(information last updated January 2019)

Ongoing Projects:

Federal Project(s) Operating in the State: 

The National Park Service (“NPS”) administers a citizen science wildlife survey project, Death Valley Wildlife, in Death Valley National Park through Share Wildlife Data with, Volunteer, Death Valley, Nat’l Park Serv., (last visited Feb. 7, 2019); see also Death Valley Wildlife, iNaturalist, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).


NPS also administers the annual Great Basin BioBlitz in Great Basin National Park, a 24-48 hour citizen science survey and education event. Great Basin BioBlitzGreat Basin, Nat’l Park Serv., (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). Past projects have used citizen scientists to document species populations and habitats of birds, insects, and Lepidoptera (i.e., butterflies and moths). See id. 

State Project(s):

The Nevada Department of Wildlife, Conservation Education Bureau administers a volunteer program where individuals can apply to work with staff and scientists “in projects such as fish stocking, fish sampling, nesting surveys, check station assistance, angler education, hunter education, interpretation, data entry, and office assistance.” Wildlife Volunteer – FAQS, Become a Wildlife Volunteer, Nev. Dep’t of Wildlife, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).


Collection of Information:

Scientific Collection Permit:

A permit is required to “take, kill, possess/import/export or band any species of wildlife, or collect the nests or eggs thereof, for strictly scientific or educational purposes[.]” Nev. Dep’t of Wildlife, Instructions Scientific Collection/Possession/Education Permit (2010),; see also Nev. Rev. Stat. § 503.650; Nev. Admin. Code 503.094; Scientific Collection/Possession/Education Permit, Special Permit Information, Nev. Dep’t of Wildlife, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).


Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No.  In order for a person’s entry upon land to constitute trespass, that person must “hav[e] been warned by the owner . . . not to trespass.”  Nev. Rev. Stat. § 207.200(1)(b).  Signs, fluorescent orange paint, and fencing can amount to a warning not to trespass. See id. § 207.200(2). 

Drone Law:

See infra “Drone Laws.”


Drone Laws:

Operation in a Reckless Manner:

“Any person operating an aircraft in the air, or on the ground or water….[i]n a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another…is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.” Nev. Rev. Stat. § 493.130(1).


“‘Aircraft’ includes an unmanned aerial vehicle.” Id. § 493.130(2)(a).

Civil Cause of Action for Trespass:


An individual may bring an action for trespass against someone who flies a drone over his or her private property at a height of less than 250 feet if “[t]he owner or operator of the [drone] has flown [it] over the property at a height of less than 250 feet on at least one previous occasion;” and “[t]he person who owns or occupies the real property notified the owner or operator of the [drone] that the person did not authorize the flight of the [drone] over the property[.]”  Nev. Rev. Stat. § 493.103(1). 


If the plaintiff brings a successful trespass action under this section, he or she is entitled to treble damages for “any injury to the person or . . . property as a result of the trespass.” Id. § 493.103(3).



A person may not bring an action under this section if: (a) The unmanned aerial vehicle is lawfully in the flight path for landing at an airport, airfield or runway; (b) The unmanned aerial vehicle is in the process of taking off or landing; (c) The unmanned aerial vehicle was under the lawful operation of a law enforcement or public agency; and (d) the unmanned aerial vehicle was under the lawful operation of a business registered in the State. Id. § 493.103(2).

State Parks:

“Use of drones is prohibited in Nevada State Parks unless in an area designated for that use by a park supervisor, and a commercial use permit is in effect.” Can I fly a drone?, FAQs, Nev. State Parks, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).

Other Provisions:

See infra “Critical Infrastructure Laws.”

Critical Infrastructure Laws:

Drone Law:

“A person shall not operate an unmanned aerial vehicle within: (a) A horizontal distance of 500 feet or a vertical distance of 250 feet from a critical facility without the written consent of the owner of the critical facility.” Nev. Rev. Stat. § 493.109(1). 


“‘Critical facility’ means a petroleum refinery, a petroleum or chemical production, transportation, storage or processing facility, a chemical manufacturing facility, a pipeline and any appurtenance thereto, a wastewater treatment facility, a water treatment facility, a mine . . . , a power generating station, plant or substation and any appurtenances thereto, any transmission line that is owned in whole or in part by an electric utility . . . .  The term does not include any facility or infrastructure of a utility that is located underground.” Id. § 493.020(2).


Violators will be guilty of a misdemeanor. Id. § 493.109(3). 

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“A person who, without lawful authority, willfully or maliciously engages in a course of conduct that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed, or fearful for the immediate safety of a family or household member, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed, or fearful for the immediate safety of a family or household member, commits the crime of stalking.” Nev. Rev. Stat. § 200.575(1).

Use of Information:

Although our research is incomplete, this provision could be construed to prohibit the use of information collected by citizens.

Explicitly Prohibits:

“Any photograph, image, recording or other information that is acquired by a law enforcement agency through the operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle. . . or that is acquired from any other person or governmental entity . . . that obtained the photograph, image, recording or other information in a manner inconsistent with the requirements of this section, and any evidence that is derived therefrom:

(a) Is not admissible in and must not be disclosed in a judicial, administrative or other adjudicatory proceeding; and 


(b) May not be used to establish reasonable suspicion or probable cause as the basis for investigating or prosecuting a crime or offense.”  Nev. Rev. Stat. § 493.112(4).

Evidentiary Standards:

Pleading a Claim:

Requires certification that “the allegations and other factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, are likely to have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery.”  Nev. R. Civ. P. 11(b)(3).

Authentication or Chain of Custody:

“The requirement of authentication or identification as a condition precedent to admissibility is satisfied by evidence or other showing sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what its proponent claims.”  Nev. Rev. Stat. § 52.015(1). 

Expert Testimony:

Standard set by Nevada Revised Statute Section 50.275: “If scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by special knowledge, skill, experience, training or education may testify to matters within the scope of such knowledge.” Courts also look to Daubert standard, however.  Hallmark v. Eldridge, 189 P.3d 646, 650 (Nev. 2008) (holding that Daubert is persuasive authority).


Please note that this discussion is not moderated by the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic.