US park service moves to bar drone operations in 84 million acres of public lands

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service is moving to ban drones from 84 million acres (34 million hectares) of public lands and waterways.

Officials say it’s because the unmanned aircraft annoy visitors, harass wildlife and threaten safety.

Jonathan Jarvis is the park service director. Jarvis tells The Associated Press he’s directing the superintendents of the 401 national parks to write rules barring the launching, landing or operation of unmanned aircraft.

He says he doesn’t want drones flushing birds from their nests, hovering over rock climbers as they cling to the sides of cliffs or buzzing across the face of a landmark mountain.

The action is separate from the Federal Aviation Agency’s ban on commercial drone flights.