National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis has signed a policy memorandum that directs superintendents nationwide to prohibit launching, landing, or operating drones, or unmanned aircraft, on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service, including our own Joshua Tree National Park. “We embrace many activities in national parks because they enhance visitor experiences with the iconic natural, historic and cultural landscapes in our care,” Jarvis said. “However, 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.” The policy memo directs superintendents to use their existing authority within the Code of Federal Regulations to prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft, and to include that prohibition in the park’s regulations. All permits previously issued for unmanned aircraft will be suspended until reviewed and approved by the National Park Service’s Visitor and Resource Protection directorate. The National Park Service may use unmanned aircraft for administrative purposes such as search and rescue, fire operations and scientific study.