Cell Tower Ruling Stands, Construction Could Begin This Week

The Minnesota Supreme Court announced last week that it will not review a Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling allowing the construction of a 450-foot cell phone tower on Fall Lake, just outside of Ely, MN. The Friends of the Boundary Waters, which has been fighting the construction of the tower since it first filed a lawsuit in 2010, asked the court to review the lower court’s ruling. The group argued that the decision violated the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act because the tower would be visible in parts of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

With the Supreme Court’s decision, construction on the tower could begin any day. According to an article in the Lake County News Chronicle (read the full article HERE), AT&T plans to begin construction this week or next. The company has maintained that the tower will expand coverage to residents living east of Ely and visitors to the BWCAW.

But in a statement responding to the decision, the Friends of the Boundary Waters said, “If AT&T builds its 450-foot tower — a tower that will permanently mar the wild horizons of at least 10 Boundary Waters lakes — AT&T will forever be known as having championed a new and dangerous precedent that will allow it, little by little, tower by tower, to erode the scenic resources of our beautiful state.”

Read the full statement HERE, or read about the history of the lawsuits between AT&T and the Friends in past Wilderness News coverage HERE.



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