Next portage? Follow the lights.

An appeals court in Minnesota is allowing AT&T to build a 450-foot cell tower that will be visible from within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Minnesotans are divided over the ruling.

Where’s the next portage? Follow the blinking lights.

An appeals court in Minnesota is allowing AT&T to build a 450-foot cell tower that will be visible from within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Storified by Michael Olson · Mon, Jun 18 2012 19:34:48

The ruling is met with disgust and hopelessness by those that retreat to the BWCA to enjoy nature in a wild place without disruptions. Others cheer the ruling as a victory for property rights, safety and economic development.
Court allows AT&T cell tower near BWCAby Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Court of Appeals has decided to allow AT&T to build a 450-foot…
We suffered a setback today in the BWCAW cell tower lawsuit, but remain resolved to protect the wilderness. Statement: http://www.friends-bwca.org/2012/06/court-of-appeals-rules-in-favor-of-cell-tower-at-edge-of-bwcaw/Friends of the BWCAW
WTH. Now the courts are allowing AT&T to put a giant flashing tower right next to the BWCA. Nothing says "wilderness" like blinking lights?Tony Yarusso
Common sense & safety prevail / AT&T welcomes ruling on cellphone tower near BWCA | http://StarTribune.com http://www.startribune.com/local/159431235.html #mnlegTom Steward
Sky falling/sux 2B green: prayer vigil ahead for the BWCA viewscape? Appeals court rules on tower. http://v.gd/LLI7E1Terry Stone
RT @aaronklemz: My take on the cell tower decision this morning | Appeals court reverses decision prohibiting mega-tower next to BWCA: http://left.mn/2012/06/appeals-court-reverses-decision-prohibiting-mega-tower-next-to-bwca/Friends of the BWCAW
Over on the MPR News Facebook page we asked people if they supported the ruling?
Absolutely not. Our quiet, untouched spaces are vanishing…this is disappointing.Jill Evenson Abenth
Absolutely. If you don’t want a cellphone don’t bring one. If I get in trouble out there I want to be able to communicate.Rebecca Laplante
As someone who wants to use his cell phone while *near* the BWCA, yes, this is great news.Brian Brown
if you really must communicate while in the BW rent a SPOT or satellite phone. As to cell phone use near the BW, building more, smaller, non-intrusive towers would have worked just fine. I hardly think AT&T can’t afford to do this, but they chose to spend money in the courts rather than working for a solution that would have benefited everyone.Edgewood Smith
Since it will be on private land outside the BWCA, I agree with the ruling, it is a property rights issue.T.S. Bye
This is very disappointing! We don’t need so much "progress" What is wrong with areas without cell phones! As a person who lives up here next to the BWA I’m very saddened by their ruling!Jen Bushmaker
Please remember that this tower is NOT for bwca visitors. It is for the residents in the area. We are not talking about building a tower ON BWCA land (or a McDonalds/bank like Jeff mentioned). Next, the city of Ely will be forced to turn off their lights after dark because they are ruining the BWCA experience because of light polution. Are you seeing the logic now?Chris Zigs Ellerbroek
Thank goodness, now I can tweet about the untouched wilderness from my canoe. *sarcasm*Laurel Richmond
Tweets like this one from someone heading into the BWCA will be less likely in the future should the AT&T tower move ahead as planned.
goodbye cell phone service, hello nature #bwcaGabriella Fortuna
Thank the Good Lord for the beauty of this scenery. Absolutely breathtaking. #BWCA http://pic.twitter.com/t3T2txJ0Chelsey Falzone

  • Joe

    This California resident won’t go back. I have been to the BWCA 6 or 7 times in my life but don’t need this. There is plenty of wilderness in the west.

    Joe

  • Sa

    So now you aren’t going to visit because you *might* see a blinking light on a tower? Just wow. I for one am happy about the decision. It’s on private land, shouldn’t be disputed.