Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

National Forest?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by henrycruz, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. henrycruz

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2014
    Messages:
    91
    Likes Received:
    1
    since the national park drone ban law is nationwide now. does that ban law include the national forest as well? thank you!
     
  2. Old Gazer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Oklahoma
    I don't think so Rokit. Check with the forest headquarters of the location you wish to fly, just to be sure. There are a lot of activities you can do in a National Forest that are not allowed in a National Park.
     
  3. ProfessorStein

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Be careful, though. What you think is a "forest" is actually a "park". For instance, the Redwoods in California. I've always heard them referred to as the "Redwoods National Forest"... but they are, in fact, the "Redwoods National Park".

    Best thing to do is check the NPS site and see if the "forest" you want to fly in shows up in their search:

    http://home.nps.gov/findapark/index.htm
     
  4. Wedeliver

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Tionesta, California
    Here is a link for california and you can see the individual park bounderies. The National Parks do not have a rule for all the parks. I think it is the individual Park superintendant who makes the rules. They do issue filming permits and I have been told that a permit might be considered next year. I hope to do a demo for the Lava Beds National Monument in the next month or two (winter time means less people in the park). I am wondering where the park ranger will have me demo. In the park or outside?? we will see.

    http://www.nps.gov/state/ca/index.htm?program=parks
     
  5. ProfessorStein

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    That is incorrect. The drone ban policy is for ALL lands under the supervision of the National Park Service.

    http://home.nps.gov/news/release.htm?id=1601

    Individual superintendents may choose how strictly the policy is enforced, but that does not absolve you of responsibilty.
     
  6. GoodnNuff

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    831
    Location:
    Washington State
    The ban currently covers ALL national parks. It was due to the actions of a few that his ban was implemented.

    "Unmanned aircraft have already been prohibited at several national parks. These parks initiated bans after noise and nuisance complaints from park visitors, an incident in which park wildlife were harassed, and park visitor safety concerns.

    Last September, an unmanned aircraft flew above evening visitors seated in the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Amphitheater. Park rangers concerned for visitors’ safety confiscated the unmanned aircraft.

    In April, visitors at Grand Canyon National Park gathered for a quiet sunset, which was interrupted by a loud unmanned aircraft flying back and forth and eventually crashing in the canyon. Later in the month, volunteers at Zion National Park witnessed an unmanned aircraft disturb a herd of bighorn sheep, reportedly separating adults from young animals."
    http://home.nps.gov/news/release.htm?id=1601

    Apparently there were a string of crashes at Teton NP, a crash that narrowly missed boats and passengers at a marina at Yellostone Lake, and a drone and camera that crashed into Grand Prism Spring, one of Yellowstone's premier hot springs. The drone sank to the bottom and they aren't sure what the leaking chemicals will do to the bacteria that gives the hot spring its striking colors.

    The temporary ban, IMO, was needed to ensure park and visitor safety until these issues can be sorted out.
     
  7. Old Gazer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Oklahoma
    National Parks - National Forests. Two different agencies. Both governed by different rules. I can ride my atv and hunt in a National Forest, but not a National Park.
     
  8. ProfessorStein

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I don't think that fact is in question, Gazer. But the fact of the matter is many people use "Forest" (with a capital F) and "Park" (with a capital P) interchangeably, without really knowing which agency actually governs the area. (see my example above re: the California Redwoods)

    So folks may go out and think they're flying in a Forest, governed by the National Forestry Service and not under a no-drone policy (simply because they've always called the area a "forest"), when the area is actually officially a Park (and governed by the NPS and under a no-drone policy).
     
  9. GoodnNuff

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    831
    Location:
    Washington State

    An easy end to this confusion: National Forests are marked with signage, nothing more. National Parks are marked with bigger signage, entry gates, and pay booths.

    But that wasn't what the OP was asking about.
     
  10. Wedeliver

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Tionesta, California
    I own and operate Eagle's Nest RV Park. We are at the southern entrance to the Lava Beds National Monument. My wife and I do have a relationship with the Park so prior to flying in the Park I called the head ranger and asked if it would be ok. This was in April of this year and at that point there were no rules. To make a long story short I was told that it was decided to not allow flying in or over park lands until formal rules could be made. I know that it has been posted that if you start your flight from outside the park it is ok, but this ranger I know and his staff would not hesitate to keep their park their way. I must say that the folks at the monument take a real ownership in the area. They want to know who is in the park and that both entry and camping fees are paid. As a matter of fact since sequestration they have lost money and so the efforts to monitor if fees are paid is more intense.
     
  11. MadMitch88

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2014
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Does a park ranger have ultimate authority over airspace above a national park?

    I really hope some pro-drone, pro-Constitutional ACLU lawyers start dragging these FAA and National Park Service creeps into federal court because all this nonsense about the National Park Service "owning the airspace" is just laughable and sad. Any recreational hobbyist can stand outside National Park borders and fly their Phantom the whole way across a park and there aint a **** thing any park ranger can do about it.
     
  12. Wedeliver

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Tionesta, California
    i think the rangers think their duty is to protect the park and a distubance coming from above would not be something to ignore. those big horn sheep could have been chased from a pilot outside the park boundry. and remember, today park rangers are just like police.
     
  13. GoodnNuff

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    831
    Location:
    Washington State

    Actually they can still fine you and confiscate your drone if they find you to be a nuisance to visitors, annoying wildlife, or endangering the park itself regardless of your launch point.
     
  14. MadMitch88

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2014
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Someone harrassing wildlife on a national park could be charged criminally --- but standing outside a park's borders and flying your bird over it's airspace is perfectly legal. The only thing a park ranger could do is shake his fist and curse at it as the bird buzzes over his head.
     
  15. Wedeliver

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Tionesta, California
    I do have plans to meet up with the Head Ranger in the next month or two and give him a demonstration. I am wondering where he will want to meet, inside the park or outside. From my front door it is 12 miles to the boarder of the Park and 14 miles to the Visitor Center.
     
  16. GoodnNuff

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    Messages:
    1,909
    Likes Received:
    831
    Location:
    Washington State
    Wedeliver, you may be interested in reading this from the National Park Services website:

    "The policy memo directs superintendents to use their existing authority within the Code of Federal Regulations to prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft, and to include that prohibition in the park’s compendium, a set of park-specific regulations.

    All permits previously issued for unmanned aircraft will be suspended until reviewed and approved by the associate director of the National Park Service’s Visitor and Resource Protection directorate. The associate director must approve any new special use permits authorizing the use of unmanned aircraft. Superintendents who have previously authorized the use of model aircraft for hobbyist or recreational use may allow such use to continue.

    The National Park Service may use unmanned aircraft for administrative purposes such as search and rescue, fire operations and scientific study. These uses must also be approved by the associate director for Visitor and Resource Protection."

    http://home.nps.gov/news/release.htm?id=1601

    Notice this snippet above: Superintendents who have previously authorized the use of model aircraft for hobbyist or recreational use may allow such use to continue.
     
  17. Wedeliver

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Tionesta, California
    I try and keep up on these notices but I had not seen this one. I am a bit surprised that complete control is not in the hands of the Park Super. Since he is a bit of a GOD here and does have a lot of authority. I will call tomorrow and bring this to our Park Rangers attention and see if perhaps I could do my demo for him now. We were kind of waiting till summer was over and there were less visitors. thank you goodnuff!