News

Ban on drones over game lands gets preliminary approval

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 6, 2016 5:52 PM
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A drone mounted with a camera can give firefighers a tactical advantage, allowing them to gain an aerial view overhead. Local firefighters used the technology to help fight a fire, likely for the first time, this past weekend at Letterkenny Army Depot.

(Harrisburg) -- The Pennsylvania Game Commission has given preliminary approval to banning drones over 1.5 million acres of state game lands after reports of the unmanned craft near bald eagles' nests and others interfering with migrating waterfowl.

The commission said the preliminary approval came in a unanimous vote Tuesday.

Final approval will be considered at a meeting in July.

Officials cited at least five instances in which drones disturbed wildlife during this year's snow goose migration season in the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area.

Drones have also been reported close to bald eagle nests.

Game officials say they presume the drones are being used to take pictures or video, but they can spook migrating birds and disrupt their rest and feeding needs.

The executive director can authorize for exceptions to the ban.

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