Posted on October 4, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Will fines deter other would-bee drone pilots?
FRISCO — The National Park Service showed that its ban on drones has teeth. The federal government in three different cases won convictions against park visitors charged with violation restrictions on unmanned aerial vehicles.
An Oregon man Oct. 2 pled guilty to the charge of violating a closure and was fined $1,000 plus court costs. He was charged after he flew his unmanned aircraft over the crowded Midway Geyser Basin and close to bison on August 19.
A Dutch visitor whose drone crashed into Grand Prismatic Spring in early August was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution, while another tourist from Germany in September pled guilty to charges arising from operating an unmanned aircraft which crashed into Yellowstone Lake near the West Thumb Marina back on July 18. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, national parks, public lands | Tagged: drones, national parks, park service drone ban, Yellowstone National Park | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 21, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Big sky, no drones. Photo by @cotravgirl.
Agency to develop comprehensive long-term policy for new class of aircraft
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — If you’re visiting Yosemite, the Grand Canyon or other iconic American national parks this summer, you may have to contend with the normal problems like crowded parking lots, but at least you won’t have to dodge low-flying unmanned aircraft.
The National Park Service has issued a blanket ban on drones, as they’re popularly called, directing individual parks to draft written statements explaining how the ban is consistent with existing regulations. The new directive came from National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, national parks, public lands | Tagged: drones, drones banned in national parks, national parks, public lands, Unmanned aerial vehicle | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 7, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Badlands National Park — not a place for drones.
Yosemite, Zion national parks issue reminders on aircraft regulations
FRISCO — Citing impacts to wildlife and other concerns, the National Park Service has cracked down on the use drones in Yosemite and Zion national parks under existing rules that regulate aircraft in the parks.
According to a press release from Yosemite National Park, drone use has skyrocketed the past few years, as visitors use them to film rock climbers and to get other aerial footage. Along with concerns about impacts to nesting raptors, park service officials said drones can impact the natural soundscape, which the agency is required to protect. Continue reading
Filed under: national parks, public lands | Tagged: drones, national parks, Yosemite National Park, Zion National Park | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 26, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Test sites proposed to learn how drones could improve wildfire monitoring, mitigation, and containment
Images taken from space can provide a lot of information about wildfires, but low-level flights by unmanned aircraft could help make firefighting safer and more efficient, some experts believe. This image of the West Fork Fire Complex in the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado was taken June 26 from the International Space Station. Visit this NASA Earth Observatory page for more information about the image.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — A pair of U.S. Senators wants to get a leg up on wildfires by spurring the use of unmanned surveillance aircraft to make firefighting efforts more efficient.
“Extreme wildfires have become an all too common occurrence in Colorado, leaving families without homes and hundreds of thousands of charred acreage in their paths,” said Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO). “We need to employ every tool available to help firefighters in their battles. This bipartisan amendment will help us develop UAS technology and teach us more about how they can strengthen our fights against wildfires more quickly and safely.”
Bennet (D-CO) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) this week introduced an amendment to create two additional test sites for unmanned aerial systems, with a focus on how they could be used for firefighting. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, forest fires, Forest health, public lands, wildfires | Tagged: drones, Federal Aviation Administration, Jeff Flake, Michael Bennet, UAS, unmanned aerial systems, Wildfires | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 27, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Public invited to learn more about the use of unmanned aircraft at a demonstration in Kremmling
FORT scientist and Raven-A sUAS pilot Leanne Hanson launches the drone in the San Luis Valley as part of an effort to monitor sandhill cranes. USGS photo.
Greater sage-grouse. Photo courtesy USFWS.
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — State and federal scientists may use small drones to monitor greater sage-grouse in their breeding grounds, and will offer the public a chance to see how the technology works starting next week.
The planned test flights are a collaboration between Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Geological Survey. The agencies will conduct test flights to evaluate whether the small unmanned aircraft can save time and money and offer a safer and enhanced alternative to gather greater sage-grouse data.
The low-flying aircraft may be able to get more detailed counts of the threatened birds, and may even help biologists find previously unknown leks.
“The aircraft proved successful in other recent wildlife inventory projects conducted by USGS,” said Lyle Sidener, area wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife in Hot Sulphur Springs. “We are interested to see if greater sage-grouse will tolerate the craft flying near their leks at the lower altitudes necessary to provide useful data.” Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Colorado, Colorado Division of Wildlife, Colorado State Parks, endangered species, Environment, wildlife | Tagged: Colorado parks and wildlife, drones, Environment, Greater sage-grouse, Kremmling Colorado, USGS, wildlife, wildlife monitoring | 1 Comment »