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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

NPS Bans Drones in National Parks

Recreational unmanned aircraft are no longer welcome.

by: Trent Knoss

image: Don McCullough / Flickr
image: Don McCullough / Flickr

Recreational drones may be taking off in popularity, but they've just been grounded by the National Park Service.

In a statement, NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis announced Friday that unmanned aerial craft will no longer be allowed on park lands and waters, citing "serious concerns about the negative impact that flying unmanned aircraft is having in parks."  The NPS cited three recent instances in which unmanned craft had disturbed visitors and/or wildlife.  

Superintendents are authorized to prohibit the launching and flying of any drone in park airspace.  The NPS has not said what the punishment will be for violating the ban.

Some national parks, including Yosemite, have unilaterally implemented similar bans in recent months.  The newest NPS regulation is considered temporary until a more permanent drone policy can be standardized and implemented across all parks.  

Read more: NPS



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