New communication towers proposal would support first responders, rural households

LONG CREEK, OR – (Press Release from the Malheur National Forest)

The Malheur National Forest has received requests from AT&T to construct two communication towers to support First Responder Network Authority (“FirstNet”) and enhance connectivity for rural areas. The proposed locations are on Aldrich Mountain and Long Creek Pass.

In 2012, Congress established the First Responder Network Authority (“FirstNet”), under the Department of Commerce, following recommendations by the 9/11 Commission to establish a nationwide, interoperable wireless network dedicated to First Responders. In 2017, AT&T was awarded the FirstNet contract, along with 20 MHz of spectrum (Band 14), to build and operate the nationwide, 4G LTE network.

FirstNet provides a number of public benefits, among them, always on, 24×7 priority and preemption for First Responders for voice and data communications, a physically separate network core that keeps public safety traffic separate from commercial traffic, and a dedicated fleet of deployable assets to support connectivity during emergencies.

In addition to supporting First Responders, Grant County’s emergency communications systems will also be enhanced by the new Long Creek Pass tower. Both Long Creek Pass and Aldrich Mountain facilities will enhance AT&T communications, including broadband connectivity for nearby rural areas. These proposals are currently under environmental review.

The Aldrich Mountain communication site currently supports a Bureau of Land Management fire lookout, an 80-foot and 60-foot communication tower, and associated buildings with improvements for supporting various government and private users. This site has been in operation since 1934 and designated as a Forest Communications Site in 1985. The proposed AT&T FirstNet facility would include a 199-foot tower and building facility with power supplied from a propane operated generator.

The Long Creek Pass site is along the west side of Highway 395. This site currently supports one40-foot monopole tower and a small wooden building. This site has been in operation since the 1970s. The AT&T FirstNet facility would include a 195-foot tower and building facility with power supplied by the existing powerline and a backup diesel generator system. The proposed facility would accommodate the current existing user. The proposed tower would be visible from various sections of Highway 395.

For questions about FirstNet, or the services/proposal benefits, please reach out to:

Kristi Wilde

Senior Public Safety Advisor, Western Area

First Responder Network Authority

Mobile: 202-308-0974 (pacific time zone)

For questions about these specific facilities, please reach out to:

Ken Lyons

Wireless Policy Group, for AT&T 227-0020

For questions about the Forest Service’s review of the FirstNet proposed communication facilities, please reach out to:

Janet Plocharsky

Malheur NF Environmental Coordinator (541) 575-3390

Robert Foxworth

Blue Mountain District Ranger ( 541) 575-3401.

For more detailed information on Long Creek Pass Simulation visit

For more detailed information on Aldrich Mountain Simulation visit