View of Rodgers Peak from Bald Hills Road Lookout
In total, three communication towers, with a height range of 120 to 270 feet and with adjacent clearcuts that must be perpetually maintained for the sake of the towers, are proposed for Rodgers Peak (in Redwood National Park), Alder Camp (a state-owned prison facility), and on Rattlesnake Peak (privately owned by Green Diamond). The towers would provide radio coverage for federal, state and local agencies but would not provide any cell phone reception for the nearby communities.
The three new towers would replace the Red Mountain Communications site, which must be removed from Red Mountain by 2022 because it violates the law. The current communications site violates the Six Rivers National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan as the Red Mountain facility is within the Helkau Ceremonial District, sacred to the Yurok People and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This poor placement necessitates the removal of the current Red Mountain site. But according to project’s proponents, “Portions of the project area are considered highly sensitive for cultural resources and are in the Helkau Ceremonial District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Construction activities could disturb cultural resources or possibly human remains.” In short, the proposed development would desecrate the same sacred area as the one it is replacing!
Situated on the top of three of the area’s tallest mountains, the sight of these proposed towers would be hideous. Each of the three proposed communication tower sites would have the following facilities:
Lattice communication tower with antennas and lightning rod (height range of 120 to 270 feet. Towers in excess of 200 feet high would be required to meet Federal Aviation Administration visibility requirements; flashing red lights.)
Vault or building to house radios, batteries, and generator (size varies by site)
Propane or diesel tank to supply back-up power
Power source (solar panels or propane/diesel tanks connected to the vault or power lines connecting commercial lines to the vault)
On-site parking area
Chain link fence with gate surrounding facilities for security
Adjacent area that would be clearcut and maintained as a clear for perpetuity for line of sight between the towers and potentially for solar panels.
Let’s be blunt: this is a bad idea. If the agency wants to move forward, it should expect public resistance.
Due to the many controversial issues outlined above, EPIC believes that the project should be fully analyzed by preparing a full Environmental Impact Report AND an Environmental Impact Statement (not an Environmental Assessment) to comply with state CEQA and federal NEPA standards. The impairments and impacts of the proposed project appear to be significant and controversial especially because the proposed project would have unacceptable irreversible and irretrievable effects to the park resources, which is inconsistent with the Park’s purposes or values.