Pennsylvania Game Commission to ban drones on protected game lands
Apr 07, 2016 12:47 AM EDT
Drones that are flying within the 1.5 million acres of game lands will be banned by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The harassment of these drones to migratory snow geese at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area prompted the approval of the plan.
According to the Daily Mail, game officials presume that these drones are only used to take pictures and videos; but apparently, it also disturb the feeding and resting patterns of the migrating birds. Drones were reportedly spotted near the flocks of snow geese on the Lancaster-Lebanon county line at Kleinfeltersville.
There were also reports that the drones are sometimes flown near the nest of several protected bald eagles, particularly at the Codorus State Park at Hanover, York County. The eagle's activities are being monitored through a live-streamed webcam through the commission's website as per Penn Live.
Greg Graham, an officer at the wildlife conservation commission who investigated the issue at Middle Creek, said there is no way that someone can fly a drone in a protected area without disrupting the wildlife. The commission also added that the natural and scenic value of the land are being degraded with the use of these drones, not to mention the actual wildlife disturbance and harassment activities as per Lancaster Online.
Aside from the protection of wildlife, the ban on drones will benefit the practice of fair chase and other ways of hunting activities. The ban on drones in 2014 did not push through after the legislation failed to pass the house floor for voting.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was the one who triggered the legislation after they used remote-controlled helicopters to spy on hunters that mistreat animals and claimed that they break the hunting rules. The commission's ban, however, will be partly for the lawful hunting and trapping activities on game lands in the future.