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Can You Hear Me Now Yogi Bear? Cell Phones in Yellowstone

Yogi Bear is about to have his eye out for a pic-a-nic basket with an iPhone in it. Yellowstone National Park officials have just released a plan to provide cell phone coverage and wireless Internet for parts of the park, while minimizing cell towers from the more remote areas. The environmental impact has been found negligible in terms of flora and fauna, though visitors of the human variety may be affected a little more.

A first draft of the plan, which contained a cell tower next to the Old Faithful geyser has been changed, moving it more out of sight, and they're trying to balance all the pretty nature with protecting public safety and allowing the park staff to communicate. The program manager for the National Parks Conservation Associate says,

One of the things that it comes down to in an increasingly noisy and hectic world is that it's critical that Yellowstone continue to provide the solitude and peace and quiet that our first national park has to offer.


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Of course the peace and quiet could be the first casualty. While they have plans to encourage courteous use of the electronic gadgets, the park averages 15,690 visitors a day during peak season. That's a lot of "can you hear me nows."

Does the park have to modernize for safety and convenience, or should some places stay cell-free?

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dikke-kus dikke-kus 7 years
I think it's nice to go somewhere and get away from phones. I see Yellowstone sort of giving in a little. That park and visitors have survived pretty well for years. So why now? I will share an experience once that makes me take the stance against cell phone towers in certain places.It was in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. It took me a lifetime to get there. A day of heat, an lines to get inside. You have to understand I also have a history with art and it's my passion above all. Imagine that as you are standing there cell phones are ringing and echoing off the walls. As I studied the section where God gives Adam life, someone's phone was ringing. That day maybe someone should have painted a cell phone in that hand of God.
dikke-kus dikke-kus 7 years
I think it's nice to go somewhere and get away from phones. I see Yellowstone sort of giving in a little. That park and visitors have survived pretty well for years. So why now? I will share an experience once that makes me take the stance against cell phone towers in certain places.It was in the Sistine Chapel in Rome. It took me a lifetime to get there. A day of heat, an lines to get inside. You have to understand I also have a history with art and it's my passion above all. Imagine that as you are standing there cell phones are ringing and echoing off the walls. As I studied the section where God gives Adam life, someone's phone was ringing. That day maybe someone should have painted a cell phone in that hand of God.
kia kia 7 years
Um, I don't really consider national parks that get huge attendance like Yellowstone does that wild. The crap that you see people do near the Geyser in Yellowstone, the valley in Yosemite, in the main village of Glacier, etc. is kind of outstanding. I wouldn't be offended. The high-traffic spaces aren't where you usually find the most hard-core of conservationists unless they are working with the public. The high-profile places are mostly educational areas to get people that don't backpack or go to wilderness areas some sort of experience with natural systems. And there is usually ice cream there as well.
faegirl faegirl 7 years
I am of two minds on this one because it will help when people get lost or hurt. However, in a lot of places, coverage could be spotty (as in other National Parks) and people tend to rely on cell phones when they really should be realizing that their bodies can't take another few miles or even less out in the wilderness. They act as a bad safety net for people who should not go into the outside in general.Also, when I was at the Lakes of the Clouds hut just under Mt. Washington this summer (after climbing 4 or so mountains over 4,000 feet) I was subjected to a man's conversation with someone about his taxes while the sun set over the valley. Definitely not something that I liked and had I any energy, I would have gone over and asked him to go on the other side of the hut.
faegirl faegirl 7 years
I am of two minds on this one because it will help when people get lost or hurt. However, in a lot of places, coverage could be spotty (as in other National Parks) and people tend to rely on cell phones when they really should be realizing that their bodies can't take another few miles or even less out in the wilderness. They act as a bad safety net for people who should not go into the outside in general. Also, when I was at the Lakes of the Clouds hut just under Mt. Washington this summer (after climbing 4 or so mountains over 4,000 feet) I was subjected to a man's conversation with someone about his taxes while the sun set over the valley. Definitely not something that I liked and had I any energy, I would have gone over and asked him to go on the other side of the hut.
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 7 years
That's a good idea vespa. Anything to preserve the beauty and peacefulness of Yellowstone. It's so beautiful there.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
