Public Comment Wanted on Proposed Telecommunication Facilities

National Park ServicePress release from the National Park Service:

The National Park Service is assisting the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) to notify the public about a state proposal to construct and operate emergency telecommunication facilities in Del Norte and Humboldt Counties. The State is accepting comments until January 29, 2018, on a draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for the relocation of the Red Mountain communication site in Six Rivers National Forest. The NPS is seeking comments on the proposals in the DEIR that would affect lands and resources in Redwood National Park.

The Red Mountain tower is located in Del Note County in an area of cultural significance to Yurok and Tolowa peoples. The tower and associated facilities are authorized under a special-use permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. State-owned facilities must be removed from Red Mountain when the permit expires on December 31, 2022.

The Red Mountain tower is used by Del Norte and Humboldt counties, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, California Department of Transportation, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Forest Service, and the NPS to communicate information about emergency response requirements, emergency alerts, fire hazards, and other natural and man-made hazards that could threaten lives and property in the region.

A combination of several sites is needed to provide a level of radio service equivalent to Red Mountain coverage. Five sites are evaluated in the DEIR. Rattlesnake Peak and Alder Camp are in Del Norte County. In Humboldt County, two Green Diamond Resource Company sites in the Big Lagoon area, a site near Orick, and Rodgers Peak in Redwood National Park are being considered. The State is proposing a combination of three sites: Rodgers Peak in the national park, Rattlesnake Peak, and Alder Camp.

The NPS is participating in the environmental review because the proposed tower site at Rodgers Peak is in Redwood National Park. The state would be required to obtain a right-of-way permit from the NPS to install a tower in the national park.

The State is accepting comments on the DEIR until January 29, 2018. The DEIR is available for review on the California Department of General Services website at http://www.dgs.ca.gov/resd/Programs/EnvironmentalServicesSection/CaliforniaEnvironmentalQualityAct.aspx.

You can request a CD copy of the document at environmental@dgs.ca.gov. Requests to the State for a CD or comments via email should include “Red Mountain Project” in the subject line. You may also review and comment on the national park portion of the proposed project by accessing the NPS planning website at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/RodgersPeak.

The state will hold two public meetings to present the proposed project and accept comments on the DEIR. The meetings will be an open house style with stations set up for attendees to obtain information about the project and discuss concerns with project staff.

Meetings will be held in Arcata and Klamath January 10 and 11, 2018, from 3pm to 7pm each day.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 3pm to 7 pm

Arcata Community Center

321 Community Park Way, Arts and Crafts Room,

Arcata CA 95521

Thursday, January 11, 2018, 3pm to 7pm

Klamath Community Center

219 Salmon Road

Klamath CA 95543

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3 comments

  • I am wondering if this emergency communication will affect how Ferndale will receive emergency notification with our cell phones or how. Our internet here is not reliable. I am connected to Everbridge that is to let us know of emergencies, but the internet is not alwlays reliable. Thank you.

  • Since the cell phone companies are ignoring OES’s requests for redundancy in fiberoptic cable installation or accessibility (there aren’t enough of us in Humboldt County to make it worth their while, in my humble opinion), this highband radio tower relocation probably won’t do anything about personal or business communication needs. In the Santa Rosa fires, many cell towers were burned and they had to bring in portable towers to compensate for their loss. I’m hoping that they’ll do the same thing here, but we’ll probably be on our own in the hills…I think we need many more repeaters – for both highband and cell phone, and public lands are a perfect place for them (King Range is especially remote with many ignorant or unfortunate hikers who have started major fires, etc.), I find it interesting that I can use my cell phone deep in the big trees in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, but I can’t get a signal parked at the Honeydew Store, where we have only 1 cell tower for most of the lower Mattole Valley…and not much coverage in Petrolia either. Some firefighters can’t even get text messages when they’re home. Radio repeaters like the ones proposed for relocation should be placed on every high spot in both counties…but they’re expensive and need solar power in most places. We need to be proactive and budget for these now, before we experience emergencies like the rest of the state has seen this past year. It’s less expensive than fighting horrific fires. Communication is key…as is initiating prescribed fire.

  • Let’s get a cell tower in Orleans please. As an isolated pocket of humanity Orleans needs more support in communications in case of a huge quake and our seasonal wild land fires.

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