Welcome to our national parks — but no drones

National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis issued a memorandum banning drones in all national parks on Friday.

The directive requires all parks to prohibit the "unmanned aircrafts" over lands and waters under the National Park Service's jurisdiction.


"We have serious concerns about the negative impact that flying unmanned aircraft is having in parks, so we are prohibiting their use until we can determine the most appropriate policy that will protect park resources and provide all visitors with a rich experience," Jarvis said.

Drones have been banned in several parks already due to noise and nuisance complaints, the Park Service said.

While the memo is a temporary measure, Jarvis said the department is working toward proposing regulations regarding drones.

All permits that were issued to visitors for drones will be suspended until reviewed.

The directive cites an incident in Arizona's Grand Canyon National Park when one drone disturbed visitors before crashing in the canyon.

In another, a drone at Zion National Park in Utah upset a herd of bighorn sheep, separating adults from young animals.

The National Park Service does use drones for search and rescue, fire operations and scientific research, but those are exempted from the rule.