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Contact: Bill Whitworth, 701-623-4466
MEDORA, ND: The National Park Service (NPS) will hold an open house meeting on Thursday, February 11 to gather public comments on the recently released Environmental Assessment (EA) for the replacement of the North Unit communications tower. The current tower provides communication functions essential to public safety and efficient operations for the park and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). It is located within the park boundary on the east side of Hwy 85 in McKenzie County, just north of the park entrance. The meeting will take place at the North Unit from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. CDT in the temporary visitor center building near the park entrance.
The NPS will issue a permit to Verizon Wireless to replace the existing 220 foot tall guyed radio tower with aviation safety lighting with a 190 foot guyed tower without a flashing red light. Verizon Wireless will co-locate its telecommunications equipment on the tower and construct a slightly larger support shed to accommodate National Park Service (NPS), USFS, and Verizon equipment. Gravel will be added to the existing access road.
"Because of the tower's reduced height, a blinking light on top will no longer be required, improving the quality of the nighttime viewshed to those visiting park wilderness and other backcountry sites" said Chief of Resource Management Bill Whitworth. "Given the rate of development in the Bakken, this is a rare opportunity to share resources and reduce cell tower proliferation in the region."
The public is invited to provide comment on the EA through the NPS Planning Environment and Public Comment System (PEPC) at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/parkHome.cfm?parkID=167. The website provides links to the EA and its attachments and instructions on how to comment in the public comment database. The comment period is from January 22 to February 22, 2016. If you are unable to view the document or provide comments before February 22 and still desire to do so, please contact the park to request an extension. Comments may be submitted directly on the website database or by letter addressed to Superintendent, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, P.O. Box 7, Medora, ND 58645
For more information about Theodore Roosevelt National Park, please visit the park's website at www.nps.gov/thro.
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