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NPS Bans Drones in Yosemite National Park

The National Park Service (NPS) has issued a statement advising Yosemite visitors that the use of drones is prohibited within park boundaries. Citing regulations outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the NPS stresses that "the use of drones within the park boundaries is illegal under all circumstances." Furthermore the NPS notes that "[d]rones can be extremely noisy, and can impact the natural soundscape... Additionally, drones can have negative impacts on wildlife nearby the area of use, especially sensitive nesting peregrine falcons on cliff walls."

NPS Press Release

Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones) Prohibited in Yosemite National Park

Date: May 2, 2014

Yosemite National Park advises visitors that the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones) are prohibited within park boundaries due to regulations outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Specifically, the use of drones within the park boundaries is illegal under all circumstances. Thirty Six CFR 2.17(a)(3) states, “delivering or retrieving a person or object by parachute, helicopter, or other airborne means, except in emergencies involving public safety or serious property loss, or pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit” is illegal. This applies to drones of all shapes and sizes. 

The park has experienced an increase in visitors using drones within park boundaries over the last few years. Drones have been witnessed filming climbers ascending climbing routes, filming views above tree-tops, and filming aerial footage of the park. Drones can be extremely noisy, and can impact the natural soundscape. Drones can also impact the wilderness experience for other visitors creating an environment that is not conducive to wilderness travel. The use of drones also interferes with emergency rescue operations and can cause confusion and distraction for rescue personnel and other parties involved in the rescue operation. Additionally, drones can have negative impacts on wildlife nearby the area of use, especially sensitive nesting peregrine falcons on cliff walls. 

Visitors traveling to the park should be aware that the use of drones is prohibited while visiting the park and should not be utilized at any time. 

For more information about regulations about visiting Yosemite National Park, please visit www.nps.gov/yose

Pictured above is a Lehmann LA300 automatic drone, which is designed to takeaerial images and video with the Nokia Lumia 1020

Published: Wednesday, May 07, 2014

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Reader Comments

  1. finally someone in a government position has made an intelligent decision!

    zenon (zen) billings at 08:44pm on Wednesday, May 07, 2014

  2. Good. Now this just needs to be repeated in all Nat'l Parks in the World. There should remain some respect for the beauties of our natural environment, seeing how we managed to destroy so great a percentage of it.
    BTW, the author of this concept should be awarded, to further promote the idea.

    Fil at 12:20am on Thursday, May 08, 2014

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