"'When people come to Yellowstone, it's one of the most special times in their lives,' said Tim Stevens of the National Parks Conservation Assn. 'One of the things that makes it that is the ability to hear the splash of a geyser . . . and not having that sound drowned out by somebody having a conversation with their family back in New Jersey.'
Yellowstone officials say it's only logical to extend wireless service into already highly developed areas. Their plan calls for one additional tower by the historic Lake Yellowstone Hotel, and for improving service in the Canyon and Tower-Roosevelt areas.
It also would consolidate some of the telecommunications equipment that mars certain parts of the park, such as the mass of antennas that crowns Bunsen Peak, a popular hiking destination near Mammoth Hot Springs.
'Yellowstone is not one place,' said Tom Ollitt, the park official who oversaw the plan. 'It's three to four different experiences. The developed areas have a different experience than anywhere else in Yellowstone.'"