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Catoctin Mountain Park News Release
For Release: September 4, 2014
Contact:Mel Poole, Superintendent
Catoctin Mountain Park Invites Public Comment on Changes to the 2014 Superintendent's Compendium
At the direction of National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, Superintendent Mel Poole has made revisions to the 2014 Catoctin Mountain Park Superintendent's Compendium. The changes immediately prohibit launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft on lands and waters administered by Catoctin Mountain Park.
"We embrace many activities in national parks because they enhance visitor experiences with the iconic natural, historic and cultural landscapes in our care," Jarvis said. "However, we have serious concerns about the negative impact that flying unmanned aircraft is having in parks, so we are prohibiting their use until we can determine the most appropriate policy that will protect park resources and provide all visitors with a rich experience."
There are no changes to the primary jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration over the National Airspace System.The changes to the Compendium are a temporary measure. Jarvis said the next step will be to propose a Servicewide regulation regarding unmanned aircraft.
All permits previously issued by any park for unmanned aircraft will be suspended until reviewed and approved by the Associate Director, Visitor and Resource Protection. The Associate Director must approve any new Special Use Permits authorizing the use of unmanned aircraft. Superintendents who have previously authorized the use of model aircraft for hobbyist or recreational use may allow such use to continue.
The National Park Service may use unmanned aircraft for administrative purposes such as search and rescue, fire operations and scientific study. These uses must also be approved by the Associate Director, Visitor and Resource Protection.
The memorandum from Director Jarvis may be viewed at: https://www.nps.gov/policy/PolMemos/PM_14-05.htm
The 2014 Superintendent's Compendium may be viewed in its entirety at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/cato. In the PEPC web site select Superintendent's Compendium from the list of Park projects to download the document and submit on-line comments.
Written comments can also be submitted to: Superintendent, Catoctin Mountain Park, 6602 Foxville Road, Thurmont, Maryland 21788. Comments will be accepted until October 5, 2014.
Catoctin Mountain Park is one of over 400 units administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Correspondence should be addressed to: Superintendent, Catoctin Mountain Park, 6602 Foxville Road, Thurmont, MD 21788. Our website address is www.nps.gov/cato.The Visitor Center (301-663-9388) is open from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. daily. Emergency or after hours calls should be directed to the National Capital Region Communications Center at 1-866-677-6677.
Correspondence should be addressed to: Superintendent, Catoctin Mountain Park, 6602 Foxville Road, Thurmont, MD 21788. Our website address is www.nps.gov/cato.General information can be obtained by calling the Visitor Center at(301) 663-9388.