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Dean Shenk, a supervisory ranger at Yosemite National Park, walking to a group of sequoias called the Governor's group in Mariposa Grove at the park in California, April 15, 2014.

Jim Wilson, New York Times

Skiing Yosemite

Yosemite Falls

Robyn Dochterman, Star Tribune

Yosemite rangers urge visitors to leave drones at home

  • Associated Press
  • May 2, 2014 - 10:57 PM

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — The bald eagle, the yellow warbler and the peregrine falcon have been joined in the skies above Yosemite National Park by a noisy newcomer: the drone.

Spokesman Scott Gediman issued a statement Friday reminding visitors that federal regulations actually ban the unmanned aircraft, yet that hasn't stopped drone sightings from becoming a nearly daily occurrence in one of the nation's most venerated national parks.

In the last few years, Gediman says, rangers have noticed more of the devices in the park — buzzing over waterfalls or above meadows — as guests use them to capture otherwise impossible-to-get photographs of the breathtaking landscape.

As rangers gear up for an increase in visitors during the summer, Gediman says he hopes Friday's announcement — along with similar advisories on Facebook and Twitter — will encourage people to leave their drones at home.

© 2014 Star Tribune