Cell Tower Suit Spurs Discussion

The lawsuit by the advocacy group Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness to halt construction of a 450-foot-high cellular communications tower near Ely, MN has recently prompted commentary from those who hail and oppose the effort.

The Ely Echo reports HERE that the Board of Supervisors for Fall Lake Township “scoffed” at the suit which asks Hennepin County District Court to stop construction of the proposed tower and declare that its construction violates the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act. The group is concerned about the visual impact of the tower on visitors to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Supervisors and members of the public in attendance at the meeting noted that lights from the tower would not be the only lights in the area visible in the BWCAW. The Echo story was written by Nancy McReady, president of the Conservationists With Common Sense, an advocacy organization promoting wider access to and multiple use of the BWCAW.

The Echo‘s editorial board commented on the topic in THIS editorial.

Down the road in the Twin Cities, Nick Coleman of the StarTribune weighed in in favor of the Friends’ of the Boundary Waters lawsuit, HERE. He called the suit a “reasonable position,” one that “can be supported by any lover of the woods and waters but that does not brush aside the legitimate interests of local residents.”

The court will hear arguments on the suit on August 4. AT&T Mobility has agreed to temporarily halt construction of the tower until the matter is resolved.

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