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Majortrauma
09-25-2014, 09:26
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/09/25/forest-service-proposes-new-rule-charging-media-to-film-in-wilderness-areas/?intcmp=trending
Our government seems to have no end to bad ideas and ways to extort money from it's citizens.
For starters, the criteria is wildly subjective and I'm certain that if you were caught filming in a Wilderness Area and did not have this permit, even if you were not doing it for commercial use, the burden of proof would end up on the person filming, you're gear would be confiscated and you'll spend God only knows how much time in the Federal Court system trying to avoid a felony conviction. Mr. Osterreicher is correct.
The evaluation criteria for permit applications includes whether the project spreads information about the enjoyment or use of wilderness or its ecological, geological, scientific, educational, scenic or historical values; helps preserve the wilderness character; and doesn't advertise products or services. Officials also would consider whether other suitable film sites are available outside the wilderness.
Mickey H. Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, told the AP such rules would be a clear violation of the First Amendment and raises concerns about press freedom, including whether denying a permit would amount to prior restraint.
"What if they deny you a permit because they don't like the story you're working on?" he asked.

Coffee
09-25-2014, 09:44
I don't have problems with a commercial fee for use of public lands, but I cannot see how the government can determine who should receive a permit based on the message they are intending to convey without running into first amendment issues. This seems sure to be defeated well below the level of the supreme court.

Rain Man
09-25-2014, 10:09
What's the difference in setting up a kiosk to make money for an afternoon and setting up audio/video equipment for an afternoon to make money?

Rain Man

.

Majortrauma
09-25-2014, 10:40
The kiosk is an obvious and deliberate commercial endeavor. I think their is a genuine risk of an overzealous government employee jumping to the conclusion that a few people with "GoPro" cameras are possibly engaged in a commercial endeavor and then they would be forced to prove they are not. They won't be able to prove they are not engaged in a commercial endeavor and they do not have permits to film so cameras are confiscated tilll they get their day in Federal Court.
In the end, HIGHLY doubtful this wuilll survive the first genuine legal review.

Alligator
09-25-2014, 10:42
Access to public property (http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/access-public-property) is not the same as limiting freedom of the press. There are public places to which the press can be denied access or have their access limited.

The article linked in the first post has the number of acres administered by the Forest Service wrong. It is ~36 million acres (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._Wilderness_Areas).

Starchild
09-25-2014, 11:21
From the clip, permit cost $1,500, fines are up to $1,000 if you are caught without one, um I'm sure something was left unsaid or else it is cheaper to get caught without a permit then to get the permit in the first place, and hey you may get away with it free.

Another Kevin
09-25-2014, 11:22
post deleted by author

Alligator
09-25-2014, 11:24
There is a prohibition of commercial enterprises by the Wilderness Act (http://wilderness.nps.gov/document/wildernessAct.pdf), Section (4)(c). Commercial services are limited, see Section (4)(d)(6).

The fee arises out of Public Law 106-206 (http://www.blm.gov/or/regulations/files/pl-106-206.pdf).

Seems like for non-breaking news that press access is being limited similar to that for a commercial service. It does not seem like the general public has new restrictions in place, the restrictions were always there, although some of the language in the rule appears to update to include video devices. This is pretty much just new rules ​for the media.

Alligator
09-25-2014, 11:28
Alligator - True, but there are still constitutional limitations - the government can impose "time, place and manner" restrictions equally upon all comers, but cannot arbitrarily impose a content-based condition on photography, filming or writing. The quote:

The evaluation criteria for permit applications includes whether the project spreads information about the enjoyment or use of wilderness or its ecological, geological, scientific, educational, scenic or historical values; helps preserve the wilderness character; and doesn't advertise products or services. Officials also would consider whether other suitable film sites are available outside the wilderness.

This is close to, if not crossing onto, what is forbidden. It is certainly lawful for the regulators to consider the impact of the project upon the "ecological, geological, scientific, educational, scenic or historical" value of the wilderness, and exclude projects whose environmental impact is unacceptable, but where the government crosses over into considering the message sent:

whether the project spreads information about the enjoyment or use of wilderness

the restriction begins to stand on shaky ground. Reduced to the simplest case, it's the difference between, "we will not allow filming because the proposed project will disrupt a fragile ecological community" (entirely permissible) and "we will not allow filming because the proposed project advocates legislation to permit the sale and development of a particular tract of forest land" (impermissible, no matter how odious the message). The first controls the time, place or manner in which the project is conducted, and is content-neutral. The second crosses over into restraint of political speech.
Section (2)(a) "...and for the gathering and dissemination of information regarding their use and enjoyment as wilderness;..."

