Redfish cell tower

AT&T is proposing a nearly 200-foot cell tower, shown here on the right, next to an existing 100-foot cell tower operated by Custer Telephone.

A plan from telecommunications giant AT&T to build a 195-foot cell tower on a ridge overlooking Redfish Lake in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area appears to be moving forward, though not under its originally expressed purpose of improving emergency communications in the area.

The proposed tower would sit on a one-acre parcel managed by the Idaho Department of Lands approximately 10 miles south of Stanley and just west of the Sawtooth Hatchery.

The monopole was first proposed in January 2020 as part of the First Responder Network, or “FirstNet,” a federal platform established by Congress in the wake of 9/11 to strengthen police, fire and emergency medical communications.

Redfish cell tower lease

A page of the 2021 lease agreement between the Idaho Department of Lands and AT&T, obtained via public records request.

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