsibilty to protect it. But, if you speak for the majority of folks that live up there, the BWCA is likely in trouble.

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bchesmerApr. 5, 12 8:03 AM

I'll go with the law on this 1. AT&T should save their cash, and build a few smaller towers. I but what they paid the lawyers cost more anyway lol.

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Lifeguard06Apr. 5, 12 8:04 AM

you do know that this tower not being built effected more people then the residents of Lake County who wanted it right? it delayed the transition to AT&T from Alltel after Alltel was bought out by Verizon and the DOJ ordered Verizon to sell assets in the exclusionary zone (where Alltel and Verizon were the only carriers Which was almost all of Northern Minnesota). Also why was the hearing in Minneapolis the first time, I understand the statute says anyone can sue to stop this but shouldn't have originally been hear in Lake County or St. Louis County, so judges who are affected by the outcome are overseeing the court?

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