Fly in USFS National Forest Recreation Areas??

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So far I think it is perfectly fine to fly from, within, and over a US National Forest, but I have not seen anything prohibiting flying a drone from, within, or over a USFS National Forest Recreation Area - yet. The big, K-9, USFS ranger I encountered in one today said he didn't know if it is prohibited, but he clearly implied that he wasn't inclined to let me fly until he got an answer from his District Ranger. Being Sunday, I was pretty sure the District Ranger wouldn't be home, so I didn't wait for answer, therefore I ask you forum members.
The ranger did say if the County prohibits drones, then the USFS would take the County law and prohibit flying in the USFS Recreation Areas in that County. Interesting that the feds would let a County law override anything the feds have or don't have.
I'll call the District Ranger tomorrow and report back.
 

Mark The Droner

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This kind of thing has been discussed before although not recently.

The ranger sounds confused to me. Seems to me he can't stop you from doing something because he "thinks" there might be a rule against it.

Also, it's my understanding that a county has no authority to pass a law that supercedes federal authority. And the FAA has authority over the NAS.

MHO
 
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This kind of thing has been discussed before although not recently.

The ranger sounds confused to me. Seems to me he can't stop you from doing something because he "thinks" there might be a rule against it.

Also, it's my understanding that a county has no authority to pass a law that supercedes federal authority. And the FAA has authority over the NAS.

MHO
They can stop you from taking off and landing on certain property; they cannot prohibit you from overflying. Not sure what height you're required to keep.
 
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I went through this when I got a commercial photo permit within a national forest. What surprised me was the county has some control over the national forest permit process in that the county built and maintains the road through the national forest, so the county also has a say in the federal permit process. They call it road encroachment and easement which is the county part and why you need to pay them off too which can be ridiculous in cost (Try $1,610 for three hours parking! Actually $1,450 plus the non-refundable $160 permit processing portion.) along with the federal fee part which is extra. If the county says no to a permit, then the forest service gives in to them and will not authorize the shoot. Very odd system where one would think the feds have final say, but the county supersedes them as "It's their road." Sort of like the CA Air Resources Board that often trumps federal air standards for cars and why buying an out of state car other than in CA may not get registered for use in CA.

It does seem the drone "To be, or not to be" decision is up to the Badge of the Day, often the head ranger, whether you can or can't fly. Rules are all over the place at times, or they'll just make up something to sound good and/or make it so you cannot fly with some other gray law. Sometimes they just need some public contact hours to justify their job so telling you you can or cannot fly gives them a gold star for that day with contact hours. Their forest, their rules.
 
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Interesting that the feds would let a County law override anything the feds have or don't have.

If there is a valid state or county law that is broken on the federal ground, the officer can cite you for it federally. That's how they handle traffic stuff in my back yard.

SB
 
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I am well aware this topic has been discussed on this forum in the past, but I've not seen anything, especially recently, about USFS Recreation Areas. I also believe that a ranger can't prohibit something if s/he isn't sure of regulations. This ranger was very polite and professional. There was no reason to argue with him. Thanks for the informative replies so far.
Thanks, Dirkclod, for pointing me to Rules and Regulations. Any chance of moving that category up into the subject bar?
 
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dirkclod

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You might have not seen anything GP as most of these type threads are put here Rules and Regulations
 
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For what it is worth, a Forest Service ranger said I could fly in Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, part of Siuslaw National Forest. This was in September. Early in the morning, with no wind. Then suddenly the wind came up and I barely got it back. Wind very variable. I flew it into the ground on purpose as there was no way a controlled landing was possible. I have some awsome videos to put together, but here is a quick unprocessed photo of the geography. Had a few visitors and got lots of curious inquires but no hostilies. The waves were so noisy you could not hear it and the view so vast you could not see it unless you knew where to look.
 

