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Re: EL-84 and National Parks

At 05:13 AM 4/28/2005 +0000, edcollins@att.net wrote:
>Hi Scott,
>  I have been following the problems that you had with the National Park
Service.  I am interested because I plan to operate satellite and QRP
portable from Yellowstone NP  in September.  I will make a suggestion that
you contact the Office of the Superintendent for the National Park Service
and detail your problem to them in writing.  It doesn't hurt to copy your
local congressman or US Senator either and ask them to follow up with the
NPS Superintendent.
> Here is what I found in the NPS web site at
http://www.nps.gov/policy/DOrders/DOrder53.html  concerning antennas in
National Park sites. 
>10.3 Telecommunication Antenna Sites. Director's Order 53A, 'Wireless
Telecommunications,' is hereby rescinded and replaced by the applicable
provisions of this Director's Order. The NPS will comply with the
Telecommunications Act of 1996 and any other policies, requirements, or
instructions that are applicable to the Service. In complying,
superintendents will:
>Encourage preliminary meetings with telecommunication industry companies
who wish to discuss pending or proposed applications for sites in the park
to explain park concerns and understand industry timeframes. 
>Encourage meetings with the applicants during the post application
decision process as necessary, but especially if the manager is considering
denying the application. Such meetings should take place prior to written
notification of denial. 
>Consider the safety of the visiting public when reviewing
telecommunication site applications, including the potential benefit of
having telephone access to emergency law enforcement and public safety
>Ensure that, when an application is submitted, the park replies in writing
within 10 business days with an initial response on the application, and
that response will be ‘yes’ (probably a known categorical exclusion
requiring very minor additional information to be submitted), ‘no’ (with
reasons in writing), or ‘maybe’ (with additional information to be
>Ensure that, to the extent possible, the timeline and detailed steps
enumerated in Reference Manual 53 are followed and the permit is issued or
>Ensure that compliance actions and reviews will be conducted expeditiously
and consistent with all applicable statutes. 
>A telecommunication use is considered a utility and, like other utilities
on NPS lands, will be authorized using the right-of-way permit process
described in Reference Manual 53. 16 USC 5 will be used as the authority to
permit telecommunication antenna sites.
>  You will note that there is no provision for amateur radio activities
included in the directors orders.  They will treat hams like one of the
phone companies!  We are now a utility.  The ranger may have read this
order and strictly applied it to amateur radio as though we were a
commercial service.
>Ed Collins

Scott and all:

It appears the individual ranger was not well informed when presented your
situation.  Occasional mobile and handheld use should not see any
restriction (anymore than use of a cell-phone).  Rover/DX-pedition/Field
Day scale operations may require prior contact to clear objections and gain

Exploring the issue with the park officials is the best approach since they
may not have encountered the issue before.  It looks like your officials
are looking into your experience and you will likely hear back in a couple
months.  Gov't beauracies move very slow and carefully, so be patient.  If
you get no response or categorical dismissal of the issue...THEN go to the
elected officials for help.  You have already alerted ARRL and they will
follow up.  It may take them time to work thru the gov't bureaucracy, as
well.  What I hope happens is that you will turn out to be a test case that
should help the rest of us for the future.

I also believe if you are an active ARES member with ARRL training
credentials, you should use them to gain approval if you encounter on the
spot authoritive resistance.  Words like organizations working with "Home
Land Security" do bring weight to making your case with the individual
ranger (cop/paramedic/gov't official, etc.).

I do think your use of the words: "broadcasting" were unfortunate as this
raises commercial-use in the mind of the ranger.  I've always found that
with law-enforcement types that merely saying you are a ham radio operator
is best (works well with airport security).  Try not to get into details of
what you are doing, since many have no background in communications.  As
the lawyer always recommends...answer yes or no...do not elaborate.  I
teach "civilians" basic radio use and always have to remind myself to
KISS...keep it simple (for the) stupid(s)...tell them what they want (need)
to hear (Not necessarily the whole truth).

I think that is what happened to you!

GL and keep us informed on what develops!

73's Ed - KL7UW
"what they don't know won't hurt YOU"

Ed - KL7UW  <new call>
144-MHz EME - BP40iq:
FT-847, mgf-1801/1402, 4xM2-xpol-20, 170w
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