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Contact: Bill Whitworth, 701-623-4466
MEDORA, ND: Theodore Roosevelt National Park invites the public to provide feedback on an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the replacement of its 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 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.
"Allowing Verizon to co-locate its equipment will eliminate the need to construct a second, highly visible telecommunications tower in the area", said Chief of Resource Management Bill Whitworth. "Because of the tower's reduced height, a blinking light on top will no longer be required, improving the quality of the viewshed to those visiting park wilderness and other backcountry sites. 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 document 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.