SECTION 2. (a) In order to assure that an increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement
and growing mechanization, does not occupy and modify all areas within the United States and its
possessions, leaving no lands designated for preservation and protection in their natural condition, it is
hereby declared to be the policy of the Congress to secure for the American people of present and future
generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness. For this purpose there is hereby established
a National Wilderness Preservation System to be composed of federally owned areas designated by the
Congress as "wilderness areas," and these shall be administered for the use and enjoyment of the American
people in such manner as will leave them unimpaired for future use and enjoyment as wilderness, and so as
to provide for the protection of these areas, the preservation of their wilderness character, and for the
gathering and dissemination of information regarding their use and enjoyment as wilderness; and no
Federal lands shall be designated as "wilderness areas" except as provided for in this Act or by a
subsequent Act.

Slo-go'en
09-25-2014, 12:27
These rules aren't aimed at an individual with a camera or GoPro, but for large scale projects with commercial intent. This could involve dozens of people and trailers full of equipment.

Although I wonder if the speed hikers with a crew filming the trek for monetary gain would be subject to these rules, even though the film "crew" is only one or two people with a small hand held camera.

In theory, you can't take a picture from the street in NYC without a permit.

Alligator
09-25-2014, 13:04
Dept of Interior (includes BLM, NPS, FWS) also has a requirement for when a permit is required for newsgathering, see 5.4 (https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/08/22/2013-20441/commercial-filming-and-similar-projects-and-still-photography-activities#h-46). They proposed a rule change in 2007. It was finalized last year. It has conditions for when a permit is needed for newsgathering, no fees. So two different versions.

Note I am not arguing for or against the proposed rule, just noting some of the relevant laws and rules.

Alligator
09-25-2014, 13:18
These rules aren't aimed at an individual with a camera or GoPro, but for large scale projects with commercial intent. This could involve dozens of people and trailers full of equipment.

Although I wonder if the speed hikers with a crew filming the trek for monetary gain would be subject to these rules, even though the film "crew" is only one or two people with a small hand held camera.

In theory, you can't take a picture from the street in NYC without a permit.They might, see 5.1 (http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=1&SID=6ecc8841f391309842db39da0303981d&ty=HTML&h=L&r=PART&n=pt43.1.5#se43.1.5_14), but jurisdiction is for Interior on that link and it says all commercial activity. Probably not in any wilderness at all, Interior or Forest Service unless it was cast in some sort of commercial service light (per The Wilderness Act). The AT has a lot of jurisdiction differences though. So for instance, might be differences on state lands.

Mags
09-25-2014, 23:01
My own rant.. :)

http://www.pmags.com/this-post-will-soon-be-worth-1500

Alligator
09-26-2014, 00:56
My own rant.. :)

http://www.pmags.com/this-post-will-soon-be-worth-1500This is the definition of still photography used in the interim regulation and proposed as the final rule. See 251.51 http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=1&SID=344418fbe1161b7d2aaae0d53d0041bb&ty=HTML&h=L&r=PART&n=pt36.2.251#se36.2.251_154 (http:// http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/retrieveECFR?gp=1&SID=344418fbe1161b7d2aaae0d53d0041bb&ty=HTML&h=L&r=PART&n=pt36.2.251#se36.2.251_154)

Still photography—use of still photographic equipment on National Forest System lands that takes place at a location where members of the public generally are not allowed or where additional administrative costs are likely, or uses models, sets, or props that are not a part of the site's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities. No permit necessary if not one of those, no matter if you are an amateur or commercial. Filming is a different story. (See link following.)

Also, the permit fee is up to $1500, but the following article states that a crew of three people would only pay $30. The article (http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/proposal-require-permit-media-filming-25747351) also quotes Chief of the Forest Service Tidwell concerning the proposed rule.

ChuckT
09-26-2014, 07:16
As a practical matter a professional film crew is not just a couple of folks with a go pro. If the intent if this is to offset the impact of crew + gear in a wilderness area I'm for it. If, on the other hand this is meant to codify that impact as acceptably low or non-existent I am not in favir.

Tuckahoe
09-26-2014, 11:08
I have been pretty consistent with my views regarding user fees and I do not have an issue with them when applied appropriately as usual AK and Mags have nailed it. And in this age of the increasing loosening of what is commerce or commercial, the creation of fee schemes and "may issue" permits based on and as a way to control content is an anathema to American liberty.






(And all it takes is the right administrator to come along and determine that Whiteblaze is commercial -- after all it sells advertising and subscriptions -- and that the posting of photos is commercial activity and that each photo uploaded means that a fine/fee is owed.)

Mags
09-26-2014, 11:09
But these regulations are about the designated wilderness lands as opposed to "just" USFS lands.

From https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/09/04/2014-21093/proposed-directive-for-commercial-filming-in-wilderness-special-uses-administration?utm_campaign=email+a+friend&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

1. “…for still photography and commercial filming in wilderness.”
45.1c.5.g “Would not advertise any product or service.”Unless I am missing something, the new proposal specifically mentions still photography in addition to film.

