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Contact: Kinsey Shilling, 360-854-7240
A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been signed for the design and implementation of a non-public narrowband digital/analog radio communication system to replace the current wideband analog system in use by North Cascades National Park Service Complex.
This action will provide for reliable and timely non-public communications essential to support law enforcement, emergency medical services, search and rescue, and wildland fire, as well as routine administration and maintenance. Repeater sites will be limited to previously disturbed areas and sited to minimize impacts to the viewshed while maximizing transmission and reception capabilities to comply with federal mandates and address current system deficiencies.
The National Telecommunications Authorization Act of 1992 called for the Secretary of Commerce to implement a plan to use more spectrum-efficient technologies and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 called for the identification of underutilized bands of radio frequencies that could be re-allocated for commercial use. Federal agencies, including the National Park Service, were required to develop narrowband land mobile systems to replace their wideband systems. Bureaus under the direction of the Department of the Interior, including the National Park Service, were directed to comply with Project 25 (or P25) standards which will allow local, state, and federal emergency response staffs to communicate with one another, regardless of affiliation.
In addition to complying with federal mandates, this action will also address current system deficiencies such as gaps in radio coverage, frequency interference from Canada, an aging infrastructure, recording limitations, and a lack of separate and secure voice communications for law enforcement.
The FONSI can be viewed on-line at the NPS Planning Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website (https://parkplanning.nps.gov/noca).
Select "Convert Radio System to Narrowband Digital/Analog," then "Document List," and "Finding of No Significant Impact."
A paper copy of the FONSI can be requested by writing to: Superintendent, North Cascades National Park, 810 State Route 20, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284, or e-mailing NOCA_Superintendent@nps.gov.