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Yellowstone National Park Seeks Public Input on the Future of Wireless Communications

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Date: July 13, 2006
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012

Wireless e-mail, internet and cell phones are an everyday part of many people’s lives. Yellowstone National Park will examine and address the impacts and suitability of these and other services in the park as it begins preparing a Wireless Communication Services Plan Environmental Assessment.

In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, the park will prepare an environmental assessment (EA) to guide decisions concerning developing technologies and changing expectations while protecting park resources.  The EA will look at a wide range of current and future wireless communications that require permanent infrastructure, including two-way radios, public health and safety monitoring and alert systems, and research related data transmission systems.

The first step is to solicit public input during what is known as the scoping period. This is the time when any interested individual, organization or agency can provide thoughtful, relevant information or suggestions for consideration by park managers before alternatives are developed and analyzed and an EA is prepared and made available for public review and comment. 

Three open houses have been scheduled to help the public learn more about the process and issues the plan is expected to address. The open houses will begin with a short presentation, followed by an opportunity to meet with park staff. The open houses are scheduled as follows:

Idaho Falls, ID: Tuesday, August 8, from 6-8 p.m., at the Best Western Cotton Tree Inn, 900 Lindsay Blvd.
Bozeman, MT: Wednesday, August 9, from 6-8 p.m., at the Comfort Inn, 1370 North 7th Avenue
Cody, WY: Tuesday, August 15, from 6-8 p.m., at the Park County Courthouse, 1501 Stampede Avenue

A newsletter with information on some of the services, issues and impacts to be considered in the EA, and an electronic form to submit comments on the internet can be found at the National Park Service’s Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov. The newsletter is also available by writing the Planning, Compliance and Landscape Architecture Office, Wireless Communication Services Plan EA Scoping, P.O. Box 168, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190.

Written comments may be submitted through the PEPC website, in person, or by mail. Comments will not be accepted by phone, fax, or e-mail.  All public comments must be received or postmarked by midnight, August 31, 2006.

Did You Know?

Bison in Yellowstone.

There are more people hurt by bison than by bears each year in Yellowstone. Park regulations state that visitors must stay at least 25 yards away from bison or elk and 100 yards away from bears.