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Park Officials Say Drones Becoming A Nuisance At Yosemite

Cynthia Hotujec-Kantner / AP / File

Cynthia Hotujec-Kantner / AP / File

Park managers at Yosemite say aerial drones have become a nuisance in the national park. While drones have been banned for a long time, few people knew it.

Aerial drones can range in size from a half foot to 6 feet. 

Yosemite visitors have been flying them along the valley floor, in the open meadows, and near the steep rock faces for years. 

But federal code prohibits drones under the same clause that bans parachute jumping  from the park's high cliffs. 

Yosemite Ranger Scott Gediman says the use of drones has been steadily increasing. 

"So I am personally seeing them around the park, people are basically flying around and mostly using them to take photos and videos for personal use, most if not all people that are using these things, you know, are not aware that ey are illegal," says Gediman.

Gediman says drones can pose a danger to wildlife, particularly peregrine falcons. 

They also create the possibility of interference with emergency rescue operations, and they bring a lot of noise to the wilderness experience. 

Gediman says so far people flying drones are being warned about the ban and rangers have issued no citations. 


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