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Drones on National Forests

Most of the forest is open to recreational flying of Unmanned Aircraft Systems ("UAS" or "drones") as long as you're following FAA guidelines.  However, in some areas drones are not allowed.  These areas include:

  • All Wilderness areas.  Drones are considered "mechanized" equipment and do not meet Wilderness regulations.

  • Closure Area #1 & #2 on Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.
  • Flying over groups of people, whether they are near buildings, overlooks, campgrounds, or other sites on the forest. 
  • Flying over or near wildfires.  Unauthorized drone flights can pose serious risk to public safety and firefighters.

Other helpful drone tips:

  • Register your drone and follow FAA guidelines.
  • Do not fly over or near wildlife as this can create stress that may cause significant harm, and even death.
  • Pursuit, harassment, or an intentional disturbance of animals during breeding, nesting, rearing of young, or other critical life history functions is prohibited unless legally approved as research or management.
  • If you are flying a drone for any commercial filming or research project you will likely need a permit.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities