“Glacier National Park is proposing to expand its telecommunication coverage, but some question the need or intent of doing so.
In addition to telecommunication towers, park managers want to install a radio repeater at the Loop on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. But the plan also leaves the door open to install four additional radio repeaters in recommended wilderness if needed.
The vast majority of Glacier Park, aside from the developed areas, is categorized as recommended wilderness, similar to Yellowstone Park. Recommended wilderness is supposed to be managed as wilderness, so the installation of technical devices raises some eyebrows. However, the park already has three repeaters in recommended wilderness areas, one of which would be upgraded under the plan. The intent under the plan is the upgraded repeater would eventually be moved outside the park.
Jeff Ruch, Pacific regional director for the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, isn’t so sure that would happen. He harkened back to when Yellowstone Park installed radio repeaters in its recommended wilderness and then authorized foresters to log more than 100 trees to prevent interference with the repeater signal.
“Both of those things are contrary to agency policy. But because it’s policy and not law, we can’t do anything to challenge it,” Ruch said.”