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Print 34 comment(s) - last by wordsworm.. on Jun 25 at 6:38 PM

The National Park Service, however, can still use UAVs if it wishes

We reported early last month that Yosemite National Park specifically banned the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) “within park boundaries” due to their negative effects on the environment and the animals within the park. At the time, the U.S. National Parks Service (NPS) wrote:
 
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. The use of drones also interferes with emergency rescue operations… Additionally, drones can have negative impacts on wildlife nearby the area of use, especially sensitive nesting peregrine falcons on cliff walls.
 
As was speculated in the previous article, the ban not only affects Yosemite National Park; it affects all parks covered by the NPS. The NPS last week issued a press release that bans the use of UAVs “on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service.”


[Image Source: Wikimedia Commons/Nicolas Halftermeyer]
 
NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis noted that, “We have serious concerns about the negative impact that flying unmanned aircraft is having in parks, so we are prohibiting their use until we can determine the most appropriate policy that will protect park resources and provide all visitors with a rich experience.”
 
Any permit that was previously granted to a person, organization, or company to use a UAV in any of America’s national parks has been suspended until further reviews can be made.
 
However, the NPS is still authorized to use its own fleet of UAVs for “search and rescue, fire operations and scientific study” once approved by the NPS Associate Director for Visitor and Resource Protection.

Source: National Parks Service



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Soooo
By Reclaimer77 on 6/23/2014 10:08:27 AM , Rating: 5
So banning the use of UAV's on American soil against it's own citizens is coming from the US Government soon, right?

Good to know upsetting some falcons ranks higher than the civil rights of over 300 million people...




RE: Soooo
By Spuke on 6/23/2014 12:05:30 PM , Rating: 5
IMO, we are getting EXACTLY what we're asking for by continuously voting in the same retards year after year. Will we ever learn?


RE: Soooo
By MrBlastman on 6/23/2014 1:04:33 PM , Rating: 3
Join me in voting independent! They don't even need to be Libertarian--I'll vote for anyone who sounds like they can do the job... especially if they aren't Republican or Democrat.

That is... until we have a President with enough nerve to propose to Congress they institute term limits for themselves.


RE: Soooo
By Argon18 on 6/23/2014 2:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
"That is... until we have a President with enough nerve to propose to Congress they institute term limits for themselves."

And a Congress bold enough to rein in POTUS abuse of Executive power, a thing that has been pushed to the max over the past 5 years.


RE: Soooo
By FaaR on 6/23/2014 5:08:20 PM , Rating: 1
I think you'll find Dubya Shrub did plenty pushing him too over the preceeding 8 years he was in office. Of course, his skin wasn't black, so maybe you don't think that counts, Mr. "18"...


RE: Soooo
By KCjoker on 6/23/2014 6:17:58 PM , Rating: 3
Ahh, the racist card to deflect..the liberal playbook.


RE: Soooo
By extide on 6/24/2014 5:11:37 PM , Rating: 1
Actually no, the POTUS has not used nearly as much "Executive Power" as has been used in the past. Also, that's part of his JOB! SHEESH!


RE: Soooo
By TheSlamma on 6/24/2014 8:36:56 AM , Rating: 2
Why? we vote for the big corporations who buys these guys all out with our wallets anyway.


RE: Soooo
By tayb on 6/23/2014 12:34:01 PM , Rating: 5
The national parks exist "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife 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."

That is the mandate of the National Park Service Organic Act. If UAVs are threatening some random falcon in a national park the UAVs should be banned. The purpose of these parks is literally to conserve wildlife.

Go fly your UAV almost anywhere else. Your civil rights aren't being impeded in the slightest.


RE: Soooo
By Hakuryu on 6/23/2014 12:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
I love hiking and the parks, but banning these is simply retarded, unless they ban things like snowmobiles.

Ever seen 1,000 snowmobiles (or heard them from 20 miles away) in a national park? The wildlife runs, the tracks are dirty and stink to high heaven of fuel; you just can't escape it in Yellowstone in the Winter. Far more detrimental to the ecosystem than a small remote controlled helicopter.

