If beetle infestations occur at Galena Summit, it makes for a stronger pro-cell tower argument, as this will have then made the area even more avalanche-prone, in a territory where young sports enthusiasts have already lost their lives after suffering needless communication delays.
I used to feel much the same way as the anti-monopine huggers. Then my mindset matured on that dark day when, I saw two young girls have their lives agonizingly stripped away from them, for want of an ambulance - if not for saving their lives, at least for relieving their horrible pain and that of their family's.
In this context, the cultural values of our SNRA should include providing these long overdue and potentially lifesaving cell towers.
It is great that an emergency landline will soon be installed at the Galena Overlook. About a dozen years ago, some friends and I stood at that exact spot witnessing a lightning-started forest fire spreading quickly, and wondered if we should dangerously rush down to the Smiley Creek payphones to report it, as none of the twenty witnesses standing there had any way of knowing if the Forest Service had yet been informed.
But what happens if crash victims are nowhere near the soon-to-be installed landline, or if it's disabled, or the crash disables the victims and their vehicles, so that they can't possibly cowboy up to it? In the event of one those probable cases, wouldn't most of us wish that we had the foresight to implement a dynamic back-up plan, logically starting with cell towers, as now most travelers use cell phones?
While it's true that our forebears did not use cell phones, as they recklessly cowboyed over Al Ross's ancient pass; back then they didn't have to contend with monster rigs barreling down the icy highway straight towards each other, at 65 mph +. And why is it that none of the fossilized-Flintstonians came out opposing the raising of the SNRA's Highway 75 speed limit to sixty-five, refusing to acknowledge the inherent and widely documented danger involved in operating a motor vehicle on narrow, twisting mountain roads at such high irresponsible speeds?
Moreover, disinformation in the above letter claims, "At best the proposed tower will provide a narrow band of cell coverage near the top of Galena Summit." This is a Baldy-faced lie, as the Galena tower will greatly fill in the gaps, not serviced by town towers. Extensive surveys conducted for the strongly capitalistic tower company have shown, that another simple cell tower strategically placed, way up yonder in the piney woods behind SNRA Headquarters will greatly augment 95% of the remaining most used recreation areas.
The above letter also states, "Proponents speak broadly of public safety concerns, but ignore the fact that the landline option is in development. They also refuse to acknowledge the inherent and widely documented danger involved in operating a motor vehicle on narrow, twisting mountain roads while talking on a cell phone." This makes me wonder how close these four expert authors have actually followed the issue. Either these pillars of the community are refusing to acknowledge, or have missed my widely published commentary; Cell phones, not cell towers, are the problem:
blog.sunvalleyonline.com - comment-66873
One of my friends wondered why Homeland Security would want to be involved with SNRA communications. Are we forgetting, the important dignitaries who often enjoy visiting, Idaho? Besides the annual Allen & Company event, in the last five years plenty of powerful figures have visited this area, including John Kerry, Dick Cheney, Hillary Clinton, The President of Mexico, Tony Blair, One of Google's founders - the list is long.
Will Secret Service pointmen politely laugh, when they inform future Presidents who might want to visit this special place, that the SNRA is sadly out-of-bounds for their enjoyment, because we don't have simple back up plans in place for their important safety, and we're crippled by non-coverage without these interactive pillars for our community?