Only a few miles inside of the main park gates, visitors lose communication with the rest of the world. Without phone or Internet service, Glacier can be enjoyed much the same as it was a century ago. However, park staff are challenged daily to provide quick response to emergency situations due to the lack of communication ability within Glacier. Emerging technologies in reliable two-way satellite communication would now permit park staff in the field to have two-way emergency and nonemergency communications with managers and supervisors with no increased infrastructure in the park and without impact to the views in the park that would be inherent with radio or cell towers.
This technology was tested last season in Glacier and for the past couple of years in Grand Canyon National Park with demonstrated success. Two-way communication in areas that currently have none will allow supervisors to reroute backcountry staff as needs change, thus being able to respond to back country needs and incidents in a more efficient manner. This project will enhance efficiency and add a margin of safety that is incalculable.