Group sues to block cell tower just outside BWCAby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
Duluth, Minn. — An environmental group is suing to stop construction of a cell phone tower near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
AT&T is proposing a tower 45-stories tall, lit with strobe and beacon lights. Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness says it would be visible from many points in the Boundary Waters, including Basswood Lake, Fall Lake, and the Kawishiwi River.
Friends director Paul Danicic says the group is open to shorter towers.
"That's what we're asking to do, is to find alternatives that can get local residents up there the coverage that they need without despoiling the Boundary Waters," he said.
Danicic says it's important to maintain the wild character of the area for visitors, and also for businesses that depend on tourism.
"It's an unspoiled and natural environment that we all can agree is a national treasure," he said. "So all Minnesotans share an interest to protect Minnesota's most natural space, so business can continue to thrive through tourism dollars."
AT&T says it is reviewing the lawsuit.