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Grand Teton National Park pursuing disputed cell-tower build

Visitors watch the morning sun illuminate the Grand Tetons Aug. 28, 2016, from within the Great Room at the Jackson Lake Lodge. Grand Teton National Park in western Wyoming seeks thoughts from the public on plans for a new network of cell towers amid questions about how the National Park Service balances public safety with the experience of wilderness. The park currently has two cell towers as part of a system built piecemeal-fashion, with some fiber-optic lines buried without conduit and poorly mapped.

CHEYENNE (AP) — A national park in Wyoming is moving ahead with plans for a network of cell towers amid questions about how the National Park Service balances public safety with the experience of wilderness.

Grand Teton National Park is taking public comment on plans for nine cell towers in already-developed areas of the park. The park currently has two cell towers.

Park officials say benefits would include the ability to call for help during medical emergencies and helping retain seasonal workers by keeping them in touch with friends and family.

Jeff Ruch with the group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility says people enjoying nature shouldn't be disrupted by people selling stock or ordering pizza on their phones.

Ruch says the Park Service lacks a comprehensive policy for cell facilities.

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