This photo, with a cell phone tower imposed, shows how the tower would affect the view from U.S. 41 going into Copper Harbor from the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge. (Photo courtesy Chris Schmidt)*
COPPER HARBOR -- As many of you know, Brockway Mountain is slated to become home to a 250' cell tower. At a December meeting of the Keweenaw County Zoning Board of Appeals, a variance was granted to permit construction of a tower on Brockway Mountain, nearly 750 feet above Lake Superior. At its proposed site and height, the tower would be the first thing motorists and cyclists see as they head north into Copper Harbor on US 41. In addition to its mark on the horizon, as a freestanding structure, the tower's 30-foot base would also leave a significant footprint on the ground.
Although the availability of cell service in Copper Harbor is an inevitability, particularly in the name of safety, one would hope that it could be accomplished without scarring one of Michigan's great natural landmarks.
In a last-ditch effort, an online petition has been started to request that the decision of the Keweenaw County Zoning Board of Appeals be reconsidered. The petition is not against providing Copper Harbor with cell service, but rather in the proposed location of the cell tower.
If one million calls and letters to Congress could put a stop to SOPA, if one hundred thousand names on an online petition made Verizon abandon their proposed fees for online payments, and if 4,500 names were enough to stop the LaCrosse city council from transforming the scenic Upper Hixon Forest into a housing development, certainly there are enough people who have spent time on Brockway Mountain who would like to see it preserved that the Zoning Board of Appeals could be swayed to reconsider its decision.
With that in mind, please consider signing the online petition. Once a precedent has been sent, the mountain could soon be host to more towers, further damaging the view and posing additional risk to the more than 14,000 raptors that use Brockway Mountain as a final resting spot before crossing Lake Superior during their spring migration.
To view and sign the petition, please click here.
* For more photos of the site location (with and without a tower), see "Brockway Viewshed vs proposed Cell Tower" on flickr.com.