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Oregon's Sole National Park Routinely Buzzed By Drones

A visitor gazes upon Crater Lake, Oregon.
Brian Bull
/
KLCC
A visitor gazes upon Crater Lake, Oregon.

The National Park Service is trying to crack down on drones being flown over popular sites, including Oregon’s Crater Lake.

A visitor gazes upon Crater Lake, Oregon.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
/
KLCC
A visitor gazes upon Crater Lake, Oregon.

Despite being banned from national parks in 2014, they remain a growing problem.  Kean Mihata is Chief Ranger at Crater Lake.  He says notices are posted in many areas, but some operators still choose to fly drones anyway.

Flickr_GiorgisPhoto.jpg
Credit Giorgi's Photography / Fl
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Fl

Speaking on OPB’s Think Out Loud program, Mihata says drones can startle wildlife or distract from people’s enjoyment of nature.

“Y’know, annoyance is one level but if we have other aircraft in the area -- wildland fire or search-and-rescue work -- (drones) can pose a serious threat to the pilot and aircraft because drones are not seen very well from the air, and they can take down aircraft.” 

Mihata says during the summer, they get about five to seven reports a week of illegal drone activity across Crater Lake National Park. He says fines can run up to $5,000.

Copyright 2018, KLCC. 

 

Copyright 2018 KLCC

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. He is a 20-year reporter who has worked at NPR, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including three Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award in 2012.