Jutting into the Pacific Ocean is a peninsula with deep cultural and spiritual significance to Native Americans in Trinidad (CA), reported Lost Coast Outpost. Sitting atop that land, known as Trinidad Head or Tsurewa to the Yurok Tribe, is a Verizon Wireless tower that city officials say has to go.
The lease on the tower expired in September 2018, but the site platform infrastructure plus Verizon and AT&T antennas are still intact; former tenant Sprint has already removed its equipment. According to City Manager Eli Naffah, Verizon is taking advantage of a holdover clause while building two new towers in the area.
“We’ve been asking [Verizon] for monthly updates for when they will remove [the infrastructure],” Naffah said. Verizon is “tentatively shooting for the end of the year” as a target date to have that equipment removed, he added.
The Trinidad City Council chose not to renew the lease amid public outcry, specifically since the Yurok Tribe considers Tsurewa a sacred place. Over the years, the Tribe has sought the protection of the land, although it has not been involved in city discussions since 2018, reported the Outpost. In a press release, the Tsurai Ancestral Society said it’s “cautiously optimistic about the upcoming removal of the pad and remaining structure for the cell towers.”