Furthermore, Liz Close, a high ranking USFS person to say the least, confirmed as such. Finally, your link mentions "news gathering" as not needing such a permit. All the articles mention that. But, again, we are on a slippery slop as to what is news gathering vs a media production.

From your article: "but reporters and news organizations would not need to get a permit to shoot video or photographs in the nation's wilderness areas", Who defines this? The same govt peeps who proposed the new permit fee?

At worst, we have yet another bureaucratic onus on the American people. At best, we have a law with no teeth that is just wasting a lot of time for many people.

rocketsocks
09-26-2014, 11:37
But these regulations are about the designated wilderness lands as opposed to "just" USFS lands.

From https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/09/04/2014-21093/proposed-directive-for-commercial-filming-in-wilderness-special-uses-administration?utm_campaign=email+a+friend&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

1. “…for still photography and commercial filming in wilderness.”
45.1c.5.g “Would not advertise any product or service.”Unless I am missing something, the new proposal specifically mentions still photography in addition to film.

Furthermore, Liz Close, a high ranking USFS person to say the least, confirmed as such. Finally, your link mentions "news gathering" as not needing such a permit. All the articles mention that. But, again, we are on a slippery slop as to what is news gathering vs a media production.

From your article: "but reporters and news organizations would not need to get a permit to shoot video or photographs in the nation's wilderness areas", Who defines this? The same govt peeps who proposed the new permit fee?

At worst, we have yet another bureaucratic onus on the American people. At best, we have a law with no teeth that is just wasting a lot of time for many people.

Either way, one would have to compear...what would Ansel Adams think?

Mags
09-26-2014, 11:44
(And all it takes is the right administrator to come along and determine that Whiteblaze is commercial -- after all it sells advertising and subscriptions -- and that the posting of photos is commercial activity and that each photo uploaded means that a fine/fee is owed.)

Bingo. I think that is the argument many people, myself included, are concerned about.

rocketsocks
09-26-2014, 11:47
Bingo. I think that is the argument many people, myself included, are concerned about.
what, no more awesome screen savers for me....ugh! :mad: I love them so:)

Coffee
09-26-2014, 12:05
I don't see how this possibly gets past first amendment challenges. Unfortunately that might require several years of legal limbo. Hopefully the government isn't stupid enough to conditionally grant permits based on the message the photographer wants to convey in his work. The fee is bad enough but granting it or denying based on the content of a photographers work is just plain unconstitutional.

Another Kevin
09-26-2014, 13:17
post deleted by author

Alligator
09-26-2014, 13:32
I don't see how this possibly gets past first amendment challenges. Unfortunately that might require several years of legal limbo. Hopefully the government isn't stupid enough to conditionally grant permits based on the message the photographer wants to convey in his work. The fee is bad enough but granting it or denying based on the content of a photographers work is just plain unconstitutional.The stipulations on commercial services were written into The Wilderness Act in 1964 by Congress. Meaning, in place for 50 years. Please take a few minutes and read the Act.

I haven't found when the permit fees were introduced, but as far back as 2000 they were assessed because there was a change in how the fees were spent. The proposed final rule follows several interim versions of FSH 2709.11 Chapter 40. The fees mentioned in 40 are detailed in Chapter 30, which cites the 2000 law.

The fees are not new for photography and generally do not apply to photography because the phrase still photography has legal definition in the code + specific conditions need to be triggered to require the permit. Still photography is defined in public law 106-206 and can be found in 16 U.S.C. 460l-6d. Some conditions are listed in that 45.1c section in the proposed final rule and some linked to 36 CFR 251.51 which has the definition.

Commercial filming is where the changes are and the initial statements about news gathering.

Coffee
09-26-2014, 13:38
I am not an expert in the fine print of the Wilderness Act. However, if there are any provisions in the act or elsewhere that permit the government to conditionally accept or decline permit applications based on the content of the speech involved rather than the impacts to the wilderness and preservation of the resources, then I am completely against it and hope that the provisions are challenged on first amendment grounds up to the Supreme Court if necessary.

I am not against permit requirements, nor am I against the fees which seem reasonable (it is not a flat $1500 as reported in some places), but not in favor of giving discretion of any sort to authorities regarding the motives behind a project. Permit applications should be evaluated based on the impacts to the wilderness resource and approved if they fall within acceptable use constraints and declined otherwise irrespective of the motives or plans of the applicants. I cannot see how any discretion over speech could survive a first amendment challenge.

Tuckahoe
09-26-2014, 13:56
They're already backing down (http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2014/09/forest_service_delaying_media.html#incart_related_ stories).


The proposal has already been criticized on the floor of Congress on constitutional grounds, from both sides of the aisle, including Oregonians Earl Blumenauer (D) and Greg Walden (R). Walden wrote in a letter to Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell:


Maybe semantics, but I don't read this so much as backing down, but rather, "oh $#!@ we got caught in the open, so lets fall back to a more defensible position and hold until we can advance again." And the Forest Service current defense is merely that "well these rules have already been in place for 48..."

