Date: 7/6/17 7:31 am
From: Rich Rieger via va-bird <va-bird...>
Subject: [Va-bird] drones vs birds... Fairfax Co. -please read - tx
Hi Folks -

The Fairfax Co. Park Authority will be holding a meeting on Wed. July 12 @ 7:30p.

Location is Herrity Bldg, 12055 Gov't Center Pkwy. Fairfax. Rm 941.

At this meeting, they will be discussing flying of drones and model airplanes at certain Fairfax Co. parks.

One of the fields under consideration is a field in Lorton, located between Lorton Rd and the Laurel Hill Golf Club. As some Fairfax Co birders know, this field has been allowed to grow this year and hosted quite a few Bobolinks in migration and Meadowlarks were confirmed breeders. It's a pretty nice grassland/meadow - habitat in short supply in Fairfax Co. The resource manager let me know that one problem w. fly zones is keeping people out of the active fly zone area. Since the grass is tall, that would be a natural deterrent to keep people on the tarmac.

Personally, I don't think birds mix w. drones and model airplanes. I was there one day while someone was flying an RC plane (illegally, as that field is not a designated "fly zone") and he told me that it had been "attacked" by some birds. Other birds dove for cover, thinking it was a raptor.

I appreciate that this "multi-use" mentality has permeated many minds, but it sure would be nice if this field could be multi used by birds, mammals, insects, etc w/o being buzzed by drones. Some day, according to the master plan, this field is slated to become soccer fields, but right now, it's not.

So if you can attend and make your voices heard, that would be great. I believe that birders in Fairfax Co. outnumber people who need to fly drones, so let's get vocal! ASNV and the No. VA Bird Club (along w. the ABC) have written to the Park Auth. voicing their concern, so FCPA knows we are out there.

Hope to see you there.
Rich Rieger
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