3D Robotics

Drones now banned in all US National Parks


From Gizmodo:

The National Parks Service just announced a sweeping ban on drones. The new policy prohibits "launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service." Why? Because they're disruptive, that's why.

Drones are already banned in a few national parks, including Yosemite, for the simple fact that they're a noisy nuisance. These flying robots bother park-goers. They bother park rangers. And perhaps most importantly, they bother the wildlife. The Parks Service release even lists infractions:

In April, visitors at Grand Canyon National Park gathered for a quiet sunset, which was interrupted by a loud unmanned aircraft flying back and forth and eventually crashing in the canyon. Later in the month, volunteers at Zion National Park witnessed an unmanned aircraft disturb a herd of bighorn sheep, reportedly separating adults from young animals.

Disturbing the sheep!

Not all hope is lost for hobbyists who want a beautiful backdrop for their aerial drone-o-graphs, though. The Parks Service itself will also continue using drones "for administrative purposes such as search and rescue, fire operations and scientific study." The new policy is described as a "temporary measure" pending a more permanent regulation which "can take considerable time" to get approved.

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  • Moderator

    I think a rule like the one described is better.  No flying within 100 yards of the sign.  No flying in lifeguarded areas. No flying during a search and rescue operation, unless part of it.  No flying above people or animals...

    These seem like simple common sense rules that everyone can abide by without an outright ban.  

    What the park service is really doing is stopping innovation.   Who knows what kind of new technology development might come from a 'National Park Drone'.  

  • Moderator

    I do love nature.  I love photographing it.  I think RV's and campfires are a much bigger nuisance and much more dangerous than drones.  Have herds of sheep been disrupted by cars, trucks or RVs ?

    Can you leave your RV with Satellite TV system home?  Do you go to the parks naked armed only with a pointy stick ?

    Maybe they should ban children too.  Kids are injured many more times than adults.  I remember reading it's something like 7 to 1.  And teenagers... they cause all sorts of problems... I can go on, but I won't.  

    My point is, even though this is temporary, can't there be a compromise?  No drones in certain sections of the park instead of an outright ban.   

    This seems to be the governments attitude about anything they don't like or understand.  But they don't own the parks.  The taxpayers do.  The park service works for us, they are our guests, not the other way around. 

    If they can't figure out how to accommodate everyone, then get rid of the park service and hire a private contractor that can.


  • ROFL, I don't trust the lies CNN & the other major news networks tell let alone some idiot news named gizmodo... I herd in the enquirer tabloid that aliens are here so it MUST BE TRUE@! ROFL

    "I read it on the internet so it must be true" ROFL....

    Its up to each national parks superintendent to decided how to proceed. for example. OMG a sweeping ban.... my next picture from a national parks compendium will show you just how BULL this news is. please stop posting lies and garbage to this site. Thankyou


  • Moderator

    Show me the law sir.  Without a law, that is just your WISH LIST. 

  • @ Bill

    Exactly. I think this ban is way more about attitude and control than safety etc. Remember when there was the partial government shutdown [ because of a less than %1 cut in spending ] Many park including these national parks closed in a hissy fit like a little kid angry he didn't get his candy. They actually had to bring in more of their employees to make sure nobody got in!! Yet the pretense was because of a minor ct the parks were closed because they couldn't handle it. Total BS. The park service has forgotten who owns the parks!! The people do! 

  • Moderator

    I agree that some sort of rule has to be in place.  

    But I feel like the government's attitude is that they are allowing us into their park, as their guest.  In reality, it's exactly the opposite, they are OUR parks, and government is OUR guest that we taxpayers have hired to help us run the park.  

    Maybe it's time for the National Park Service to be privatized,  since the government cannot figure out how to accommodate all of the parks owners. 

  • Alejandro, I love your comment.

    Yes, that is why I think there are rules for flying Cessnas and driving and parking RVs. Once it gets popular, someone needs to create rules

  • Philip Giacone, to summarize, once "drones" became so easy to fly even an idiot could do it... then there's lots of idiots flying them ruining things for everyone else, both flyers and the general public.

  • This makes me thankful that I live in a country with stone age laws , but it won't be long a few more complaints and accidents and we will follow suit, New Zealands law makers worship Americas system of control
  • Reasonable rules, exclusion areas, permissible UAVs or at least size or weight, electric only, avoiding people, all that would be OK.

    The problem is that isn't what is likely to happen, these things are always very political and have happened before, BMX bikes for instance.

    Occasionally some accommodation was made, but first use always wins why you still have horse trails but not very many motorcycle ones.

    And as others said here, the proliferation of quadcopters in the hands of completely unqualified, inconsiderate and dangerous people is likely to spell the outright exclusion of them from an awful lot of places.

    For the most part, neither the public, or the government see this as a good thing.

    Kind of like off road motorcycles, the places we can use these are likely to be few and far between.

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