In this era of social media and GoPro cameras, it seems that everyone has become an extreme-video enthusiast — capturing and sharing moments in sports, on the road, and in life that might otherwise have been missed. To fully capture these scenes from all angles, many hobby-level videographers have turned to drones, or remote-controlled model aircraft, upon which cameras can be mounted to get aerial footage of everything from bike races to traffic conditions to natural splendor in hard-to-reach wilderness areas.
It's this last use that many parks — most notably, Yosemite National Park — have take issue with. Yosemite administrators recently announced that the use of drones is banned within the park borders. Apparently, Yosemite, and other parks have seen a upsurge in the use of drones in the last few years.
From the news release:
"The park has experienced an increase in visitors using drones within park boundaries over the last few years," park officials said. "Drones have been witnessed filming climbers ascending climbing routes, filming views above tree-tops, and filming aerial footage of the park."
The news release went on to spell out all of the reasons that the park wants visitors to leave their drones at home:
"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 and can cause confusion and distraction for rescue personnel and other parties involved in the rescue operation. Additionally, drones can have negative impacts on wildlife nearby the area of use, especially sensitive nesting peregrine falcons on cliff walls."
So if you're thinking about visiting Yosemite, or any national park this summer, leave your drone at home. Don't worry, you can still use iPods, iPads, and any other type of hand-held cameras. Or, better yet, just capture the moment with your eyes and store it forever in your mind.
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