Yellowstone National Park says it is vigorously enforcing a ban on operation of unmanned aircraft, after a third tourist was cited for illegally flying a drone in the park. Park officials said Friday that Donald Criswell of Molalla, Oregon, was charged with violating the ban after he allegedly flew a drone over the crowded Midway Geyser Basin and close to bison on Aug. 19. In early August, an unmanned aircraft crashed into Grand Prismatic Spring, leading to several charges against Theodorus Van Vliet of the Netherlands. Park officials have thus far been unable to locate the downed drone in the iconic hot spring. Earlier this week, charges were filed against Andreas Meissner, a German national, for a July 17 incident in which a drone crashed into Yellowstone Lake near the West Thumb Marina.
The National Park Service announced in June that it had banned the use of unmanned aerial vehicles in all of its parks. “This ban is being enforced at Yellowstone. Violators will be contacted, investigated and may be subject to confiscation of their unmanned aircraft, a mandatory court appearance and fines,” Yellowstone National Park said in a press release Friday.
— James Eng
First published August 29 2014, 2:28 PM