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SOURCE: The Telegraph

DATE: August 31, 2019

SNIP: The hills of one of America’s most spectacular national parks will soon be alive with the sound of mobile phone ring tones, after Grand Teton approved controversial plans for phone coverage inside one of the country’s most treasured national parks.

The biggest expansion of telecoms coverage in the history of the national parks service comes as campaigners battle to maintain peace and serenity in the wilderness across the US.

“It’s a harbinger of what’s to come,” warned Jeff Ruch, Pacific Director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which has campaigned against the expansion.

He told The Sunday Telegraph that the Grand Canyon is next, with five mobile phone towers scheduled for approval. Plans are also in the works for Olympic national park in Washington state; Crater Lake in Oregon; Lake Mead in Nevada and Arizona, and southern Utah’s Bryce Canyon, he said.

Nine mobile phone towers are to be installed across the 310,000-acre Grand Teton park in Wyoming, where America’s most celebrated landscape photographer Ansel Adams captured stunning images in the 1940s.

At the same time, 63 miles of fibre optic cables will be installed in the park, visited by over three million people a year.

Mr Ruch said: “Even if you don’t have your phone on you, it now means that the person next to you can be streaming music, downloading a movie, or hunting Pokemon. You’re depriving people of the ability to disconnect.”