Drones banned from entire U.S. national park system

National Park Service officials say there have been at least three incidents in the past year where drones have harassed wildlife or disturbed visitors.
By Frances Burns   |   June 20, 2014 at 4:42 PM   |   Comments

| License Photo
WASHINGTON, June 20 (UPI) -- The National Park Service banned drones from all 401 U.S. parks and memorials Friday.

Visitors to several parks, including Yosemite in California and Zion in southern Utah were already barred from using the unmanned remotely controlled aircraft. Jonathan Jarvis, the park service director, extended the ban to the entire system, 84 million acres, in an executive order to superintendents.

Parks can continue to use drones for research, and search and rescue. In his order, Jarvis said visitors might be able to use drones in some limited circumstances with advance approval.

Jarvis said in his order that there have been at least three incidents in the past year where unmanned aircraft have disturbed visitors or wildlife.

In April, volunteers at Zion saw a herd of bighorn sheep disturbed by a drone, with the adults separating from their young. In a statement in early May on the incident, park officials said the drones are potentially harmful to birds as well as animals on the ground.

Earlier in April, a drone flew overhead as visitors watched the sunset at Grand Canyon National Park and then crashed in the canyon. Last September, rangers confiscated a drone that flew over the audience in the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Amphitheater.

© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
China questions Americanism in SATs
Dairy Queen hit by Backoff malware breach
Plague bomb data found on seized Islamic State laptop
St. Paul police arrest a black man for sitting on a bench waiting for his children
Sen. Mary Landrieu uses mom's home as Louisiana address
Trending News