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Going to a national park? Leave the drone at home

PHOENIX — The mix of drones and wilderness has seen its time together come to an end.

At least that’s what national parks officials are hoping, banning the flying machines from its land. The drones that visitors have been using to get a bird’s-eye view of parks have been disrupting the peace and quiet of other visitors and animals’ sensibilities.

“Most animals are very sensitive to this noise,” Kevin Dahl with the National Parks Conservation Association said. “And the animals are already stressed enough by the drought.”

Violators using drones in the parks could be subject to up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Zion National Park officials in Utah said a drone has been hovering above the park’s bighorn sheep. Last month park volunteers saw a herd of sheep scatter after being buzzed by an unmanned aerial vehicle, separating the animals from their young.

Yosemite National Park said in a press release that the California park has experienced an increase in visitors using drones over the last few years.

Drones have been spotted filming climbers ascending routes, filming views above treetops, and getting aerial footage of the park.

Grand Canyon National Park had no comment.


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