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1 month ago

On a technicallity? You are a lawful citizen and have the right to take pictures on federal land. If they say otherwise then I guess it is up to the courts to decide what rights we really have when it comes to visiting our national parks. Kind of sad when the politicians decide what we can and cannot do. Takes away our inalianable rights as citizens to do what we normally do. I really hope they fight this one in court. I call this one seriously?

Humdrum Hermits
1 month ago

Laws are peculiar things. A fine, threat of imprisonment and forced to take a class for unauthorized drone footage, but ram your car into an RV and causing a fire and all is forgiven, no fine, no license suspension, no driving class requirement. Smdh

1 month ago

Please, when you provide the answer to the Brain Teaser, please do it right there, not “down below”! It would save a lot of scrolling down to find it, then scrolling back up to where I was so I can then read the rest of the news. Thank you so much!

1 month ago

Selfie sticks on the walkways in Yellowstone NP used to take a picture every few feet are way more annoying to me than a buzzing drone.

H Goff
1 month ago
Reply to  Walt

yep -agree – selfies get in my way on the ground – drones are up there -somewhere. i get so tired of people taking multiple selfies and hogging any view.

1 month ago

Do I need a commercial use authorization (CUA)?
You may not conduct commercial activities in a park unit without a valid CUA!
A CUA is required if you provide any goods, activities, services, agreements, or other function for members, clients, or the public that:

  • take place at least in part on lands managed by the National Park Service,
  • use park resources, and
  • result in compensation, monetary gain, benefit, or profit.

From nps dot gov

1 month ago
Reply to  WEB
  • result in compensation, monetary gain, benefit, or profit.

“Benefit” is the catch-all for the definition. That includes images used for self-promotion, portfolio, reference, or even selfies for monetized entities.

Most of the time (but not always) if you stop by the Park Headquarters and tell them what you plan to do, they’re very agreeable. You still have to be prepared to pay for the $50 permit, though.

Don’t be surprised if a ranger stops to check up on you. I have spent many nights shooting the Milky Way in Mesa Verde, Glacier, and other areas in the west. A ranger stopping by has always been part of that process. They want to make sure you’re okay, and that nothing sketchy is going on. They’re nice people/

The same process applies to National Forests. See link.
Some state parks have similar restrictions and prohibitions.
Do your research before you shoot.

Forest Service Regulations (PDF)

1 month ago

On the Drone subject. I have a app that is called B4UFLY. YOU ACTIVATE WHERE YOU ARE it tells you if you can use a drone where you are standing.

1 month ago

Say “NO” to drones in state and National parks for pictures and video. They simply don’t need to be in these areas. Can we please just have a few areas where we can simply enjoy the outdoors.

1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

The “outdoors” belongs to drone owners too. And hunters and birders and trappers and prospectors and on and on. In short they belong to us ALL. And I wish people would stop calling them “drones”. Drones are autonomous and do not need human control. What most are calling drones are actually quad copters requiring human control. And for those who feel their “privacy” is being intruded on, There are already rules in place to address this and if you think your not being watched already by CIA/NSA satellites then you really are behind the times. And I don’t even own a “drone”.

The Lazy Q
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

I wonder why I cannot enjoy the great outdoors in the national parks using my drone to take beautiful birds eye view pictures of the surrounding country. It’s fun, I hurt no one and I get great pictures to boot. Hmmm, please leave your camera at home.

T. Long
1 month ago
Reply to  The Lazy Q

A few years ago, I witnessed a young man operating a drone just one or two feet above the head of a partially submerged alligator. This went on for several minutes until two Park Rangers quickly apprehended the young man and led him away, placed him into their vehicle and drove off. This kind of irresponsibility has undoubtedly led to stricter regulations on State and Federal lands.

1 month ago
Reply to  Roger


Your desire is already in place. No drones (private) are to be flown in National Parks and Monuments. Many State locations have signage indicating no drones too.

If it helps, most drone battery packs last only about 20 minutes. Many pilots get tired of looking at their screen when flying and return the craft to them well before the battery is exausted.

I agree that the buzzzz generated from the props sounds like a swarm of bees and can be bothersome however, I’ve noticed too that the drone pilots are generally in-and-out of an area rather quickly and they don’t travel in packs so the noise impact is short lived.

I would bet too that the focus of the video they may be capturing is of the landscape and vistas not the people on the ground.

I enjoy watching drone footage on YouTube but know that there are places where they are not to be flown.

Gene DeMeter
1 month ago
Reply to  Roger

The last straw triggering the ban of drones in national forests were a couple tourists that crashed their drones into old faithful in yellowstone. As a drone pilot myself I can understand the need for the ban as the drones are very noisy impacting people and wildlife and a threat to the safety of others from idiot irresponsible pilots. Sorry but in this case the irresponsible few have ruined it for us all. Using drone footage in the furtherance of a business also requires a special FAA part 107 license.

1 month ago
Reply to  Gene DeMeter

Boy, (part of) that should be on a anti 2nd amendment poster