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R.Perry

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I live 40 miles outside of Yosemite NP. It is a no fly zone as most of you probably already know regarding National Parks. I asked one of the rangers what the real issue was. Two years ago a drone operator hit a climber. The climber sustained a couple of cuts from the drone props, but that was about it.

I would like to see pressure put on the parks to allow licensed drone pilots get permits to fly in the parks but really don't know how to go about it. If someone is lost, they well call in a helicopter.

The photography opportunities would be endless if we could fly in our parks, by the way, they are our parks, not the park managements.
 
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FatherXmas

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I remembered reading where it was possible to get permission, so I did a little research. The National Parks Service was given authority to regulate drones under 36 CFR 1.5, However, there is a chance you can still fly your drone there. Purposes such as scientific study, search and rescue operations, fire operations, and law enforcement can operate under written permission from National Park Service administration.
 
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Dave Pitman

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Park Service upper management are not elected. They can probably be persuaded if you were to get a good group of the US congress to advocate for it. Or, the president I suppose. ......Good Luck.
 
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AH-1G

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Park Service upper management are not elected. They can probably be persuaded if you were to get a good group of the US congress to advocate for it. Or, the president I suppose. ... Good Luck.
Mention to them you would like to do a 1 or 2 minute add promoting the park, they would get a copy?
 
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Airbender

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It is my understanding that unmanned Aircraft System (Drones) in State Parks. Drones are currently allowed. Also allowed in State Parks, State Beaches, State Historic Parks, State Recreational Areas, and State Vehicular Recreation Areas except where prohibited by a District Superintendent's posted order. Read more here >

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.May 2, 2014. Read more here >

SAR? In Yosemite they feel 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, whereas climbers are part of that natural ecosystem and the sound of a rock drill is no more an interruption to the peace and tranquility of the valley than a falcons cry.
 

BigAl07

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I would like to see pressure put on the parks to allow licensed drone pilots get permits to fly in the parks but really don't know how to go about it.

Even though we (sUAS operators) like to think we are many and have a lot of voice the fact of the matter is we are not. Compared to the rest of the population of the USA we are but a speck on the windshield. As soon as we stray outside the Aviation Realm we realize our #'s are very small. To add insult to injury, unless a group is well organized and MONETIZED they have very little voice in our Government.

Another thing to consider is that more often than not, John Q. Public is Anti-Drone by nature because they've drank the Media Kool-Aid about how dangerous and "intrusive" they are. Do a simple FaceBook poll locally and ask how many people would vote to allow DRONES to fly in the NPS. You'll most likely get some support simply because your friend list is probably Drone Friendly. I think you'll be surprised if you did a random poll not from your account/friends list of how many people would say NEGATIVE.


If someone is lost, they well call in a helicopter.
We use sUAS in the NPS but it has to be approved for each and every use. We actually have to meet with the Admin over the area (or the Head Honcho on duty at the time) and get it in writing to use sUAS in Search-n-Rescue but it can be done and it is done often. They go over our credentials, our Incident Action Plan, and then give written authorization to do the flight. More often then not, all of this is already done (except the credentials part) before I even get on scene.

Below are some shots from a past SAR event on NPS land we've done
20116761_1696764747023631_7305624360579659078_o.jpg


20157212_1696820493684723_7386995014618122472_o.jpg


The photography opportunities would be endless if we could fly in our parks, by the way, they are our parks, not the park managements.

Lastly I'll throw some gas on the fire... I spend a LOT of time in the NPS and the last thing I want it to hear/see a sUAS buzzing around while I'm out there getting some personal peace and quiet. Not to step on toes in here but I'll vote each and every time against non-Public Safety sUAS flights in the NPS. I'd like the NPS to stay natural and peaceful. Many of us go there to get away from technology and to literally "UnPlug" for a while.
 

Airbender

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Nobody wants the sound of a drone nearby when in a national park. I don't want the sounds of children, and I hate old people on the trail, especially those with walking sticks or heaven forbid a wheel chair. Just say no to cameras with flash and absolutely no tripods; very distracting. Oh, and young adults with ear buds. Safety hazard right there.

What would you add to my list?
 

