Yosemite National Park Outlaws Drones

US-NationalParkService-ShadedLogo.svgDrones won’t be making a friend of nature at Yosemite National Park. The National Park Service issued a statement banning drones, or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). The Park Service claims the drones are a nuisance that disrupts the experience of being in the wilderness:

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.

Further, the Park Service warns drone users that their UAVs can interfere “with emergency rescue operations and can cause confusion and distraction for rescue personnel and other parties involved in the rescue operation.”  While a still camera and its tripod can be distracting to other visitors, drones are unnatural flying objects that can “also have negative impacts on wildlife nearby the area of use, especially sensitive nesting peregrine falcons on cliff walls.”

So, if you are planning to go outdoors to natural reserves please leave your drones at home. Even if it is in Yosemite, it’s highly ineffective as a conduit for experiencing and preserving nature – especially if you get kicked out.