The Superintendent's Compendium for Mesa Verde National Park, located in Montezeuma County, has been updated for 2014 and includes language prohibiting unmanned aircraft, including drones, quadcopters and model airplanes, from taking off or landing inside the park boundary.
NPS says in a release that the use of unmanned aircraft affects park resources, staff and visitors in ways that they have yet to identify and analyze. It is NPS policy to not allow a new park use until a determination has been made that it will not result in unacceptable impacts on park resources and values.
‘Mesa Verde National Park will enforce restrictions on the use of drones until the determination is made regarding their use and potential unintended consequences on park resource values, including wilderness, solitude, quiet and direct impacts to sensitive species,’ says Superintendent Cliff Spencer.
The Mesa Verde National Park Superintendent's Compendium is a document reviewed annually, which provides regulations and guidance on specific park activities within the authority of the Superintendent, under Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations.
This closure to drone use is an interim policy that will remain in place, the NPS says, until they develop a service-wide regulation to address unmanned aircraft through the public rulemaking process.