The 195-foot-tall AT&T cell tower near Redfish Lake was proposed as part of the FirstNet Program, which would connect first responders in a crisis. But, opponents say there are other options.
“There are ways that could still satisfy the Idaho Department of Lands requirement to maximize revenue and to have a lease for communications facilities, but that would also protect the integrity of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area," said Jonathan Oppenheimer, External Affairs Director for the Idaho Conservation League.
His group asked to be added to the agenda for the November 17 land board meeting, but that hasn’t happened. They also filed a petition for a contested case hearing.
“All the indications are that they are preparing to move forward and finalize the lease," said Oppenheimer.
Department of Lands Public Information Officer Sharla Arledge said in an email the lease has not been finalized and the hearing request from ICL is currently “under legal review.”
If the Idaho Department of Lands moves forward with the lease, AT&T would still have to apply for federal approval. And that process requires public comment.
Copyright 2020 Boise State Public Radio