Improper Design

The National Park Service (NPS) is governed by a set of Management Policies.  Here’s what the 2006 NPS Management Policies require with respect to cell towers:

“New traditional towers (i.e., monopole or lattice) should be approved only after all other options have been explored.” 

By its plain language this provision relegates traditional towers in national parks to the “last resort” category.  So when Yellowstone officials received a proposal for a “traditional” cell tower for the Lake area in January 2012, they needed to explore all possible alternatives to it.  But no such comprehensive “exploration” ever took place. 

Instead, park officials had favored a traditional cell tower at Lake for ten years and these intervening new NPS Management Policies (no matter how directly applicable) would not move them off their pre-determined course.