Another Kevin
09-26-2014, 13:59
post deleted by author

Pedaling Fool
09-26-2014, 14:02
Gotta love 'em government bureaucrats:)

Tuckahoe
09-26-2014, 14:13
http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2014/09/7_things_you_should_know_about.html#incart_related _stories

1. These rules are already in place. The Forest Service says they've been in place for 48 months and are now being chaptered in law.The agency adopted the rules shortly after it refused to allow an Idaho Public Television crew into a wilderness area in 2010 to film student conservation workers because the show sold DVDs of its episodes. Idaho's governor intervened and the Forest Service caved to pressure.

With an example such as this being the catalyst for creating these rules, its not a difficult stretch to see the Forest Service going after a cottage gear maker because a customer took a picture in a wilderness area using the maker's gear and it was posted to the maker's website.

Coffee
09-26-2014, 14:14
http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2014/09/7_things_you_should_know_about.html#incart_related _stories


With an example such as this being the catalyst for creating these rules, its not a difficult stretch to see the Forest Service going after a cottage gear maker because a customer took a picture in a wilderness area using the maker's gear and it was posted to the maker's website.

Exactly. The rules are so vague maybe by design. The criteria should be what impact the proposed use has on the wilderness, not how the photographs are used.

Alligator
09-26-2014, 14:31
But these regulations are about the designated wilderness lands as opposed to "just" USFS lands.

From https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/09/04/2014-21093/proposed-directive-for-commercial-filming-in-wilderness-special-uses-administration?utm_campaign=email+a+friend&utm_medium=email&utm_source=federalregister.gov

1. “…for still photography and commercial filming in wilderness.”
45.1c.5.g “Would not advertise any product or service.”Unless I am missing something, the new proposal specifically mentions still photography in addition to film.

Furthermore, Liz Close, a high ranking USFS person to say the least, confirmed as such. Finally, your link mentions "news gathering" as not needing such a permit. All the articles mention that. But, again, we are on a slippery slop as to what is news gathering vs a media production.

From your article: "but reporters and news organizations would not need to get a permit to shoot video or photographs in the nation's wilderness areas", Who defines this? The same govt peeps who proposed the new permit fee?

At worst, we have yet another bureaucratic onus on the American people. At best, we have a law with no teeth that is just wasting a lot of time for many people.



I know it is confusing and that is because of the still photography definition. Sorrow I do not have time to put links on those laws and directives above. That 45.1c.5.g stipulation in your quote is for still photography as defined in the law. Don't use models, sets, or props not found on the site, stay in public areas, don't do anything destructive, don't unreasonably disrupt the public, don't create a public health or safety risk and it doesn't apply. Mainly yahoo restrictions. You're not a yahoo. I'm not seeing any models in our users' uploads:D.

Unless Secretary Tom Vilsack or the President chimes in, I'd go with what Chief Tidwell said. Barring legislation from Congress or a court ruling.

I don't see in the Federal register anything about the media though. I did see something about that breaking news clause but it was yesterday. Couldn't find it today. Will check again maybe tomorrow. Seems moot but it was mainly the cause for the uproar. That and some exaggeration in the fee assessments.

rocketsocks
09-26-2014, 14:42
The stipulations on commercial services were written into The Wilderness Act in 1964 by Congress. Meaning, in place for 50 years. Please take a few minutes and read the Act.

I haven't found when the permit fees were introduced, but as far back as 2000 they were assessed because there was a change in how the fees were spent. The proposed final rule follows several interim versions of FSH 2709.11 Chapter 40. The fees mentioned in 40 are detailed in Chapter 30, which cites the 2000 law.

The fees are not new for photography and generally do not apply to photography because the phrase still photography has legal definition in the code + specific conditions need to be triggered to require the permit. Still photography is defined in public law 106-206 and can be found in 16 U.S.C. 460l-6d. Some conditions are listed in that 45.1c section in the proposed final rule and some linked to 36 CFR 251.51 which has the definition.

Commercial filming is where the changes are and the initial statements about news gathering.ah...Thanks Alligator. My world has been restored, now you directors out there have some work to do, I'll stand with ye.

Mags
09-26-2014, 15:33
From ​http://www.fs.fed.us/news/releases/us-forest-service-chief-i-will-ensure-first-amendment-upheld-under-agency-commercial

The proposal does not apply to news coverage, gathering information for a news program or documentary. However, if a project falls outside of that scope and the filming is intended to be on wilderness land, additional criteria are applied to protect wilderness values. In that case, a permit must be applied for and granted before any photography is permitted”

Photography is specifically mentioned with nothing about props or models. So now the USFS gets to decides what is reporting and what is a wilderness value?

