Proposal to Modernize Campgrounds at National Parks Includes Providing Environmentally Harmful WiFi to Visitors

By B.N. Frank

Environmentalists are already fighting cell towers at national parks because of known risks and harm caused by exposure to RadioFrequency (RF) Radiation (see 1, 2).  Now businesses are proposing to install equally environmentally unfriendly WiFi for visitors to use.  These parks are supposed to be environmentally protected places.  WiFi would accommodate visitors at the expense of nature and wildlife.  Fingers crossed the Interior Department will NOT approve this.

There is government as well as independently funded peer reviewed research (see 1, 2, 3) that has confirmed that WiFi is ecologically harmful.  The department even wrote a letter in 2014 about the impact of Electromagnetic Radiation on birds.

The Interior Department is reviewing recommendations to modernize campgrounds at national parks. The recommendations posted online this week come from an advisory committee created under former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that has been looking at ways for private businesses to operate on public lands.

The vice chairman of the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee, Derrick Crandall, said many campgrounds don’t meet visitors’ expectations. Allowing the private sector to run them would free up park staff for interpretation, safety needs or other visitor services, he said.

Redesigning some campgrounds, and adding running water, tent and cabin rentals, food trucks, extended family sites and Wi-Fi at select parks also could boost revenue and encourage more people to stay overnight, the committee said.

The Interior Department isn’t obligated to enact the recommendations but has said it doesn’t have the money to modernize the more than 1,420 campgrounds in its system nor does every campground need upgrades.

“Once the report is reviewed, we’ll respond accordingly,” department spokesman Nicholas Goodwin said.

Environmentalists say the proposal would price out some visitors and benefit special interest groups. The committee largely is made up of representatives from the tourism, manufacturing, hospitality and recreation industries.

More than one-third of the country’s 419 national park units have campgrounds that range from primitive, backcountry sites with no amenities to campgrounds that are easy to reach by road. About 6% are operated by concessionaires, according to the committee. Few campgrounds have amphitheaters, Wi-Fi, electricity or hot showers year-round.

The Interior Department disputed reports that it would turn to privatizing campgrounds to reduce a nearly $12 billion backlog in maintenance at national parks, including $331 million needed for campgrounds.

Activist Post reports regularly about research and risks from exposure to all sources of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) aka “Electrosmog”.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

Image credit: Pixabay

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