Birds Deaths related to Towers: Perspective

Bird v. Tower

The firm of Curry & Kerlinger, LLC (who serve as “consultants to the wind power industry on birds and other wildlife issues”) has an interesting set of stats about the various ways that birds are killed each year:

Deaths annually from (descending ranking):

  • Glass Windows: 100 to 900+ million
  • Electrical Transmission lines: “up to 174 million”
  • House Cats: 100 million
  • Hunting: 100+ million
  • Autos/Trucks: 50 to 100 million
  • Agriculture: 67 million
  • Communications Towers: 4 to 10 million
  • Oil and Gas Extraction: 1 to 2 million
  • Power line electrocutions: >1,000
  • Land Development; Stock Tanks; Logging and Strip Mining; Commercial Fishing: Unknown

The stats suggest that before we worry about birds hitting towers, we should focus on the real bird killers: All of the others above the telecom listing.  For about every 109 bird deaths, 108 are attributable to non-telecom reasons.

It’s a perspective thing…just like RF safety.



Do Cell Towers Sneak into Neighborhoods in Disguise?

August 30, 2009:  In a copyrighted story in The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, California), reporter Jeff Horseman discusses how cell phone sites are are being hidden within clock towers, camouflaged mono-trees, and church steeples.  This is a very informative and balanced article.

Jonathan is quoted throughout the story, titled “Cell phone towers sneaking in to Inland neighborhoods in disguise.”

After you’ve read the story, take a look at various camouflaged cell site designs in the our Wireless Site Gallery.

(Story link posted here with the kind permission of the P-E’s editor.)


Site Landlords: Does Clearwire or Clear Wireless Want On to Your Site?

In various markets in California, Clearwire (sometimes Clear Wireless LLC) is seeking tower site landlord authorization to add to an existing site.  Sometimes the applications or lease amendments are tendered by Sprint (which owns 51% of the legally-separate Clearwire entity), but I’ve also seen other wireless carriers ask permission to sublease their tower space to Clearwire without offering any financial benefit to the tower site owner.  Sometimes the tenant will tell the landlord that some provision of the lease requires the landlord to give permission (seems odd and in conflict doesn’t it… a lease requirement that the landlord must give a permission).

Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s worth pulling our your original lease (and any amendments you’ve signed) to see whether adding Clearwire (or any new proposed site occupant) is permitted or required under the lease, or whether this is an opportunity for you to adjust your site revenue upwards to reflect the new addition, and ‘true-up’ other open items connected with your tower lease.

Be especially careful if your wireless carrier tenant approaches you for permission to sublease to another wireless firm AND asks for a rent reduction at the same time.   Talk about galling!

I’ve had site landlords approach me recently who find themselves in one or more of the ugly positions I’ve just listed.  If you’d like legal assistance to avoid giving away potential new revenue, and to avoid giving away your current revenue, drop me an electronic note or give me a call.

Jonathan Kramer, Esq.
Kramer Telecom Law Firm, PC
Los Angeles