SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK (AP) — A newspaper reports Verizon Wireless has won federal approval to build a 138-foot (42-meter) cellular tower in California’s Sequoia National Park to improve phone service in the remote region.

The Fresno Bee reports Thursday that the tower will be a “monopine” design intended to disguise it as a pine tree. It will be built near Wuksachi Village, a developed commercial area.

The approval comes after a monthlong public comment period last year during which a majority of commenters opposed the tower. Opponents say adding cell service in the park could detract from one of the main reasons many people visit in the first place: solitude.

It would be the first such installation inside Sequoia. Neighboring Kings Canyon National Park has a tower also licensed to Verizon.

Farther north in Yosemite National Park, there are nine towers.

Comments (2)
  1. Eileen Kephart says:

    They paved paradise, and they put up a cell tower in Sequoia National Park. And Yosemite has nine towers?! Is nothing sacred??

  2. Eileen Kephart says:

    For the uninitiated, I was paraphrasing Joni Mitchell….”They paved paradise, and they put up a parking lot”. So true.