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National Park Clarification

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by kenundrum, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. kenundrum

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    Hi,
    I've tried searching, but there doesn't appear to be a direct answer to this question, so apologies if I missed it. Is there a list or rule for which specific national park sites have banned drone use? The memo put out last year just directs each superintendent to prohibit their use at their parks, but there does not appear to be a consistent method for publishing this policy. It's easy to say no flying in any national park, but what about national memorials? or national seashores? My office is inside the blackstone river national heritage corridor- am I not allowed to do some flying nearby after work? I know the move by the national park service was overly broad and vague and their basis for enforcing it is somewhat circumstantial, but there's got to be a way to find a middle ground. Even the mapbox no fly zone map seems inconsistent as they list most but not all national park service administered lands.
    Is the real answer to all of this that we have to call every place we want to go from now on to get permission? That will get annoying.
     
  2. tcope

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    "The policy memorandum is a temporary measure. Jarvis said the next step will be to propose a Servicewide regulation regarding unmanned aircraft. That process can take considerable time, depending on the complexity of the rule, and includes public notice of the proposed regulation and opportunity for public comment.

    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.
    "

    As mentioned here, it's a memorandum that was issued. It's not a law... as these take longer to draft and ratify. It would/should apply anywhere that the National Park Service has authority.

    Is it clear? No. It also leaves a lot up to each location. We are in a transition period that ruling bodies cannot keep up with.

    Personally, I'd fly my drone in National Parks as long as no one was around or at least pretty far away from any people or animals. I think as long as you are not flying near people and animals and in a safe manner that they probably won't bother you too much.
     
  3. Jermz

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    At lot of it will depend on the park. You want to fly in Yellowstone around Old Faithful or Yosemite around El Capitan, you're gonna get told no. You want to fly in Big Bend out in the middle of the desert, you can probably get permission.
     
  4. MrTommy

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    I've flown in Death Valley at one of the no-hookup campgrounds with no problem. I've flown in a number of locations there, also with no problem. I don't take off in front of the Visitor Center, of course. A little common sense goes a long way, no matter where you are. If there's no one around, fly to your heart's content. Attracting attention is the worst thing you can do.

    While taking a driving tour we ran up on a gentleman flying one of those nifty (and spendy!) 8 rotor DJI's with big buck cam hanging from it. He said we 'scared' him when we first drove up in our white pickup, because the rangers drive white pickups. When I announced that I was a P2V owner he breathed a sigh of relief, and we all enjoyed watching him fly.

    If you don't attract attention you can fly darned near anywhere. Just my experience.
     
  5. sdtrojan

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    Some on here would think this is the end of "our hobby". I agree with you though, common sense in where you fly is the key factor. I was in Georgia at Tallulah Gorge state park a few weeks ago and asked permission if I could take photos while walking through the visitor center with my elderly father. They said "sure thing." Then I told them my camera flies and they said no, we don't allow that. So I left the park property, found a suitable place to fly from off the state park property and got the same shots. I figured I would ask for permission first, knowing they would say no. You couldn't even hear the motors because of the waterfalls. Same thing for when I fly at the beach, motor noise is a non=factor near the surfline.
     
  6. TruColors

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    Yep... I want to fly in a National Wildlife Preserve not too far from here but have refrained from doing so until I either... nut up to ask permission... or... simply nut up and fly. It looks beautiful there and I really want to fly it. That being said... it is NOT run by the National Park Service. It's run by US Fish and Wildlife. THIS particular park does not have "dones banned" or similar on their website. Other parks sure but not this one.

    As for the motor-noise being a non-factor. I struggle with that one because people seem to always find the bird when it's in the air. I can't tell you how many videos have smiling people pointing up to it like heeyyyyyyy loooook!!! I also catch birds flying away often. Do note that I am a Deaf person so I cannot hear the motors no matter what... but still... it sure seems to attract attention from both people and animals.
     
  7. sdtrojan

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    TruColors,

    I guess I am speaking relatively then. Flying in an area where there isn't noise from a waterfall or ocean waves breaking makes it quite east to hear the P2, I agree. You don't hear it at the beach until it's right on top of you in my experience. BTW, love the colors of your P2 photo (steeler fan?)
     
  8. Bob Roney

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    I was surprised to learn that ALL 400+ sites administered by the National Park Service are no fly zones. This includes National Historic Parks, National Recreation areas, National Seashores. Here is a page from San Antonio Mission that goes into the regulation a bit more than others:
    https://www.nps.gov/saan/learn/management/drones.htm
     
    apprentice and Mark The Droner like this.