SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK – Cell towers are often considered an eyesore and an intrusion but a necessary part of the modern world. But do they belong in our National Parks? The National Park Service would like to hear what you think about it.
The National Park Service (NPS) is initiating public scoping on a proposed wireless communications facility near Wuksachi Village in Sequoia National Park. The NPS is required by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to consider all applications for the installation of cellular equipment on NPS lands.
Verizon Wireless is proposing to construct a 138-foot cellular tower west of Wuksachi Village to achieve a coverage objective that includes a portion of the Generals Highway, the Wuksachi Village area, the Lodgepole Area, and the Wolverton Area. Antennas would be directed, as much as possible, away from the wilderness. The proposed tower would be located in an established utility site west of Wuksachi Village at the end of an existing paved access road, which provides access to existing above-ground water storage tanks. No improvements to the access road would be necessary for either construction activities or subsequent maintenance of the new telecommunications facility.
The proposed wireless communications facility would include the following components within a 40-foot by 40-foot area adjacent to two existing above-ground water storage tanks:
- A 138-foot tall tower with panel antennas and microwave dishes, potentially constructed to simulate a pine tree, mounted on a 4 to 5-foot diameter footer
- A covered 28-foot by 13-foot steel equipment platform
- A 500-gallon propane tank mounted on a concrete pad
An estimated 1,420 feet of buried electrical cable would be installed along the existing access road to connect the tower to an existing electrical transformer. Two 14-inch diameter fir trees would be removed from the facility site. A total of approximately 0.23 acres of land within the park would be affected by the project, including the trenched area adjacent to the access road (0.19 acres), and the communications facility (0.04 acres).
Sequoia National Park is overseeing the preparation of an environmental assessment for this project, and is interested in any public concerns and issues the public may have concerning the proposal.
To obtain supplemental information about the proposed project, or to provide comments, please visit the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) web site at parkplanning.nps.gov/WuksachiCellTower.
Written comments may be sent via mail or hand-delivery to:
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
Attn: Wuksachi Village Cell Tower
47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, CA 93271