Wi-Fi proposed for Yellowstone National Park. Comment deadline Nov. 29, 2019

Update: direct link to comments:
https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=111&projectID=89100&documentID=99318

The East Idaho News article states “wireless access to recommended wilderness and park road corridors would be excluded,” it does not describe what wilderness and park road corridors are recommended for inclusion. In addition, the areas  excluded under the current proposal could be included in future build-out.

Submit individually written comments by November 29, 2019 (the park service does not accept bulk comments).

Ask that the comment deadline be extended at least 30 days due to the environmental and ADA impacts. Fourteen days is inadequate time for the public to become aware of this proposal.

Comments may be submitted online at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/ap, by hand-delivery, or by mail. Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or by any other means.

Yellowstone is a national treasure. Increased microwave radiation exposure will harm plants, trees and wildlife and will block access to those disabled by electromagnetic sensitivity. Environmental assessments and evaluation of access barriers for this proposal must be done.

https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectId=89100

Access Parks – Broadband Internet for Park

Residents and Employees

AccessParks (AP) has submitted an application for a Right of Way (ROW) permit to the National Park Service (NPS) proposing the installation of wireless radios, microwave point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, and indoor Wi-Fi installations throughout Xanterra managed properties in Yellowstone National Park (YNP). We anticipate that the installation will be expanded in the future to offer the same service to the NPS and other concessioners.

In order to supply high-speed internet to park visitors and employees throughout YNP, AP has proposed to install a large-scale wireless communication system covering Canyon Village, Grant Village, Lake, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Old Faithful. Equipment needs for this project include five microwave antenna locations, twelve wireless backhaul antennas ranging between three and six feet in diameter, and up to four hundred and eighty (480) transceivers of 11 inch diameter or less installed on receiving structures.

In addition to the areas above, infrastructure would also be placed on the newly installed antenna mounting structure surrounding the Mount Washburn Fire Lookout. Typical installation photosimulations of AccessParks equipment and a list of properties to be affected are included on this project announcement.

Buildings currently proposed for installations have all been evaluated for their National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) eligibility, or are age ineligible for inclusion on the National Register. Consultation with the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) is ongoing.

Four hundred thirteen (413) of the impacted buildings have been identified as either eligible for inclusion on the NRHP, as contributors to historic districts, or as National Historic Landmarks. The Historic Properties identified include Canyon Lodge, Lake Hotel, The Lake Hamilton Store, 78 Lake Hotel Guest Cabins, 64 Lake Lodge Guest Cabins, Seagull Dormitory, Mammoth Hotel, 97 Mammoth Guest Cabins, the Mammoth Dining Hall, Lodgepole Dormitory, Juniper Dormitory, Spruce Dormitory, Old Faithful Inn, Old Faithful Lodge, 161 Old Faithful Guest Cabins, Laurel Dormitory, and Columbine Dormitory.

Seventy one (71) impacted buildings have been deemed ineligible for inclusion on the NRHP. Of these, 31 are ineligible based on age, 31 are located in historic districts but have been determined to be non-contributing structures, and 9 have been determined ineligible on their own.

In an effort to reduce or eliminate impacts to the historic fabric of Historic Properties, AccessParks’ proposed infrastructure will take the historic nature of properties that they will be installed on into account. On historic properties, AccessParks will use existing penetrations into buildings, and will disguise the new installations either through locating them inside of attic spaces, or place them on roof areas that are outside of casual viewshed.

The release of this project on NPS ParkPlanning prior to a press release was due to an internal error. The public comment period for this project will last from 11/14/2019 until 11/29/2019. All comments submitted since October 28 will be evaluated along with comments from the later comment period.

If you have any comments on effects to historic properties, please submit them through this NPS ParkPlanning website by clicking the “Open for Comment” link at the left of this page.

Contact Information
Morgan Warthin, (307) 344-2015

From https://www.eastidahonews.com/2019/11/should-yellowstone-provide-wi-fi-for-visitors-and-employees-the-park-wants-your-opinion/#

The proposed installations would provide internet service to park visitors and employees in hotels and housing in developed areas. Consistent with the Yellowstone National Park Wireless Communication Services Plan, wireless access to recommended wilderness and park road corridors would be excluded.

Comments must be received by November 29, 2019. Comments may be submitted online at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/ap, by hand-delivery, or by mail. Comments will not be accepted by fax, email, or by any other means.

Hand-deliver comments during business hours to: Albright Visitor Center, Attention: Access Parks Broadband Proposal, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.

Mail comments to: Compliance Office, Attention: Access Parks Broadband Proposal, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.

Public Comment Considerations

  • Bulk comments in any format submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted.
  • Before including your address, phone number, email, or other personal information, be aware that your entire comment – including your personally identifiable information – may be made public at any time. You may ask us to withhold your personally identifiable information from public review, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
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