R.Perry

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It is my understanding that unmanned Aircraft System (Drones) in State Parks. Drones are currently allowed. Also allowed in State Parks, State Beaches, State Historic Parks, State Recreational Areas, and State Vehicular Recreation Areas except where prohibited by a District Superintendent's posted order. Read more here >

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.May 2, 2014. Read more here >

SAR? In Yosemite they feel 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, whereas climbers are part of that natural ecosystem and the sound of a rock drill is no more an interruption to the peace and tranquility of the valley than a falcons cry.

I have flown at Fort Bragg, CA state parks with no problem, however I was doing some filming at Half Moon Bay state park and the rangers told me I was not allowed to fly in their park. After checking with the park superintendent I found out the ranger had no authority to stop me, go figure.

As for wild life, that is bureaucratic bs, I have had eagles, and red tail hawks fly around my drone and they just seemed interested then flew off. I would never fly around any of their nests, but I do know there are some that would. I have photographed dear and bear and they seemed totally unconcerned about it, especially bears they aren't bothered by much unless you get around their cubs. When I was a kid and going to college I worked summers in Yosemite, the average tourist never really sees the parks true beauty. If you want peace and quite, Yosemite is not the place to go, it has way too many tourist.
 

Outta Control

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RP as good practice and effort a sUAS operator should contact the ranger station ahead of time. This allows you to understand their stance on drone use at their park and also allows you to inform them of your day and time of operations. I have been doing this methodology for the past 3 years and had been received by the Rangers Sup well. In fact, there was an incident that eliminated me from being harassed since they knew what, where, and when I was out there.
 

AH-1G

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Even though we (sUAS operators) like to think we are many and have a lot of voice the fact of the matter is we are not. Compared to the rest of the population of the USA we are but a speck on the windshield. As soon as we stray outside the Aviation Realm we realize our #'s are very small. To add insult to injury, unless a group is well organized and MONETIZED they have very little voice in our Government.

Another thing to consider is that more often than not, John Q. Public is Anti-Drone by nature because they've drank the Media Kool-Aid about how dangerous and "intrusive" they are. Do a simple FaceBook poll locally and ask how many people would vote to allow DRONES to fly in the NPS. You'll most likely get some support simply because your friend list is probably Drone Friendly. I think you'll be surprised if you did a random poll not from your account/friends list of how many people would say NEGATIVE.



We use sUAS in the NPS but it has to be approved for each and every use. We actually have to meet with the Admin over the area (or the Head Honcho on duty at the time) and get it in writing to use sUAS in Search-n-Rescue but it can be done and it is done often. They go over our credentials, our Incident Action Plan, and then give written authorization to do the flight. More often then not, all of this is already done (except the credentials part) before I even get on scene.

Below are some shots from a past SAR event on NPS land we've done
20116761_1696764747023631_7305624360579659078_o.jpg


20157212_1696820493684723_7386995014618122472_o.jpg




Lastly I'll throw some gas on the fire... I spend a LOT of time in the NPS and the last thing I want it to hear/see a sUAS buzzing around while I'm out there getting some personal peace and quiet. Not to step on toes in here but I'll vote each and every time against non-Public Safety sUAS flights in the NPS. I'd like the NPS to stay natural and peaceful. Many of us go there to get away from technology and to literally "UnPlug" for a while.
Perry, cars make noise in the parks.:rolleyes: The pictures I would love to get, is where there are no trails, hike beyond the next hill, get the shots that would inspire more people to visit the parks. More people more money for the Parks. Just saying;)
 

R.Perry

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Perry, cars make noise in the parks.:rolleyes: The pictures I would love to get, is where there are no trails, hike beyond the next hill, get the shots that would inspire more people to visit the parks. More people more money for the Parks. Just saying;)
Very good point.
 
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Geoff G UK

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..to promote and regulate the use of the...national parks...which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." National Park Service Organic Act, 16 U.S.C.1.

If I was signing the permit, I'd ask:
1. Do you have the knowledge and experience (as a field naturalist primarily) not to cause disturbance to sensitive species (and to actually know if you're doing that)?
2. If not, will you be supervised by someone who does?
3. Will your film be seen by a wide enough audience to justify the intrusion (is it commissioned)?
4. Are you a serious film maker with a serious project?

I think that in America you're extremely lucky to have areas of true wilderness. But they still need to be looked after carefully.

Most of our UK National Parks would fit into one of your car parks.
 
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Outta Control

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This is from the CA State Parks site, which I used to help allows sUAS use for non-commercial work.

