Illegal drones ruining Yosemite’s natural beauty, rangers say

Tourists enjoy the grand view at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park on Aug. 27, 2013.
(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

Yosemite National Park issued a warning Friday, and it didn’t have to do with bears or hazardous park conditions. The new concern: Unmanned drone aircraft.

There are numerous videos on YouTube in which drones are used to take in the scenic beauty.

Rangers said enough is enough.

“The park has experienced an increase in visitors using drones within park boundaries over the last few years,” officials said in a statement. “Drones have been witnessed filming climbers ascending climbing routes, filming views above tree-tops, and filming aerial footage of the park.”

The park said drones pose a safety threat as well as ruin the aesthetics of the wilderness.

“Drones can be extremely noisy, and can impact the natural soundscape,” officials said. “Drones can also impact the wilderness experience for other visitors, creating an environment that is not conducive to wilderness travel.”


The park said the use of drones there is illegal, but it’s unclear if anyone has been caught in the act.