AT&T asks appeals court to allow tower near BWCA 10 Jan 12

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – AT&T is asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to overturn a judge’s decision barring it from building a 450-foot cellphone tower with flashing lights that would be visible within parts of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Attorneys for AT&T Mobility LLC say the trial court incorrectly applied a state law to federal land, overstated the aesthetic impact of the proposed tower on the wilderness area, and failed to give adequate weight to the public safety benefits for residents near the BWCA and visitors within it. The company filed its brief last week.

The Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness had sued to block AT&T from building the 450-foot tower east of Ely, on a site about 1.5 miles outside the BWCA. The group’s reply is due early next month.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)