Allow the Use of Drones in Search and Rescue Operations

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Allow the Use of Drones in Search and Rescue Operations

This petition had 2,328 supporters
Darla Darnell started this petition to U.S National Park Services

Badlands National Park is a stunning natural wonder, protecting almost 380 square miles of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires along with the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in the United States. It is this beauty that attracted my life partner, Joshua Jacobsen, to go exploring in the national park on July 12. Four days later, after not hearing from him and having no way to get in touch,  we reported him missing. We haven’t seen him since.

While Search and Rescue has used many tools at their disposal, including search dogs and men on the ground, there is one thing they haven’t used: last year, the National Park Service (NPS) banned drones from all of its parks, period, with no exceptions. Time is running out, and I want to be sure everything possible is done to find my Joshua. I feel drones used in a responsible way would not hinder the air space, wildlife or park guests, and should be allowed during rescue efforts.

Please help me do everything I can to find my partner by signing my petition asking the NPS to allow for the non-commercial use of unmanned aircrafts (UAVs) in search and rescue operations.

The NPS’s blanket ban on UAVs prohibits organizations like the nonprofit Texas EquuSearchn from utilizing these small unmanned surveillance aircrafts, which can be vital to finding and, perhaps, saving the lives of lost persons. By strictly not allowing the use of these vehicles, they may in fact be indirectly responsible for the loss of human life. I urge them to reconsider and change their current policies to allow non-commercial search and rescue organizations to use these types of small aircraft.

Every year, we hear stories of people who go missing in our national parks. Many are never found. Our loved ones who get lost due to error judgement, quickly changing elements or natural disasters deserve to have the best possible chance of being rescued. The use of properly equipped UAVs would enable rescue teams to cover more ground in a shorter time, without the same risk of human error. It just makes sense, and it is a matter of life and death.  

Please help me find my partner and make sure others also have a fighting chance to be found in our national parks. Ask the NPS to allow the use of drones during rescue missions.

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This petition had 2,328 supporters

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