Another Kevin
09-26-2014, 16:00
post deleted by author

Alligator
09-29-2014, 01:10
That's a fuzzy definition, too. Once a person in a photograph is used to endorse something, he or she becomes a model. Thus, my daughter was not a model when I took the picture on the back cover of http://viewer.e-digitaledition.com/i/343298 - because at the time the picture was simply there to document a lovely time that we had on a lovely summer day. But when I sold the picture, and her image became her implicit endorsement of hiking as a healthy pursuit, the photograph became commercial (despite being carried by a nonprofit - nonprofits, too, engage in commerce) and she became a model (and to cover my nether regions, I got her to sign a model release). Would the Forest Service look back in time and decide after the fact that we were engaging in commerce when we went for that hike and I took out my camera? I surely don't know, and the decision is in the hands of Forest Service chief Tidwell and the unelected staff in his employ.

It's a moot question in this case, since the land in question was State forest rather than Federal, but I raise it only as a hypothetical. Moreover, there are certain bureaucrats in the Executive Branch in New York that I could easily imagine trying to pull just such a stunt.


As dysfunctional as they are, I'd prefer that the creation and interpretation of the law - particularly in its constitutional implications - be performed by the branches of government to which the Constitution assigns the power to do so. A promise from an unelected bureaucrat not to enforce a law is an invitation to his successor to begin enforcing it.

Incidentally, this is one case where I'd happily advance the argument that the clause in the WB ToS prohibiting the discussion of unlawful activity ought not apply. A law that contravenes the Constitution is no law, and the only way to achieve standing to challenge the non-law is to break it, openly and notoriously. Where we have elected representatives on both sides of the aisle raising a constitutional question, it strikes me that the question of whether the proscribed activity is lawful is entirely open to debate.Given your arguments, you will probably feel a lot better about Public Law 106 - 206. That's the law passed by Congress on May 26, 2006. Section 1.2 is where the still photography needing a permit for using a model applies. From that law I don't know what Congress felt a model was, but you should blame Congress for not completely defining it as they wrote the law. Don't blame the FS nor NPS, BLM, F&WS, or even Reclamation.

As well, your interpretation of how government functions is off. While most of the rank and file of the executive branch agencies are not elected, leadership is appointed by the President of the United States. So while the Chief of the Forest Service is not a cabinet level position, he or she does serve at the discretion of the President, who is elected. That's one place you are afforded some say in agency leadership, your vote affects that. Further, Congress passes laws and then in most cases passes enforcement off to the executive branch, leaving the details of developing the rules to the agency (rulemaking). The rulemaking phase is the second place a citizen has a say in the process. The agency will publish its proposed rules in the Federal Register and a comment period will follow. Those comments need to be analyzed and responded to because it's the law and if they don't the courts can get involved.

Now to illustrate. Congress passed Pubic Law 106-206 back in 2000. "To allow the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a fee system for commercial filming activities on Federal land, and for other purposes." Note the two Secretaries involved, they have jurisdiction--in my estimation--over all the places you hike in the US, in particular the AT and Wilderness areas. Then a direct assignment to both Secretaries to require permits and fees for commercial filming,

"The Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture (hereafter individually referred to as the "Secretary'' with respect to lands under their respective jurisdiction) shall require a permit and shall establish a reasonable fee for commercial filming activities or similar projects on Federal lands administered by the Secretary." Plus further direction to not, let me repeat that NOT require a fee or permit for still photography "(c) Still Photography.--(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall not require a permit nor assess a fee for still photography on lands administered by the Secretary if such photography takes place where members of the public are generally allowed. The Secretary may require a permit, fee, or both, if such photography takes place at other locations where members of the public are generally not allowed, or where additional administrative costs are likely. (2) The Secretary shall require and shall establish a reasonable fee for still photography that uses models or props which are not a part of the site's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities. (d) Protection of Resources.--The Secretary shall not permit any filming, still photography or other related activity if the Secretary determines-- (1) there is a likelihood of resource damage; [[Page 114 STAT. 315]] (2) there would be an unreasonable disruption of the public's use and enjoyment of the site; or (3) that the activity poses health or safety risks to the public." There are exceptions to the NOT. Then what? Well, Congress passes it off to the agencies and leaves it up to them to enforce it. The agencies propose rules, listen to comments, testify before Congress (http://www.doi.gov/ocl/hearings/110/FilmingInNatlParks121207.cfm). [Check that url out. It's way cool, the section labelled 2 notes where the media restriction comes from. See, Congress did not want the fee to affect "newsreel or television news activities". Then in 7 the Dep Asst Dir. discusses how some news is really just entertainment and that Congress did not define news, and well read it if you really want to. The lack of definition created some ambiguity that led to the media as a commercial film crew. That testimony was for the Interior rules BTW. They ended up taking public comments and responding to those. Here is the Dept. of the Interior's final rule (http://www.doi.gov/ocl/hearings/110/FilmingInNatlParks121207.cfm). Check out the responses to comments, hey the first one is about still photography. Hey seems like they are sticking right to PL 106-206. Hey they have a definition of model "Model means a person or object that serves as the subject for commercial filming or still photography for the purpose of promoting the sale or use of a product or service. Models include, but are not limited to, individuals, animals, or inanimate objects, such as vehicles, boats, articles of clothing, and food and beverage products, placed on agency lands so that they may be filmed or photographed to promote the sale or use of a product or service. For the purposes of this part, portrait subjects such as wedding parties and high school graduates are not considered models, if the image will not be used to promote or sell a product or service." So that sort of illustrates the process with the end description showing Interior's rule.