They banned the louder more polluting two-stroke engines, but then Bush repealed the ban after being paid off by the snowmobile lobby.


RE: Soooo
By tng on 6/23/2014 1:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
I have seen Government Biologists decimate herds of animals because they chased them in helicopters while they were fighting off disease.

Locals thought charges should have been filed, but the guilty parties were sent out of state to another park.

My point is that this is only something that applies to the citizenry, and that this is the first attempt to outlaw private use of drones nationwide...


RE: Soooo
By Jeffk464 on 6/23/2014 12:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
What about kites?


RE: Soooo
By Solandri on 6/23/2014 1:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
If the ban is persistent, then I'd agree. However:
quote:
"so we are prohibiting their use until we can determine the most appropriate policy that will protect park resources and provide all visitors with a rich experience."

Makes it sound like the ban is a temporary measure to give themselves time to consider and write up rules regarding their use. More than likely, they'll come up with a permit application process so they can control when and how frequently they're used, to minimize their impact on the enjoyment of other park visitors.

You have to remember, this isn't the U.S. government vs people who want to fly UAVs in parks. It's people who want to fly UAVs in parks vs people who want to visit parks without having UAVs buzzing over them. Some sort of compromise is needed to make both types of people happy. The NPS is just saying they need some time to figure out what that compromise should be, and they want to maintain the status quo while doing so.


RE: Soooo
By FaaR on 6/23/2014 5:05:11 PM , Rating: 4
TBH what the F are you doing in a national park if you think your much vaunted "rights" (presumed entitlements) are greater than a falcon's?

THE GOD DAMNED FALCONS LIVE THERE, OKAY?!

You want falcons coming over to your place, buzzing you whenever you go out the door? No, I didn't think so either.

So what is your major malfunction, seriously?

National parks exists to preserve animal life, so that fools like you can come and enjoy wild (well, -ish) nature. If you don't like that, then by all means stay at home and huff some fumes from your beloved V8 engine whilst jacking off in your garage instead. Nature doesn't need you, nor particularly like you either.

Whatever you do, don't, however, presume that your supposed "rights" trump everything else everywhere. Self-centered idiots like you are making all of humanity look bad with your nonsensical utterings.


RE: Soooo
By Reclaimer77 on 6/23/2014 11:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
You people utterly fail at reading comprehension. Nowhere did I say drones in parks is a civil rights issue. Learn 2 read!

I said the Government using drones against US is the civil rights issue.


RE: Soooo
By roykahn on 6/24/2014 7:19:39 AM , Rating: 2
I'm guessing you meant "against US citizens". Well, you're right, although I would say it's more of a survival issue. Just take Anwar & Abdul al-Awlaki as examples. No arrest, no trial, no right to a defense, just bomb them because the emperor doesn't like them.

Don't forget the methods that the CIA (with the help of the NSA) have been using to kill via drone strikes, like using cell phone locations as their bomb targets. They don't even need to identify their human targets! That's just legal red tape anyway! Drone warfare deregulation at its best.


so...
By Iketh on 6/23/2014 2:10:48 AM , Rating: 2
Will this spur the development of silent uav's? Do any exist now?




RE: so...
By BRB29 on 6/23/2014 6:54:26 AM , Rating: 2
silent UAVs? The pervs will be out in full force.


RE: so...
By Flunk on 6/23/2014 9:09:02 AM , Rating: 2
Seeing as no one has ever made a silent powered aircraft I think you'll be waiting a long time.


RE: so...
By BRB29 on 6/23/2014 9:42:58 AM , Rating: 2
You can't make a completely silent aircraft, but you can make it extremely hard to detect or recognize noise wise. Stealth helicopters have been used for years as well as stealth jets.


RE: so...
By Jeffk464 on 6/23/2014 1:41:18 PM , Rating: 2
Sure you can, a place like Yosemite probably has lots of lift. You could fly a RC glider without making any noise at all.


RE: so...
By snhoj on 6/23/2014 10:53:42 PM , Rating: 1
Noise is a product of turbulence and the volume of turbulence is from the difference in air velocity and the size of the craft. Making more efficient lifters will have the side effect of lowering the velocity difference and reducing the noise created.

