August 20, 2014
Contact: Kevin Moore
Launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft within Arches and Canyonlands national parks, and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments, are now prohibited.
The term "unmanned aircraft" is defined as: devices that are used or intended to be used for flight in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, and communication links).
The term "unmanned aircraft" includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.
Use of unmanned aircraft systems (commonly known as "drones") in parks brings noise and visual intrusions where visitors expect quiet and natural vistas. Their use creates a safety concern for visitors, disturbs wildlife, and otherwise conflicts with the mission of national parks to preserve and protect natural and cultural resources and their associated values.
Given the rapid increase in the number and use of drones nationwide and in the Southeast Utah Group national parks, Superintendent Kate Cannon has determined it necessary to prohibit their use in order to protect public safety, minimize visitor-use conflicts, and prevent unacceptable impacts to scenic values, natural soundscapes, and wildlife.
More information regarding this ban may be obtained at the parks' websites under the links Management/Laws and Policies/Superintendent's Compendium. (Click here for Natural Bridges' Superintendent's Compendium.)