Sawtooth Society Bucks Second Cell Tower Proposal


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Idaho is considering adding a second cell tower to aid FirstNet responders in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, reports The proposal calls for a 195-foot AT&T tower to be located on the same plot as a 100-foot cell tower managed by Custer Telephone. However, residents concerned about the proximity of an additional tower to Redfish Lake and the Sawtooth National Recreational Area are adamant that all voices must be heard before a final decision is reached.

Spokeswoman Sharla Arledge of the Idaho Department of Lands said the leasing process with AT&T is actively being pursued. However, no completion dates have been provided. “In the meantime,” Arledge conceded, “Director Dustin Miller will work with staff and others to look into concerns and further vet options at the site.” 

Parties worried about the impact on the landscape have expressed their frustration, though there is no mandate that requires the Idaho Department of Lands to seek a public opinion response for their plans with endowment land. Opponents, such as The Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Association have, nevertheless, put their objections in writing.  

“I also think the Sawtooth Society and Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Association and the mayor [Mayor Steve Botti] will certainly all be involved,” said SIHA President, Stewart Wilder in an interview. “I think the evidence and the studies are there, and you can’t really argue against them.”

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