If you think of lift generated in Newtonian terms, the aircraft is throwing quantities of air downwards to generate the upwards force that is lift. The force generated is the mass of the air affected times the acceleration applied to it. The acceleration applied to the air is only for the duration of the air passing the foils of the craft so the limited time of the acceleration will impart a limited downward velocity to the air. The lift generated is proportional to the mass of the air and the velocity imparted to it. The energy expended is proportional to the kinetic energy given to the air or is proportional to the mass of the air and the square of the velocity imparted to it.

So you can see by this that much more efficient lift would be generated by applying a smaller acceleration to a larger mass of air. You want to minimize the velocity imparted to the air to minimize the kinetic energy gifted to the air but to generate the same lift you must then affect a larger mass of air. It’s why gliders have very long slender wings. The large wingspan allows the glider to influence a large mass of air while the narrow cord gives a short duration of influence or a low downward velocity change to the air. At some point structural efficiency considerations overtake the aerodynamic efficiency considerations and an optimization is reached. The same principles could be applied to quadracopter rotors and propellers to reduce the noise of a UAV.

If one could impart the tiniest of accelerations to a vast mass of air, lift could be generated without expending much energy at all, but the structure required to physically touch such a vast mass of air would be very large indeed and would consequently weigh a lot as a byproduct of its size. Structural efficiency and adding lightness is also important.


Unmanned
By GTVic on 6/23/2014 12:39:33 PM , Rating: 2
The General Lee is manned so I assume those creek jumps are still okay.




RE: Unmanned
By Jeffk464 on 6/23/2014 1:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
Following that logic since life begins at conception couldn't you put a frozen embryo on an RC quadrocopter and call it manned?


RE: Unmanned
By Jeffk464 on 6/23/2014 1:46:07 PM , Rating: 2
now thats a court case


UAV Ban @ National Parks - the real story
By azdood on 6/23/2014 2:52:42 PM , Rating: 2
The land that blankets the US/Mexico Border is almost all park land. No private UAV's are being allowed to fly because capturing video of the invasion going on would be bad for the administration.




RE: UAV Ban @ National Parks - the real story
By roykahn on 6/23/2014 5:24:56 PM , Rating: 1
Invasion? Don't you mean the murdering of Mexicans by gun-happy Americans?


By roykahn on 6/24/2014 7:26:02 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I meant gun-happy border protection officers.


wilderness experience
By ssobol on 6/23/2014 12:47:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...impact the wilderness experience for other visitors creating an environment that is not conducive to wilderness travel...


If the NPS is worried about people impacting the "wilderness experience" for others, there is a long list of things they should do before they even get to drones (sorry, UAV's).




RE: wilderness experience
By Iketh on 6/23/2014 2:29:54 PM , Rating: 2
Well in fairness, it only took a letter to fix this one...


not a show stopper
By sixteenornumber on 6/23/2014 10:38:29 AM , Rating: 2
give it time... RC aircraft are nothing new but the tech has accelerated in recent months. I read somewhere that the exhaust chevrons of the Boeing Dreamliner can reduce engine noise by ~3db. Although this isn't a whole lot, it's something for a given type of engine. If the governing bodies would come up with an acceptable level of noise companies could have something to shoot for.




go to forests instead of parks?
By chromal on 6/23/2014 12:30:32 PM , Rating: 2
Oh well, there's always still the US National Forests. They're administered seperately.




By letmepicyou on 6/23/2014 12:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
Stated right in the article, their drones are exempted from this law (rule, whatever). Obviously this means ALL government drones will be allowed, and ALL citizen owned drones will be disallowed. This comiing from the same parks which are funded by taxpayer dollars yet charge citizens for entry. Seems the elite run the parks, too. Woe is us po slave folk.




Robo cop
By wordsworm on 6/25/2014 6:38:33 PM , Rating: 2
Would be nice to have my own drone to do surveillance on my property when people trespass, mailman delivers mail, etc.... help you find illegal aliens crossing the border...

I've been interested in these and using Android cameras mounted on them, etc. Lots of fun. But if it's noisy, ought to stay out of parks.




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