Editorial: Cell tower fight doesn’t meet realityIf you’ve ever entered or exited the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near Ely, or even at the end of the Gunflint Trail, you know how specious an argument the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness makes when it says a cell tower in Fall lake Township will wreck the experience there.
If you’ve ever entered or exited the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near Ely, or even at the end of the Gunflint Trail, you know how specious an argument the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness makes when it says a cell tower in Fall Lake Township will wreck the experience there.
The group has filed a lawsuit against AT&T in Hennepin County District Court to get construction stopped on the 450-foot tower going up off Fernberg Road south of Fall Lake.
Township supervisor Mary Tome said it well when she asked if anyone from Friends even knew where the planned tower was being located. She notes that the cities of Winton and Ely are closer to the BWCAW than the tower will be.
Is Friends going after the lights there, and all that attends living in a city, for polluting the canoe experience?
We don’t belittle the Friends overall effort to protect the nature of the BWCAW. We just don’t agree that the experience they desire should begin one step inside the boundary.
A day’s canoeing and you will run into radio towers in the BWCAW. A plane will fly overhead. Beacons will shine on the edges of the territory.
Yes, it will be tall. But it has to be in order to work in the terrain that is this rugged lake country.
It’ll be silent, unless more canoeists decide to do business on their phones with better reception around the new tower. Most of all, it will be safer for residents of the township who shouldn’t be asked to bear a primitive burden simply because they live on the edge of the wilderness.
That Friends couldn’t even file its suit properly by coming up to Lake County speaks volumes on how much they understand the culture in these parts.
We hope a judge in Minneapolis is half as aware of the realities on the ground and throws this case out quickly.
The tower passes current zoning laws in the county. Residents, and even some wanting a better safety measure in the BWCAW, deserve reliable cell phone service.
Real “Friends” would realize this and stop impeding sensible progress.