*were not where
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
*were not where
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
I have seen cell towers that where designed to look like trees. The person with me had to point it out because I didn't even notice it. Aside from the actual installation process I also believe the E.I. will be negligible.
amybdk amybdk 7 years
I too am a bit saddened by this.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 7 years
As a side note, that photo is beautiful.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 7 years
Seems kind of sad. I want there to still be places you can go to escape it all.
girlA girlA 7 years
That's a good idea Vespa. We saw so many horrible drivers and just idiots that having a cell phone service to call in a an emergency, is smart. I agree, towers are ugly, but I think public safety is key.
Vespa Vespa 7 years
Maybe they should put up a tower for safety but make it so it's not part of Verizon, AT&T, etc. so if you use it you're always roaming. It would be there for safety, then, but people wouldn't yak on it if it was expensive to use.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
What the heck, i understand for safety reasons but really the cell phone crazies cant just stop and smell the roses without texting or phoning someone "I am in yellowstone!"?
Adrenalynn75 Adrenalynn75 7 years
I understand the point of having these towers for safety reasons, but these towers look awful. You can spot the fake tree/cell tower from a mile away, even in a forest. I don't like it. I agree GS...it takes away enjoying the beauty of Yellowstone when you have to listen to someone drone on and on about their life on the phone.
Adrenalynn75 Adrenalynn75 7 years
I understand the point of having these towers for safety reasons, but these towers look awful. You can spot the fake tree/cell tower from a mile away, even in a forest. I don't like it. I agree GS...it takes away enjoying the beauty of Yellowstone when you have to listen to someone drone on and on about their life on the phone.
girlA girlA 7 years
We were there the last two summers and saw more people doing stupid things than we saw buffalo. Having coverage with the amount of people and traffic is a good idea. (We did get cell phone service at Old Faithful last year though)...
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 7 years
That's what I was going to say. From a safety standpoint, this is a good idea. Although, thinking about hiking and enjoying the beautiful scenery and hearing Barbara Jo talking to her friends about Harry Mack and the mall does sound awful.
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
well i think that it makes sense to have cell phones work in the park since it's such a large area and there are so many people that visit on a daily basis. i don't think that it's going to make it any noisier but i'm glad that they are considering ways to make the towers less noticeable. also, from a safety standpoint i think that it's a smart move. i was watching this thing on TV about super volcanoes and how yellowstone is one - and it makes me feel better to know that if something doesn't look right, you'll be able to call and alert the park...
ilanac13 ilanac13 7 years
well i think that it makes sense to have cell phones work in the park since it's such a large area and there are so many people that visit on a daily basis. i don't think that it's going to make it any noisier but i'm glad that they are considering ways to make the towers less noticeable.also, from a safety standpoint i think that it's a smart move. i was watching this thing on TV about super volcanoes and how yellowstone is one - and it makes me feel better to know that if something doesn't look right, you'll be able to call and alert the park...
GeriAnne1932 GeriAnne1932 7 years
The park is huge and so many people from all over the world go to Yellowstone who may not have survival skills and so if they do something stupid, perhaps it's good to have the ability to call on a cell phone. Especially since I'm sure the number of NPS staff continues to be on the decline with budgetary problems of the government as a whole. This seems to me to make sense in the areas heavily visited or where there are the resorts and hotels...while, I don't necessarily think someone should be using their phones/berries/whatevers in the national park, I can see how it is a rising trend. I just hope that the cell phone companies are as responsible and respectful as possible when building these towers.
GeriAnne1932 GeriAnne1932 7 years
The park is huge and so many people from all over the world go to Yellowstone who may not have survival skills and so if they do something stupid, perhaps it's good to have the ability to call on a cell phone. Especially since I'm sure the number of NPS staff continues to be on the decline with budgetary problems of the government as a whole. This seems to me to make sense in the areas heavily visited or where there are the resorts and hotels...while, I don't necessarily think someone should be using their phones/berries/whatevers in the national park, I can see how it is a rising trend. I just hope that the cell phone companies are as responsible and respectful as possible when building these towers.
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 7 years
I think this is a bad idea!
sexylibrarian sexylibrarian 7 years
I think this is a bad idea!
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