September 25, 2014

Forest Service Bans Photography in Forests

Teddy Roosevelt, the president who created the U.S. Forest Service, would no doubt be troubled by the latest Big Government overreach. Newly proposed regulations from the Forest Service banning commercial photography on federal land leaves the agency ripe for a lawsuit. Under the rules, anyone who burns frames or records footage in the nation’s forests for profit needs a permit. Don’t worry, comrade, it’s only $1,500, which will surely discourage more than a few aspiring Ansel Adamses. A backpacker snapping a few images with his or her iPhone is subject to the rules, and the press is granted a narrow exception for “breaking news,” which would regulate images for investigative and feature stories. Gregg Leslie of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press told the Oregonian, “It’s pretty clearly unconstitutional. They would have to show an important need to justify these limits, and they just can’t.” More…

> Update: The Hill reports, “Following backlash from lawmakers and press advocates, the Forest Service is backing off on a proposal that would have banned photography and videography in national forests.”

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