ARCADIA — Angeles National Forest officials have signed the leases for the first five of 13 proposed towers in the forest for a new Land Mobile Radio emergency communications system to be operated by the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System Authority.
Rachel Smith, ANF deputy supervisor, signed the leases on February 7, clearing the path to modernize the emergency communications system used by first responders in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area.
The new LMR system will unify local, state, or federal emergency responders’ communications with a single state-of-the-art network.
This follows an Oct. 31, 2019, decision to lease the 13 sites in the Angeles National Forest and now clears the path for tower construction to begin. The leases are for 30 years of operation and maintenance.
“This will significantly improve communications for first responders in LA County,” Smith said. “The signing of the tower leases is a big step towards developing a modern public safety network.”
“The communications towers in the forest will help protect the region’s first responders that are risking their lives to protect the public, and we thank the USFS for these leases,” said Scott Edson, executive director of the Los Angeles Interoperable Communications System.
The 13 project sites, distributed across the Angeles National Forest, are part of a proposed 60-site LMR system across LA County. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing federal funding for the countywide LMR project.
All 13 sites on National Forest System land were previously designated and managed as communication sites.
The Angeles National Forest manages land for a variety of multiple uses, including mountain top communication sites. Site-specific analysis was completed to meet Forest Service requirements for the protection of natural resources, and to ensure that the project follows the ANF Land Management Plan.
For more information regarding the LA-RICS Land Mobile Radio project, contact Wendy Stallworth-Tait at firstname.lastname@example.org.