Boulder County to consider allowing limited use of drones in parks, open space

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BOULDER, Colo. -- Some high-flying emotions will be aired on Thursday as the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department will hold a meeting to consider new rules to allow the use of drones, but only on a very limited basis.

Drones are banned in the county's parks and open spaces. But drone supporters want to change that and some don't think the proposed changes go far enough.

Officials are proposing a new policy to allow the unmanned aircraft in parks and open space but only for scientific research and what is called operation monitoring.

The use of drones for recreational use or amateurs who want to fly them on the weekend will still not be allowed.

Officials say aircraft can be a useful tool for getting a birds-eye view of parkland, all of the natural resources and wildlife.

The new policy would give park officials the discretion to determine whether each flight will be allowed in the county's open space.

Officials stress the new policy would not allow visitors to use drones for recreation or any commercial use. They say they want to keep the park experience as natural as possible.