As far as regulating commercial filming, I wasn't sure about what was permitted prior to 2000 and PL 106-206. But BLM states (http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/lands/filming.html) that "The Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management already had authority to do so, via the Organic Administration Act of 1897 and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976, respectively." On Wilderness, FS had authority to regulate commercial filming with the Wilderness Act (1964).

Given your did not take the photo on FS lands, I will also pull a little switcharoo and place you on Interior lands, as there is a final rule there. Now your hypothetical case sounds like you went on a hike and took a picture of your daughter and had no intent to sell it when you photographed her. You did not have an intent to promote a product or service. Doesn't sound like an issue. If on the other hand, you regularly sell photos of wilderness and the people in the pictures are signing model release forms, well sounds like you might have a business going on. You as the business owner need to know the laws that apply to your area of commerce. If the photo was from a time period before the law or rule you might be grandfathered anyway. The IRS talks about the difference between a hobby and a business for instance.

The final rule hasn't been written, place your comments now.

The big brouhaha was the part about the media as a commercial entity. Like I said, that looks moot. Regarding whether or not the additional regulations on commercial services in the wilderness apply, that comes out of the 1964 law. There's been 50 years to settle that. As far as politicians making statements about Constitutionality, I'll look to your suggestion about separation of powers and rely on the courts to make that determination, it's what the Constitution intended.

I am not seeing a problem we have to worry much about. Nearly all photos on WB were taken for personal use. The intent was not to promote WB. People share their photos as a hobby. WB has no agreements which direct members to photograph scenes using sets, props, or models to promote or sell WB. I'm pretty confident we can say that without even needing the sets, props, or models restrictions. Personally I see the media having blown this up as they were being affected. The fee law was passed in 2000, they are just now reporting on it? They don't even mention how most of the still photography is not actually restricted. How come they didn't mention the Interior final rule passed last year? Might have been an objective report if they did.

So if we are not discussing the media as commercial enterprise, let's be fair and note that other agencies have commercial filming fees and the fees and permits come out of laws already passed by Congress.

Alligator
09-29-2014, 01:43
From ​http://www.fs.fed.us/news/releases/us-forest-service-chief-i-will-ensure-first-amendment-upheld-under-agency-commercial

The proposal does not apply to news coverage, gathering information for a news program or documentary. However, if a project falls outside of that scope and the filming is intended to be on wilderness land, additional criteria are applied to protect wilderness values. In that case, a permit must be applied for and granted before any photography is permitted”

Photography is specifically mentioned with nothing about props or models. So now the USFS gets to decides what is reporting and what is a wilderness value?You are selectively quoting. The entire release is below. Now, the part you quoted should, and this is my opinion, say videography not photography because the sentence preceding it says filming or it meant still photography. The release says further down, "The proposal does not change the rules for visitors or recreational photographers. Generally, professional and amateur photographers will not need a permit unless they use models, actors or props; work in areas where the public is generally not allowed; or cause additional administrative costs." This is the still photography definition that is in the notice in the Federal Register. I went through that in a previous post.


News Release

Contact Email:
Contact Phone: (202) 720-4623

Twitter Address: https://twitter.com/USDA


Contact Email: pressoffice@fs.fed.us (link sends e-mail) (pressoffice@fs.fed.us)

Contact Phone: (202) 205-1005

Twitter Address: @forestservice










US Forest Service Chief: I will ensure the First Amendment is upheld under agency commercial filming directives



