Spoiling the Region’s Natural Heritage
“For Tourism Eastern Townships, landscape preservation is crucial,
it is fundamental to the tourist supply.”
– Tourisme Cantons-de-l’Est, Press Release, May 16, 2007
For a long time now, many people have worried about the impact of high-tension power lines on their visual environment. We well remember the ice storm and the battle waged by citizens against the Hertel-des-Cantons line. No one who travels in our area can even pretend to ignore the high-tension lines that run along Autoroute 10. To justify high-tension lines, we were told that electricity was an indispensible need, and we believed it.
However, while many were barely calming down after their battle against the high-tension lines, the telecommunications industry installed microwave antenna towers along this same highway and even beyond, all without warning. Without us actually realizing it, practically unbeknownst to us, it went that fast, our landscape was dotted with these gigantic cell towers.
The current phase involves penetrating into the rural and vacation zones, far from the highway. The contention that these cell towers are necessary authorizes the telecommunications industry to install them just about anywhere, the only criteria being the effectiveness of microwave transmission at the lowest cost, with complete disregard for the landscapes and the opinions of the citizens that live there. Many magnificent natural sites are now already ruined in the name of this assumed necessity.
And this is only the beginning. In urban zones and up until just three or four years ago, the industry made efforts to hide the antennas in church steeples, lamp posts and other inoffensive elevated structures. But recently, antennas are becoming visible along the perimeter of building roof tops. Go check them out! And because people haven’t reacted, the industry feels comfortable enough to install them anywhere without regard for their visual impact.
Try to imagine what impact this nonchalance, this arrogance even, could have on the visual environment of our area if we let this continue. The example of Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colorado, where by 2010 the mountain was covered by a forest of cell towers containing 423 antennas. Would you go hiking on this mountain? Do you want to see Mount Peevee covered this way?
We must react, because these valuable landscapes do not belong to the telecommunications industry, they belong to us.
Bolton-Est and Potton have been relatively spared up until now, but for how much longer?
By now it should be clear that cell towers are completely incompatible with the character of rural communities.