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Appeals court hears fight over proposed BWCA cell phone tower

A lower court rejected AT&T's proposal to build a 450-foot tower just outside the BWCA, ruling that the tower would intrude on the federally protected wilderness area. In its appeal the company emphasized the tower would be on privately-owned land outside the BWCA.
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A lower court rejected AT&T's proposal to build a 450-foot tower just outside the BWCA, ruling that the tower would intrude on the federally protected wilderness area. In its appeal the company emphasized the tower would be on privately-owned land outside the BWCA.

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Critics of BWCA cell phone tower appeal to MN Supreme Court

The Minnesota Court of Appeals gave AT&T permission to build a 450-foot cell phone tower just outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The group Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness hopes Supreme Court justices will agree with a lower court that ruled the tower would be a blight on the federal wilderness area.

AT&T files appeal in quest to build cell phone tower near BWCA

AT&T hopes the judges will overturn a lower court ruling banning the 450-foot tower. The company says the court overstated the aesthetic impact of the tower and argues it will improve public safety in the wilderness area.

Cell phone tower alongside BWCA is a go after Supreme Court rejects case

The Minnesota Supreme Court refused to hear a case involving construction of a 450-foot cell phone tower just outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Critics of the plan argued the blinking tower would mar the scenery of the federal wilderness area. But an appeals court sided with AT&T, which will now move ahead with the tower.

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Six law professors from four universities in two states said this week that the Minnesota Court of Appeals was wrong to allow a 450-foot cell phone tower on the edge of the Boundary Waters wilderness and asked the state Supreme Court to review the case, the Star Tribune is reporting. The state's high court has not yet indicated whether it will hear the case between AT&T and the Friends of the Boundary Waters.

Court ruling allows AT&T to put tower near BWCA

The Minnesota Court of Appeals says AT&T can build a controversial 450-foot cellphone tower east of Ely, the Associated Press reports. A group against the tower argued it would be visible within parts of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and pushed for a shorter tower without flashing lights. The three-judge panel ruled Hennepin County District Court gave too much weight to the potential adverse effects on the environment.

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The Pioneer Press reports AT&T will start building the shorter tower later this year, but if its appeal is successful, they would replace it with the larger tower.

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In 1969 the average age of a BWCA visitor was 26. But these days young people are less likely to venture out to the nation's parks and wilderness areas. It's a trend parks officials would like to reverse.