Washington




September 25, 2014 at 8:45pm




The U.S. Forest Service today released information to clarify the agency’s intentions regarding a proposed directive for commercial photography and filmmaking in congressionally designated wilderness areas.
“The US Forest Service remains committed to the First Amendment,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “To be clear, provisions in the draft directive do not apply to news gathering or activities.”
The proposal does not apply to news coverage, gathering information for a news program or documentary. However, if a project falls outside of that scope and the filming is intended to be on wilderness land, additional criteria are applied to protect wilderness values. In that case, a permit must be applied for and granted before any photography is permitted.
The agency issued a Federal Register notice (link is external) (https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/09/04/2014-21093/proposed-directive-for-commercial-filming-in-wilderness-special-uses-administration) on Sept. 4 seeking public comment on a proposal to formally establish consistent criteria for evaluating requests for commercial filming in wilderness areas as it has on national forests and grasslands. The proposed directive on commercial filming in wilderness has been in place for more than four years and is a good faith effort to ensure the fullest protection of America’s wild places.
“The fact is, the directive pertains to commercial photography and filming only – if you’re there to gather news or take recreational photographs, no permit would be required. We take your First Amendment rights very seriously,” said Tidwell. “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.”
Congressionally designated wilderness areas are protected by the Wilderness Act of 1964 and must remain in their natural condition. This is achieved in part by prohibiting certain commercial enterprises, and the agency is responsible for ensuring its policies adhere to that standard.
The public originally had until Nov. 3, 2014, to comment on the proposal. Based on the high level of interest, the agency will extend the public comment period to Dec. 3, 2014.
The proposal does not change the rules for visitors or recreational photographers. Generally, professional and amateur photographers will not need a permit unless they use models, actors or props; work in areas where the public is generally not allowed; or cause additional administrative costs.

Currently, commercial filming permit fees range around $30 per day for a group up to three people. A large Hollywood production with 70 or more people might be as much as $800. The $1,500 commercial permit fee cited in many publications is erroneous, and refers to a different proposed directive.
The Forest Service has long required permits according to statute for various activities on agency lands, from cutting a Christmas tree to filming a major motion picture, such as the 2013 Johnny Depp movie “The Lone Ranger.” The Disney production obtained a permit to film part of the movie on the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico.

fiddlehead
09-29-2014, 02:56
"Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but pictures"
They'll have to change a lot of signs. (if this BS goes through, which I highly doubt)

rickb
09-29-2014, 06:05
Everything discussed I this thread has to do with National Forests and Wilderness areas, correct?

But similar regulations have been in place within our National Parks for decades, right?

Coffee
09-29-2014, 06:25
The clarification still seems to allow rejection or acceptance of permits based on the contents or intent of the commercial permit holder rather than solely based on the impact to the resource. This is unacceptable and will no doubt subject to judicial review. Just because the rule doesn't impact most of us as recreational users doesn't mean the rule is benign.

Another Kevin
09-29-2014, 11:09
post deleted by author

Alligator
09-30-2014, 00:09
Indeed.

Let me lay out my contentions more simply, because we share common ground.

The efficacy of the rule in achieving the goal of wilderness protection is not at issue, and I do not reach arguments based on the rule's utility.

The issuance or denial of production permits based on the position that the proposed production advocates offends against the First Amendment. Either the rule is misinterpreted, or it is misdrafted, or the agency that is making the rule is usurping power that the statute does not grant, or the statute delegates powers that are not the Congress's to delegate. You may disagree that the rule offends. That's part of the political process, and we can disagree in conscience. It is telling, though, that it has attracted the attention of legislators of both parties.

Right now, we have an NPRM before the public that is something of a red herring, in that it amends an interim rule that has the problem, without reaching or intending to reach the offending clause. It just so happens that the issue of fees has brought public and legislative attention to the greater issue of content-based restriction of speech. The possible outcomes that will push the issue back down:

(1) "That's not what was intended, here's an executive interpretation to exclude that outcome." This may be good enough for you. It raises my hackles, because it is usually so narrowly drafted that the same problem can simply arise again with the next case, because the facts will be subtly different. That's why I don't want to see that outcome here: it invites capricious enforcement in the future.

(2) "The rule is misdrafted, and here is an amendment." Significantly better, particularly if the rulemaking proceeding demonstrates a history that the rule is weaker than it could be because the agency was subject to constitutional restraint.

(3) "The authorizing legislation is misdrafted to convey unintended powers to the Forest Service." The Congress fixes it, through the usual political process. It leaves, not only a (hopefully) clearer statement, but records of the process giving evidence of legislative intent for future cases.

(4) "The agency is acting beyond the authority of the authorizing legislation." Something that a District Court can often settle, but it's a painful process. In most cases, it's faster to vote out the runaway executive.

(5) "The authorizing legislation delegates powers that are not the Congress's to delegate." This becomes a constitutional law case that will grind through the courts for years. This is mostly a safety valve against the public voting away its own rights.

I think the situation has escalated to somewhere between (2) and (3), which is still still maybe fixable with letters to both the executive agency and the Congresscritters. Involving the courts is a last resort. (The four boxes must be used in order: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. The issue at hand approaches the tipping point between the first and second.)

And remember through all this that you and I agree that the rule is directed to a laudable purpose. And we both agree that the current rulemaking is not the source of the problem, since earlier regulations suffered from the same problem. Any of the three branches of government can fix the problem, but now that it's got the legislature's attention, we may see a legislative repair.

