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Yellowstone lookout project would hurt views at Mt. Washburn

Yellowstone National Park officials say telecommunications towers proposed for the Mt. Washburn Fire Lookout would detract from views at the historic site and popular hiking destination.

The park is proposing to erect a three-sided mounting structure with 40-foot towers around the lookout. It’s part of a broader effort to improve Yellowstone’s wireless infrastructure, including cell service in developed areas.

Spokeswoman Morgan Warthin said park officials will consult with Wyoming’s historic preservation office on ways to minimize or offset the equipment’s visual impact.

The finding that the project would have an “adverse effect” was included in a letter from Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk obtained by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

The advocacy group says the proposed communications improvements undermine the park’s status as a refuge from a linked-in world.

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