Special Places


Black and white clipart of flying droneDrones, or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are becoming increasingly popular and affordable to more users. Recreational and commercial users need to be aware that their use is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) which controls all uses of UAS.


Recreational Operators

Small UAS are now used by many recreationists to take video or photographs for their own personal use. To qualify as a recreational or hobby user, the videos and photographs  cannot be sold to another party, and they must be operated under specific safety guidelines.

The following  Recreational Drone Tips are a quick source of information for the responsible, hobby or recreational drone operator on National Forest System Lands.

  • Know where to fly
  • Follow FAA guidelines
  • Protect Wildlife & the Environment
  • Fly Safely, Stay in Control.

 Safety guidleines and other information for recreational users can be found at the "Know Before You Fly" website.


Wilderness and Other Special Area Restrictions

Both recreational and commercial operators need to be familiar wihth the local restrictions ithere area flight area.

Wilderness: Drones are considered to be both “motorized equipment” and “mechanical transport” and, as such, they cannot take off from, land in, or be operated from Congressionally designated wilderness areas such as Three Sisters, Mr. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, Mt. Thielsen, and Diamond Peak Wildernesses.

Hunting, Trapping, or Angling:  New state laws are being reviewed that prevent the use of drones for  aiding hunting, trapping, or angling; to harass, track, locate or scout wildlife, or interfering in the acts of a person who is lawfully hunting, trapping, or angling. (OR HB 2534)

 If you fly we cannot

TFRs: Due to the emergency nature of some incidents, UAS are not permitted to fly in areas that have Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFR) in place, such as wildfires.

Wildfire Information poster below, please click on poster for a printable version.


Special Use Permit Areas:  Local special use permit areas such as numerous Forest resorts, the Newberry National Volcanic Monument and Mt. Bachelor may also have other restrictions for recreational users.  Please check with them prior to using a drone within their permit area.


Commercial Use and Filming Proposals

Commercial users who will need to visit with the local Forest Service office to discuss their proposed use. The use of drones to commercially film on the National Forest will need to apply for a special use permit for this activity.


More Information

More information on the USDA Forest Service policy on UAS is also available.

B4UFLY Smartphone App B4UFLY is an easy-to-use smartphone app that helps unmanned aircraft operators determine whether there are any restrictions or requirements in effect at the location where they want to fly.