• Yosemite National Park Bans Drones

    The Yosemite National Park Service is telling visitors to leave their unmanned aircraft systems at home.

    Last week, Yosemite National Park officials released a statement notifying tourists that drones are banned from being used within the park’s boundaries.

    The statement said drones have been witnessed “filming climbers ascending climbing routes, filming views above tree-tops, and filming aerial footage of the park.”

    This, explained officials, is a nuisance to wildlife and visitors looking for a serene park experience.

    “Drones can be extremely noisy, and can impact the natural soundscape,” said the statement.

    It continued, “Drones can also impact the wilderness experience for other visitors creating an environment that is not conducive to wilderness travel.”

    Park officials were also specifically concerned about drones interfering with habitats of nesting peregrine falcons on cliff walls.

    Defending the park rule, the statement cited legislation from the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Clause Thirty Six CFR 2.17(a)(3) prohibits “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”.

    The drones that were being used in Yosemite were not meant for military operations and were not used for policing surveillance purposes. Instead the drones were often used by professional and amateur photographers who wanted to get a shot of the landscape that using their own two hands would not allow.

    People unable to make the trip to the park have been able to marvel at Yosemite beauty by watching videos captured by drones on YouTube.

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