Drones in National Parks: NPS uses the Precautionary Principle

On Friday, Jon Jarvis the Director of the National Park Service signed a policy memorandum that prohibits the “launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service.”  The common term for such an unmanned aircraft is “drone”.   As the cost of drones has decreased, their popularity outside of the commercial sector has increased and drones had become a more common sight in National Parks recently. You can buy a drone on Amazon for a mere $300 that is already outfitted with 720p HD video that can be live streamed to your tablet or smartphone. Heck, if you’re a student at the University of South Florida you can even check a drone out of the library!  To see one way that drones were being used in National Parks check out the video below taken by a visitor with a drone at Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park.

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