Otter Creek compromise



The spirit of cooperation and compromise shown by Acadia National Park officials and representatives of the company wishing to locate a cell phone tower near the park’s Blackwoods Campground in Otter Creek should serve as a model for future interactions.

Residents of Otter Creek and those just offshore have a great interest in improved service, let alone receiving a cell phone signal in the first place. More and more visitors to national parks are using electronic devices such as cell phones and tablets to record and share their experiences. Cell phones also are invaluable when summoning help in emergency situations.

By some estimates, there are more than 1,000 cell phones and wireless devices in the campground each summer night. But lack of service there renders them useless.

At the behest of local planning board officials, both parties met and agreed on a design both technically and aesthetically sufficient. The proposed location is readily visible from some of the prime view-shed areas in the park.

The design agreed upon, an artificial white pine tree, is much more sophisticated than the first generation fake trees installed in Bar Harbor. Those towers more closely resemble bottle brushes than trees. The new design avoids perfect symmetry, mimicking variation found in nature.

All involved deserve praise for achieving an acceptable agreement that will provide improved telephone service in Otter Creek.