Time after time, meeting after meeting, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department has tried to push the urgency for a tower, bringing in their hand-picked “experts” with stories of woe and how dangerous it is for us not to have coverage in the mountains.
So today, let’s take a look at how bad the coverage really is…..
The High Park Fire covered an area of 87,284 acres, or 136.381 square MILES. For a larger map you may go here: http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2904/
As we all know, this was a HUGE fire, that spread in many directions. You would have expected, as portrayed by previous “testimony” that there would have been large areas that would have been out of the coverage areas of the current radio system.
At a meeting following the fire, Red Feather residents were given maps by Commissioner Lew Gaiter, show what they were calling “problem” areas with radio coverage during the fire.
The map above shows the current 800MHZ coverage area.. There are 3 X marks on each map, depicting where there were “problems” with coverage during the fire.
As you can see from the map above, only ONE area, which lies in the Poudre Canyon, would have benefited from the presence of the tower. The other 2 areas are still on the fringes of the “proposed” tower coverage.
Areas, such as Pingree Park, have been stated to have poor coverage, but apparently during the fire there were no problems. Somewhat strange?
So, from looking at these maps, we have to ask ourselves, is it worth spending millions on a tower? Is it worth building a tower on Middle Bald Mountain, an irreplaceable Alpine peak, which is located in endangered Lynx habitat? Is it worth clearcutting 29+ acres of trees in an already damaged forest, to run power lines through? Power lines which will clutter and obstruct the views and diminish your enjoyment of our national forest?
There is one more thing to mention here. DTRS is designed for mobile radio. This simply means that chances are better that radio signals in a VEHICLE may be improved. Multiple sources have stated that there is no guarantee that coverage will be available to those people who are on the ground, in behind the mountains, working the fires, etc. NONE.
Middle Bald Mountain is actually the THIRD choice on the counties list. South Bald Mountain, which is in a roadless area, less than .53 miles from Middle Bald was their first choice. Sheriff Smith has stated that the placement of 5 towers in the Poudre Canyon would be his ideal pick and it WOULD give them far better coverage. The environmental impacts would be far less also. But yet they continue to throw YOUR money away on the Middle Bald proposal.