It seems that a grand total of two U.S. national parks have now banned the presence of drones, them pesky remote-controlled miniature aircraft, from making their way around the airspace, touting that these machines should not be flying around such a place, since they do have the ability to frighten wildlife and perhaps even cause disturbance to the nesting habits of birds. The Yosemite National Park issued a strong word against drones just a couple of days ago, and here we are with the Zion National Park in Utah issuing a similar warning, too.
The warning did mention that these drones that have made their way through canyons actually scattered a herd of bighorn sheep as well as disturbed hikers who were talking the trails. Zion has also cited a federal rule, just like Yosemite did, which enables the use of aircraft in the parks only with permission or for emergencies. If you think that you would like to take the risk and violate this particular rule, then be prepared to face up to 6 months in the slammer, as well as pay a $5,000 fine.
I am quite sure that all nature lovers out there would love to have the pristine condition and natural quietness of the national park to be preserved, and hence, this drone ban makes plenty of sense. Wildlife biologist Cassie Waters shared, “Drones are a new challenge for Zion National Park and our mission of resource protection. Animals can be injured when attempting to escape or avoid drone activity. Drones can also change the natural behavior of wildlife and lead to unnecessary energy expenditures. This has the potential to affect survival and reproductive success in many species. We are therefore really concerned with drones, their effect on wildlife, and our ability to preserve the natural environment.” [Press Release]