EA for Telecommunications and Weather Stations Ignores Backcountry Plan Standards
The National Park Service recently published an Environmental Assessment for placing permanent telecommunications sites and weather monitoring equipment in the Denali backcountry, including the Denali Wilderness. While DCC is wary of incremental intrusions on the wilderness character of the park backcountry, the modest NPS proposal seemed justified – for the most part – to support climate monitoring projects and respond to important management communication needs. However, the Backcountry Management Plan does contain indicators and standards for determining when the incremental addition of equipment to the park backcountry is too much, but the EA completely failed to acknowledge these standards, much less provide data showing whether the equipment could be added while still meeting those standards. DCC also questioned the importance of providing full telecommunications capability to Eielson Visitor Center, and appealed for the use of non-motorized means in servicing the equipment where possible. Read the full comments at the link below.