Over hill and dale to the Eatonville radio repeater they go…

In late January, Telecommunications Specialist Jarrod Nordloh pauses to enjoy the view from Puyallup Ridge while retrieving equipment from a DNR-leased radio site there. Mt. Rainier can be seen in the background. Photo: Andy Osborn/DNR.

Even when back-country snows are piled higher than the road signs (see photo), DNR staff still must head into the back country to service communication sites that the agency leases to private companies and public agencies. The lease revenue helps support state trust land beneficiaries, such as public school construction projects. Because most of the sites are perched on mountain tops, a simple service visit during the winter months can turn into a snowmobile expedition.

In all, DNR leases out more than 100 telecommunication sites on state trust lands across Washington state. Located atop mountains and other high-elevation sites, these facilities house radio, telephone, cellular, microwave and other electronic systems that deliver wireless communication services to residents, businesses and governments across the state. In fiscal year 2015 (which ended June 30, 2015), DNR telecommunication site leases produced nearly $4.5 million for distribution to public schools and other beneficiaries of state trust lands.

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