Thursday, August 21, 2014

Drones banned over Appalachian Trail; Utah, Colorado national parks also ban use

The National Park Service has banned drones over the Appalachian Trail, which runs through parts of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia, reports The Associated Press.

"The Park Service said Wednesday the interim rule prohibits launching, landing or operating unmanned aircraft from or on Appalachian National Scenic Trail lands," AP writes. "The ban takes effect immediately and lasts until the Park Service can develop an appropriate policy. The Park Service says drones could affect resources and visitors in ways it has yet to analyze so more study is needed."

The Park Service also released two press releases on Wednesday banning drone-use in southeast Utah national parks and in Colorado National Monument. 

"Given the rapid increase in the number and use of drones nationwide and in the Southeast Utah Group national parks, Superintendent Kate Cannon has determined it necessary to prohibit their use in order to protect public safety, minimize visitor-use conflicts and prevent unacceptable impacts to scenic values, natural soundscapes and wildlife," The Utah release says.

The Colorado Monument release says: "There has been dramatic growth throughout the country in the numbers and use of unmanned aircraft during recent months with visitor and staff complaints of noise and nuisance, harassment of park wildlife and safety concerns." Superintendent Lisa Eckert said, "Simply put, experiencing quiet and solitude is a value that people seek and want protected within their national park units." (Read more)

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