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Aerial Drone Ban in Effect at Great Basin, All National Parks

PHOTO: Skies over Great Basin and other national parks around the nation should remain clear of aerial drones, now that the U.S. National Park Service has banned their use. Photo credit: NASA.
PHOTO: Skies over Great Basin and other national parks around the nation should remain clear of aerial drones, now that the U.S. National Park Service has banned their use. Photo credit: NASA.
August 28, 2014

GREAT BASIN NATIONAL PARK, Nev. – The U.S. National Park Service's ban on aerial drones being used inside national parks, primarily to capture photos and video, is now in full effect in Nevada and nationwide.

The Park Service initiated the drone ban in late June, but gave park superintendents two months to implement the policy.

Nichole Andler, chief of interpretation and partnerships at Great Basin National Park, says the drones could disturb wildlife that live at the park.

"We do have a lot of very neat wildlife – such things as mountain lions, which tend to like to be secretive and not to be disturbed," she points out.

The National Park Service says there were cases of the aerial drones disturbing and scaring animals and visitors at various national parks.

Ray O'Neil, acting chief ranger at Zion National Park, says despite the prohibition on drones, the National Park Service may eventually use the technology to help locate people stranded or injured at parks.

"We may find that there are some agency uses for unmanned aerial systems, like search and rescue, or mapping fires where we may use some drones for administrative use," he points out.

O'Neil adds anyone cited for using an aerial drone inside a national park could face a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $5,000.



Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV