San Juan County Parks Drone Policy In Effect

County-LogoSan Juan County has adopted an Unmanned Aircraft System (“drone”) policy for County parks and the fairgrounds. Beginning on February 2, 2016, the launching, landing, or operating of unmanned aircraft systems from or on all San Juan County Parks & Fairgrounds property is prohibited, unless authorized by special permit issued by the Parks & Fair Director. The permit application process is intended only for special circumstances and operators must agree to comply with strict terms of use.

Like many state and national parks across the country, the primary concerns in county parks & fairgrounds are related to hobbyist drone use that potentially impacts wildlife, public safety, negatively changes park user experiences, and impacts personal privacy. Nesting birds and small terrestrial animals, often not noticed by the casual observer, are affected by drones flying too close. At waterfront locations, seals, shorebirds, and otters can be disturbed.

Leave No Trace principles 5 and 7 ask us to respect wildlife and be considerate of other visitors. This includes observing wildlife from a distance, not following or approaching, and protecting the quality of everyone’s experience. “Let nature’s sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.”

These public spaces are to be treasured and preserved. When you visit, consider unplugging from technology and connecting with the exceptional natural experiences available in the San Juan Islands.

Posted on May 29, 2016 at 5:34 am by

Categories: Community, Environment, Government, Wildlife
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