Last week we reported on claims that the U.S. Forest Service would require photographers to pay for a ridiculous $1,500 permit to shoot in National Forest System lands. Now the U.S. Forest Service has come out to clarify this new policy won’t apply to journalists or visitors taking photos.
Tom Tidwell, Forest Service Chief, explained in a statement that permits would only be required when filming on wilderness land. “The fact is, the directive pertains to commercial photography and filming only,” Tidwell said. “If you’re there to gather news or take recreational photographs, no permit would be required.”
“We take your First Amendment rights very seriously,” he continued. “We’re looking forward to talking with journalists and concerned citizens to help allay some of the concerns we’ve been hearing and clarify what’s covered by this proposed directive.”
For the most part visitors or recreational photographers visiting and photographing the lands will not need a permit. That is unless they use models, actors, props, shoot in non-public areas of the park, or cause additional administrative costs.
The Forest service also added that the $1,500 permit cited by ourselves and many other publications refers to another proposed directive. Commercial filming fees still range around $30 per day for groups of three and up to $800 for larger Hollywood productions with a crew of 70 or more people.