No drones for you! National Park Service to ban unmanned aircraft

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Too bad drone lovers. You may no longer be able fly unmanned aerial vehicles in your favorite National Parks.

The National Park Service issued a temporary ban on the flying devices in all 401 of the U.S. National Parks on Friday, including Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic in Washington state. It also effects flying the devices in National Monuments.

Now, the government may make some bone-headed decisions. But this does not appear to be one of them.

After all, don’t people visit National Parks to get away from things like low-flying aircraft?

“We have serious concerns about the negative impact that flying unmanned aircraft is having in parks, so we are prohibiting their use until we can determine the most appropriate policy that will protect park resources and provide all visitors with a rich experience,” National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis said in a statement.

The ban follows a move at Yosemite National Park in which rangers suggested to visitors not to use drones, which have grown in popularity as a means of capturing unique photography and video of some of America’s most treasured locations.

The current ban is temporary until a full federal regulation is put into effect, which could take as long as 18 months. Violating the new rule carries a $5,000 fine up to six months in jail.

Videographer Jim Bowers of California told SFGate.com that an outright ban is a “kneejerk reaction,” equating his film work to what Ansel Adams did with his camera in the early 1900s.