"...The use of photographic equipment in units of the State Park System will be subject to appropriate rules and regulations. Photography for non-commercial personal purposes is to be encouraged as a means of enhancing visitor enjoyment of units in the State Park System and extending the benefits and influences of the recreational experience...."
 
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AH-1G

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"provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."
So how can you enjoy the whole park when you only can see a tiny pebble of it? I want to see as much of the park as possible to really understands it's beauty and significant majesty.:cool:
 
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AH-1G

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..to promote and regulate the use of the...national parks...which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." National Park Service Organic Act, 16 U.S.C.1.

If I was signing the permit, I'd ask:
1. Do you have the knowledge and experience (as a field naturalist primarily) not to cause disturbance to sensitive species (and to actually know if you're doing that)?
2. If not, will you be supervised by someone who does?
3. Will your film be seen by a wide enough audience to justify the intrusion (is it commissioned)?
4. Are you a serious film maker with a serious project?

I think that in America you're extremely lucky to have areas of true wilderness. But they still need to be looked after carefully.

Most of our UK National Parks would fit into one of your car parks.

If I was signing the permit, I'd ask:
1. Do you have the knowledge and experience (as a field naturalist primarily) (A What? you mean a treehugger or a nudist?) not to cause disturbance to sensitive species (People are sensitive) (and to actually know if you're doing that)? (That's why I honk my horn in the morning)
2. If not, will you be supervised by someone who does? No, if I have to go to the bathroom I don't want to be watched.
3. Will your film be seen by a wide enough audience to justify the intrusion Harsh word (is it commissioned)? Free for all to enjoy
4. Are you a serious film maker with a serious project? (Well, umm a Wana be, maybe someday if I can make money) but not really! I just want to enjoy the beauty, share this with others that cannot because they are handicapped aaaaand for those who can not afford to hop on a plane fly thousands of mile, rent a car, stay at a hotel, purchase food, pay to get in and put up with the traffic. Whewwww. Now think of this if your in-laws want to tag along!;)

I think that in America you're extremely lucky to have areas of true wilderness. But they still need to be looked after carefully. They are.
 
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AH-1G

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I live 40 miles outside of Yosemite NP. It is a no fly zone as most of you probably already know regarding National Parks. I asked one of the rangers what the real issue was. Two years ago a drone operator hit a climber. The climber sustained a couple of cuts from the drone props, but that was about it.

I would like to see pressure put on the parks to allow licensed drone pilots get permits to fly in the parks but really don't know how to go about it. If someone is lost, they well call in a helicopter.

The photography opportunities would be endless if we could fly in our parks, by the way, they are our parks, not the park managements.

It's interesting you can fly a real helicopter and airplane over the park by filing a flight plan, Just squawk 1200 and maintain a certain height. Hmmm
 

richk

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There were multiple reasons for the ban.
Someone dropped one into one of Yellowstone geyser pools and do to the acidic nature of the water they're not sure how to extract it yet the electronic being in the water could destroy the eco system of the pool
Another one was buzzing herds of animals and chasing them.
So the reason we are all banned is because of a few stupid individuals .
In Minnesota State parks commercial drone permits can be applied for at a cost of $25.00 per single use permit and it should be approved is you show that is can be done safely without disturbing nature and is a benefit to the park
 

rvrrat14

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Texas state parks (TPWD) do not allow drones to launch/recover on their property without a ‘contract’ with the State. Includes insurance, location, etc.
 
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NJ prohibits drones in State Parks unless you have a Special Use Permit. I currently have an SUP from the Division of Forestry and Parks to fly in Island Beach State Park for an environmental beach litter survey I am conducting (Nov 2017 - June 2018). In the application I provided my FAA Certificate, insurance dec page, my Operations Procedure manual and how I would fly safely. Approval was not a problem and I did agree to give them a copy of any photos and a PSA video. I have found Park authorities to be cooperative if you provide them with appropriate information.

However, remember, event though you may have a SUP to fly in a park, you still have to consider the FAA airspace regulations for authorizations and waivers. Next summer, I anticipate beginning a 3 year research study where I will need a Park SUP approval, Wildlife refuge area waiver, flight above people waiver and airport control tower approvals. All for the same project.

Planning ahead and getting the required approvals makes life much easier. Explaining how you will fly safely is a big requirement.
 

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