National Park Service Shouldn’t Contribute To Technological Disconnect With Nature

National Park Service Shouldn’t Contribute To Technological Disconnect With Nature
For five days we floated through the deep, ruddy canyons gouged into the landscape of Dinosaur National Monument by the Green River, and for those days not a cell signal was tapped, not a phone conversation heard, not an app applied.

It was glorious.

Particularly enjoying this technological disconnect was my oldest son, a sound recording engineer who relished the fact that his cell wasn't beeping with texts or ringing with calls. No inbox to check for emails, no deadlines to meet. Just scenery to absorb, rapids to run, and quiet conversation to enjoy.

But there's a concern in some circles that visitors to America's national parks don't want such a disconnect, a forced downtime from Facebook or tweeting, from tagging friends in front of a sputtering Old Faithful. The National Park Service has heard those worries, and is embarking on a pilot project to explore expanded Wi-Fi and cellphone service in the National Park System.

Granted, more than likely if you're floating idly through the Gates of Lodore in Dinosaur or enjoying the view from the Goat Haunt Overlook in Glacier National Park you won't ever find a signal even if the pilot project gives way to full-blown wiring of the park system's front country.

But think of where such expanded service might reach. The bench-lined apron that fronts the Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone. The waysides along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park that spill over with vacationers in summer and leaf-peepers in…
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