Poll: Should the U.S. Make Parks More ‘Wired’?

Are wi-fi and cellular service modern necessities that should be available even in national parks, remote or otherwise? Or should parks be a refuge from technology and the incessant demands of society? Can the two-technology and refuge-coexist? Or does the former inevitably intrude on the latter?

These are important questions. And while they’ve been debated in the past, over the efforts to increase cellular coverage in places like Yellowstone, for example, they’re coming into higher relief this week as a group of Democratic congressmen have sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to spend “significant” money to increase connectivity in parks.

“Since its founding, our National Park Service has set an example for the world to follow, and we believe that investing in 21st century telecommunications infrastructure is critical to maintaining that leadership,” the letter says. “In honor of the Park Service’s centennial, Director Jon Jarvis has commited to providing free public wi-fi at all park visitor centers by the end of 2016. This is an important step to improving connectivity in park units. However, additional resources will be necessary to continue this momentum into future years.”

The missive was signed by representatives Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Jared Huffman of California, Derek Kilmer of Washington, Jared Polis of Colorado, and Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts.

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This week, one poll participant will receive Smith Optic’s Rockford sunglasses. We’ll pick the winner via random number generator (and announce it here) – all you have to do to enter is vote and leave a comment so we have your email to contact you. Must have a U.S. or Canadian address. Contest ends Sunday, February 7, at midnight PST.
Congratulations to Sarah Milne, who wins the Smiths this week!

Rockford_Rose Gold

Photo of Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park by Jose Gallego




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