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  • 2 years later...

Just looking for an answer to this same question and came across this thread.

BLM land (land managed by the Bureau of Land Management) is a different agency from National Parks, so the regulations are different. I had been using this article + B4UFLY + Airmap to guide my decision on which federal public lands were okay to fly over: 

https://fstoppers.com/aerial/making-heads-or-tails-flying-drone-over-us-public-lands-226124

But I'm not convinced it's entirely up to date or accurate... most resources I find say BLM land is okay to fly over most of the time, BUT I was just researching for a shoot in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument - Paria Canyon/Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area, and their website cites a federal regulation I hadn't come across before when it comes to BLM land.

"Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), Unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or Drones are aircraft as defined by the Federal Aviation Administration, and are therefore not allowed to take off or land in BLM wilderness areas. 43 CFR 6302.20"

https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/permits-and-passes/lotteries-and-permit-systems/arizona/coyote-buttes

So I'm curious what people make of this.

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Hi Ellie,

I believe the distinction you have is your area of interest is a "Wilderness area".  This is different than vanilla BLM lands.  It is the same for National Forest land.  UAS operation is generally allowed in these public lands,  UNLESS they are designated a Wilderness area.  At that point, they are treated more like National Parks, and in some cases, even more strictly.  Note that like National Parks, you can fly over them, but not land or take off.  Which usually means the area you would like to photograph is logistically unobtainable.

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=8a7fc4a6a7bd4c0fcf5cfd19b7de4faa&mc=true&node=pt43.2.6300&rgn=div5#sp43.2.6300.6302

Edited by Dave Pitman
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In general, if the BLM administered land is NOT designated a Wilderness area, then it is what I referred to as "vanilla", my term.  And, generally uas operation is permitted.  There are also non-wilderness areas administered by both the National Park Service or BLM that are also off limits.  The link you provided lists some of those.

It is up to you to do your due diligence on any particualr area you wish to operate. Sometimes it's not easy.

Here is a good article on the subject.  Good Luck!

https://fstoppers.com/aerial/making-heads-or-tails-flying-drone-over-us-public-lands-226124

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Here in Washington state they have the DNR which I believe is an equivalent to the BLM, which I called to see if I could fly in an area that bordered the Olympic National Park. They told me it was OK as long as I was NOT taking pictures for money. So I would suggest you call, what is the worst, they say no.

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Washington DNR is a state agency rather than federal.  Some of the management practice may be similar.  Nothing wrong with calling for information.  But, in some cases, the person on the other end of the phone doesn't know the answer and rather than sending you to someone who does, they wing it and give you their best guess which is often wrong. 

That's why it is best if you can research for yourself first, and then be in a position to qualify the answers you get when calling.  For example.  I doubt there is any restriction about filming commercially on most DNR managed lands.

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  • 3 months later...
On 3/8/2020 at 9:18 AM, Ed Shown said:

Here in Washington state they have the DNR which I believe is an equivalent to the BLM, which I called to see if I could fly in an area that bordered the Olympic National Park. They told me it was OK as long as I was NOT taking pictures for money. So I would suggest you call, what is the worst, they say no.

Sorry - a few months late to the conversation but worth adding some knowledge to this thread. You will often see comments that you need a permit to shoot video of a national park commercially., or "for money".

First, let me address "for money", the rules are generally "commercially" which is different than "for money",  or "for profit". I hardly ever sell my drone footage, most of it is just "for me" - but I am a commercial photographer, videographer, designer. As such any posting of video that might promote my work - is "commercial". I don't have to try and sell it - it promotes my commercial work and therefore is commercial. 

Now on to shooting commercially in a National Park. As long as you are not using: crew, props, lighting, etc - it's not needed. Call the park ahead, be kind, let em know, they will tell you - thanks for letting us know - you don't need a permit, have a nice time at the park. When you are obtaining permits its because your commercial work will impact the park more than normal and you are likely to need oversight from park staff to manage that impact.

There are numerous articles on it. Just google national park video film permit.

 

Last Point: Wilderness / Preserve areas

The rule from the FAA AIM manual is flight over noise restricted and wilderness designated areas has a floor of 2,000 ft. AGL to the highest object within blah blah blah - you can look it up and read the whole thing - you got the big number though, right? 2,000 ft.... you can't go there so you can't go over. Not without a waiver. If you read your sectional you'll see the boundaries and notes are on the flip or in a margin that will remind you - no. Now you are welcome to launch and land from legal land outside the area and shoot towards it within airspace that you are permitted to fly from. That's totally fine. 

You might say - but I see helicopters do that all the time. Yup, they do. Some are breaking the "rule" some have waivers.... You could technically break the "rule" as well - get in some trouble make bad press and contribute to ruining it for the rest of us - please don't. 🙂

 

Hope that helps!

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On 6/22/2020 at 7:48 AM, BuddyFriendly said:

Last Point: Wilderness / Preserve areas

The rule from the FAA AIM manual is flight over noise restricted and wilderness designated areas has a floor of 2,000 ft. AGL to the highest object within blah blah blah - you can look it up and read the whole thing - you got the big number though, right? 2,000 ft.... you can't go there so you can't go over.

 

Welcome to the forum.  It is not a regulation to stay 2000' above the highest object within 2000' horizontal distance. But it is "requested".  Grab yourself a sectional chart that includes such lands and have a read.  You were close though! And it is a good idea.  Obviously not related to Part 107, but to manned aviation.

 

Capture.JPG

Edited by Dave Pitman
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8 minutes ago, BuddyFriendly said:

See the entry in the AIM also:

http://www.faraim.org/aim/aim-4-03-14-514.html

Sure.  It states it there too.  I think you may be confusing restrictions in specific named areas with National Parks, Forest Service, etc. in general, which will be described on the sectional chart for that specific location.

Capture.thumb.JPG.22a3fd902737562ecce76f08b2353a88.JPG

Edited by Dave Pitman
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2 minutes ago, BuddyFriendly said:

Right. But in some cases federal statues apply and those are not requests from the FAA. As stated before if those apply they would be found on your sectional. I really wasn't making an argument just providing supplemental information.

That's fine.  Your original comment was more of a blanket statement in regard to National Parks.  I was just clarifying that that statement is not true.  Specific areas do carry that restriction, as you say! 🙂

Not trying to give you a hard time.  I'm just detail oriented when it comes to airspace.  And I certainly have room to learn too.

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