In June of 2023 a bill was introduced in the senate which aims to increase the amount of wireless radiation in our national parks. Oregon's own senator Ron Wyden has signed on in support. The main goal of the bill is as follows:
To require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct an assessment to identify locations in National Parks in which there is the greatest need for broadband internet access service and areas in National Parks in which there is the greatest need for cellular service, and for other purposes.
This bill is active and quickly moving through the legislative process. The team at Oregon for Safer Technology is very concerned about the potential for profit-focused Big Wireless to gain a stronger foothold in our parks through this bill. Here are some other concerns we have:
Reasons to be concerned about this bill
National Parks are a place to step away from the electric power grid, technology, and demands of daily life, allowing for a closer connection to nature.
Wireless radiation from cellular service and others is harmful to all life, and that includes wildlife like birds, animals and plants. Here is research on the subject, and an excellent analysis of the research from Environmental Health Trust. And here is an excellent video overview of these concerns.
"Cellular service" could very well mean untested 5G technology and even a combination of 4G/5G, with 50-100' high cell towers popping up inside parks across the country.
"for other purposes" is incredibly wide open and could mean adding WiFi hot spots in camp grounds, or at points of interest along trails.
The FCC’s federal exposure limits were designed for humans, not wildlife. “Safe” levels of RF exposure for wildlife and plants have never been developed by any scientific or government entity.
These bills can progress very quickly,
and this one is already 3-months old.
The time is now to raise our voices against it!
Quick actions to stop this bill
A few minutes of your time could make a big difference! If enough of us speak up, senator Wyden could very well pull back his support, altering the course of this bill.
For those of you in Oregon, please call Senator Wyden's office (202) 224-5244 and ask that he withdraw his support for this bill. Have a few facts in mind from the research above that you can speak to.
You can also email him via this link, but a phone call will be more impactful.
Please share this post via email and on your social media channels.
You can read the full bill text here, including a timeline of its development and the legislators that have signed on to support it.