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The list of accusers against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh continues to swell. Also on the Tuesday rundown: Hurricane Florence SNAPs North Carolina to attention on the importance of food benefits; plus a new report says young parents need better supports.

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No More Aerial Drones at Carlsbad Caverns, All National Parks

PHOTO: Skies over Carlsbad Caverns 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: Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs.
PHOTO: Skies over Carlsbad Caverns 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: Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs.
August 28, 2014

CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK, N.M. – 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 New Mexico and nationwide.

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

Valerie Gohlke, a public affairs specialist at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, says the drones could disturb wildlife living at the park.

"It's a possibility that drones could disturb wildlife in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, if they are flown over wildlife as far as scaring them – frightening them, she explains. “And we never allow harassment of wildlife in any national parks."

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 - NM