Drones on the Forest

Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)

Drone operation is subject to FAA and other regulations

  • Drone rules and regulationsDrones must stay below 400 feet altitude.
  • Drones must weigh less than 55 pounds including cargo.
  • Drones are not permitted in areas with Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs).
  • The Forest Service regularly uses low altitude aircraft in its work.
  • Drones used for commercial purposes require special Forest Service permits.
  • Never fly drones near fire operations. Drones near wildfires are not safe.

The Forest Service regularly uses low altitude aircraft in its work. Any conflict with these official operations can result in fines or confiscation or both. It is your responsibility to be aware of Forest Service flights in your area and TFRs. For more information about drones and flight schedules visit: www.faa.gov/uas

Learn more about Forest Service regulations on unmanned aircraft systems. 

Drones use in the BWCAW is prohibited

No drone in the BWCAWUnmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Drone operation is prohibited in the BWCA Wilderness

In 1949, Executive Order 10092 established an air space reservation prohibiting the operation of aircraft within and over the BWCAW.

The Wilderness Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88-577) prohibits motorized equipment in designated Wilderness.

Violations punishable under federal law Executive Order 10092 36 CFR 261.18(a)