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The attached pdf is from the National Forest Service that other then congressional designated wilderness areas you can fly under FAA regulations the below link has the designated areas

"The Answer is:......................................................"<\/title><body bgcolor='#ffffff' style='margin-left:25px;margin-right:25px;text-align:center'><em>192 Million!<\/em><\/body><\/html>"); newwindow.document.close(); } function closeWindow() { newwindow.close(); } // --> </script> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- hiding var newwindow; function showWindow2() { newwindow = window.open("", "newwindow2", "toolbar=no,width=200,height=20,top=125,left=310"); newwindow.document.open(); newwindow.document.write("<html><title>"The Answer is:......................................................"<\/title><body bgcolor='#ffffff' style='margin-left:25px;margin-right:25px;text-align:center' ><em>42<\/em><\/body><\/html>"); newwindow.document.close(); } function closeWindow() { newwindow.close(); } // --> </script> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- hiding var newwindow; function showWindow3() { newwindow = window.open("", "newwindow3", "toolbar=no,width=200,height=20,top=125,left=310"); newwindow.document.open(); newwindow.document.write("<html><title>"The Answer is:......................................................"<\/title><body bgcolor='#ffffff' style='margin-left:25px;margin-right:25px;text-align:center' ><em>155 National Forests and 22 National Grasslands<\/em><\/body><\/html>"); newwindow.document.close(); } function closeWindow() { newwindow.close(); } // --> </script> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- hiding var newwindow; function showWindow4() { newwindow = window.open("", "newwindow4", "toolbar=no,width=400,height=40,top=125,left=310"); newwindow.document.open(); newwindow.document.write("<html><title>"The Answer is:......................................................"<\/title><body bgcolor='#ffffff' style='margin-left:25px;margin-right:25px;text-align:center' ><em>6 National Monuments, 20 National Recreation Areas, 9 National Scenic Areas and 1 National Preserve encompassing over 7 million acres<\/em><\/body><\/html>"); newwindow.document.close(); } function closeWindow() { newwindow.close(); } // --> </script> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- hiding var newwindow; function showWindow5() { newwindow = window.open("", "newwindow5", "toolbar=no,width=400,height=40,top=125,left=310"); newwindow.document.open(); newwindow.document.write("<html><title>"The Answer is:......................................................"<\/title><body bgcolor='#ffffff' style='margin-left:25px;margin-right:25px;text-align:center' ><em>The Forest Service manages 403 Wilderness units comprising 35.2 million acres.<\/em><\/body><\/html>"); newwindow.document.close(); } function closeWindow() { newwindow.close(); } // --> </script> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- hiding var newwindow; function showWindow6() { newwindow = window.open("", "newwindow6", "toolbar=no,width=400,height=40,top=125,left=310"); newwindow.document.open(); newwindow.document.write("<html><title>"The Answer is:......................................................"<\/title><body bgcolor='#ffffff' style='margin-left:25px;margin-right:25px;text-align:center' ><em>There are 133,087 miles of system trails. Of these, 6,709 miles are designated as National Scenic or Historic Trails.<\/em><\/body><\/html>"); newwindow.document.close(); } function closeWindow() { newwindow.close(); } // --> </script> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- hiding var newwindow; function showWindow7() { newwindow = window.open("", "newwindow7", "toolbar=no,width=400,height=40,top=125,left=310"); newwindow.document.open(); newwindow.document.write("<html><title>"The Answer is:......................................................"<\/title><body bgcolor='#ffffff' style='margin-left:25px;margin-right:25px;text-align:center' ><em>There are 136 designated National Forest Scenic Byways offering 9,126 miles of scenic viewing.<\/em><\/body><\/html>"); newwindow.document.close(); } function closeWindow() { newwindow.close(); } // --> </script> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- hiding var newwindow; function showWindow8() { newwindow = window.open("", "newwindow8", "toolbar=no,width=400,height=40,top=125,left=310"); newwindow.document.open(); newwindow.document.write("<html><title>"The Answer is:......................................................"<\/title><body bgcolor='#ffffff' style='margin-left:25px;margin-right:25px;text-align:center' ><em>There are 95 congressionally designated Wild and Scenic Rivers managed by the Forest Service covering 4,418 miles of river.<\/em><\/body><\/html>"); newwindow.document.close(); } function closeWindow() { newwindow.close(); } // --> </script> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- hiding var newwindow; function showWindow9() { newwindow = window.open("", "newwindow9", "toolbar=no,width=400,height=60,top=125,left=310"); newwindow.document.open(); newwindow.document.write("<html><title>"The Answer is:......................................................"<\/title><body bgcolor='#ffffff' style='margin-left:25px;margin-right:25px;text-align:center' ><em>There are over 23,000 developed recreation sites. These include 4,300 campgrounds, 1,496 picnic sites, 1,222 boating sites, and 140 swimming areas. <\/em><\/body><\/html>"); newwindow.document.close(); } function closeWindow() { newwindow.close(); } // --> </script> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- hiding var newwindow; function showWindow10() { newwindow = window.open("", "newwindow10", "toolbar=no,width=400,height=40,top=125,left=310"); newwindow.document.open(); newwindow.document.write("<html><title>"The Answer is:......................................................"<\/title><body bgcolor='#ffffff' style='margin-left:25px;margin-right:25px;text-align:center' ><em>There are 5,700 outfitter/guide permits, 135 ski areas, and 480 resorts operated on National Forests and Grasslands by permittees.<\/em><\/body><\/html>"); newwindow.document.close(); } function closeWindow() { newwindow.close(); } // --> </script> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- hiding var newwindow; function showWindow11() { newwindow = window.open("", "newwindow11", "toolbar=no,width=400,height=40,top=125,left=310"); newwindow.document.open(); newwindow.document.write("<html><title>"The Answer is:......................................................"<\/title><body bgcolor='#ffffff' style='margin-left:25px;margin-right:25px;text-align:center' ><em>There are over 277,000 heritage sites documented on National Forests and Grasslands.<\/em><\/body><\/html>"); newwindow.document.close(); } function closeWindow() { newwindow.close(); } // --> </script> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- hiding var newwindow; function showWindow12() { newwindow = window.open("", "newwindow12", "toolbar=no,width=200,height=20,top=125,left=310"); newwindow.document.open(); newwindow.document.write("<html><title>"The Answer is:......................................................"<\/title><body bgcolor='#ffffff' style='margin-left:25px;margin-right:25px;text-align:center' ><em>$134 Billion!!<\/em><\/body><\/html>"); newwindow.document.close(); } function closeWindow() { newwindow.close(); } // --> </script> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- hiding var newwindow; function showWindow13() { newwindow = window.open("", "newwindow13", "toolbar=no,width=200,height=20,top=125,left=310"); newwindow.document.open(); newwindow.document.write("<html><title>"The Answer is:......................................................"<\/title><body bgcolor='#ffffff' style='margin-left:25px;margin-right:25px;text-align:center' ><em>42<\/em><\/body><\/html>"); newwindow.document.close(); } function closeWindow() { newwindow.close(); } // --> </script> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- hiding var newwindow; function showWindow14() { newwindow = window.open("", "newwindow14", "toolbar=no,width=200,height=20,top=125,left=310"); newwindow.document.open(); newwindow.document.write("<html><title>"The Answer is:......................................................"<\/title><body bgcolor='#ffffff' style='margin-left:25px;margin-right:25px;text-align:center' ><em>42<\/em><\/body><\/html>"); newwindow.document.close(); } function closeWindow() { newwindow.close(); } // --> </script> <script language="JavaScript"> <!-- hiding var newwindow; function showWindow15() { newwindow = window.open("", "newwindow15", "toolbar=no,width=200,height=20,top=125,left=310"); newwindow.document.open(); newwindow.document.write("<html><title>"The Answer is:......................................................"<\/title><body bgcolor='#ffffff' style='margin-left:25px;margin-right:25px;text-align:center' ><em>42<\/em><\/body><\/html>"); newwindow.document.close(); } function closeWindow() { newwindow.close(); } // --> </script> <head> <!-- #BeginEditable "doctitle" --> <title>Recreation Facts & Figures
 

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