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SWEET HOME — The public is invited to comment on a proposal to upgrade communications facilities at Huss Ridge and to allow emergency services access at both Huss Ridge and Coffin Mountain.

According to Sweet Home District Ranger Nikki Swanson, the goal is to improve communication platforms for emergency services and local fire departments. Comments are due by Oct. 25.

The Huss Ridge and Coffin Mountain sites would allow local emergency services agencies to communicate longer distances in the rural areas of the Willamette National Forest. Better communications would reduce response times, transmission quality and increase safety for both the public and Forest Service staff, Swanson noted.

Huss Ridge has a permanent large antenna mounted on a small structure. The project would add a 10-by-12-foot building and a propane tank, which would sit on concrete foundations. Solar panels would be mounted on the new building.

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There is an existing large antenna and lookout building on Coffin Mountain. The proposal would designate Huss Ridge and Coffin Mountain as official non-commercial communication sites and allow local municipal emergency services to use the site for long-distance communications.

Neither site would be available for commercial communication.

For more information, or to make comments, contact Joanie Schmidgall by calling 541-367-3809 or email joan.schmidgall@usda.gov.

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