If we disagree that there is a problem with the rule, fine, that's politics.I do not think the proposed rule offends the 1st amendment and I am not arguing from a personal conviction. It's more about observations. The Department of the Interior has already arrived at a final rule that addresses PL106-206. That rule added in specifically that permits can be denied under The Wilderness Act. The Wilderness Act was not specifically mentioned in the proposed rule but was clearly mentioned in regard to additional restrictions. Also it's been 50 years and the law has not been ruled unconstitutional. In reponse to your outcomes.
1. I’m saying I’m not worrying about it because the executive clarifying the rule is the head of the agency and the rule is not finalized. I’m betting that when the rule is finalized, the still photography definitions in Public Law 106-206 will still apply and most still photography will not be charged a fee nor a permit needed. The media will not be considered commercial and subject to the Wilderness Act exemptions on commercial services. Although I do think that there may be some permits required by the media to prevent resource damage. That’s how the Interior final rule is written (with no fees). Chief Tidwell's remarks are a clarification and a reasonably good indicator of where the rule is headed. I don't think he can halt the process with his own order and I did not say that was good enough for me. I'm saying he is the Chief executive for the FS. His statements carry a lot of weight as a result and override that of the spokesperson for the FS. Like the statement of the White House press secretary vs what the president says.
.
2. The 2008 amendment referring to “breaking news” as the intent of Congress, that is probably a misinterpretation of the intent of Congress. That would require reading the Congressional record in regard to PL 106-206 and looking for what was said about news. The 24 hour news cycle for “news” channels does create some programing that is more entertainment not news IMO so I can understand some ambiguity there. Plus having a Congressional mandate to require permits and fees and a decision on what category
3.,4., 5. I disagree. I simply feel that T



I think 2 is the way this rule will end up, meaning that there will be changes made to put the rules into simpler language. I do not forsee changed made to the Wilderness Act and that the same limitations on commercial services will exist after the rule is final.

rickb
09-30-2014, 02:43
Question:

For those with objections to the proposed new riles for Wilderness Areas, would you be OK if the laws that have been in place for many years (decades?) at the National Parks were extended to them?

Here is a link detailing who needs a permit at Yellowstone:

http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/filmpermit.htm

And excerpted below:






Filming in Yellowstone

Who Needs a Permit?

Commercial/ student/ non-profit/ documentary/ promotional/ educational films or entertainment broadcasts
Any person filming stock footage or for the potential use of stock footage REGARDLESS OF EQUIPMENT
Still photography using models (anybody intentionally posing for the camera), sets or props
Time-lapse photography if outcome of photographs will be used in a motion picture format
Sound recording projects that require more than handheld equipment, more than one person or NPS oversight
Wedding/ portrait photography if final product will be used for advertisement of any kind



Permit Types and Fees


The application fee covers up to three hours of administrative time involved in such things as phone calls, correspondence, application review, project consultation, scheduling park staff, issuing a filming permit (when appropriate), and providing follow-up and billing. Administrative time over three hours will be billed at a rate of $65/hour.


Production FILM permit: $200
(valid for a single production/project)


Student FILM or PHOTOGRAPHY Permit*: $150
(valid for a single production OR annual stock permit only for students with proof of current enrollment of an accredited school)


Stock FILM footage (Annual Permit): $200
(valid for a crew of 2 with minimal equipment for 12 months. Note: this permit is subject to change as location fee schedule changes)


Sound Recording: $200


Still Photography Permits: $200


NPS Monitors


Yellowstone National Park staff will be required to monitor certain filming, photography and sound recording activities. Crews are responsible for paying daily location fees and for monitors as well as any staff costs associated with the project (at $65/hour). This fee will be paid before the permit is issued. Some of the activities that require a monitor include but are not limited to: filming or photography in thermal areas (filming in most backcountry thermal areas is prohibited) and when filming "talent" along the roadway or in developed areas. A monitor may not be required when filming talent out of the view of general public or >50yds away from groups of visitors. Monitors are generally required for large crews or projects with extensive equipment, or when there is potential for impacts to visitor use or resource damage


Current Location fees**


Motion Pictures/Videos
3-10 people $150/day
11 - 30 people $250/day
31 - 49 people $500/day
Over 50 people $750/day
Commercial Still Photography
3-10 people $50/day
11 - 30 people $150/day
Over 30 people $250/day
**2014 Location Fee schedule pending.

Additional Information
Yellowstone Filming Orientation (545 KB pdf)
Filming in the Greater Yellowstone Area
Filming maps
Parkwide (including drive times between locations)
Map to Filming Office (112 KB pdf)
Mammoth Hot Springs
Norris Geyser Basin
Upper Geyser Basin (Old Faithful Area)
Firehole Lake Drive
Fountain Paint Pots
West Thumb Geyser Basin
Mud Volcano
Permitted stock footage providers
Finding Wildlife
Current

rickb
09-30-2014, 03:10
Here is a NPS document detailing the permits required for commercial photography (still and video) in GSNP.

http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/upload/Requirements-for-filming-07.pdf

not sure how long these regulations have been in place, but I believe it has been quite some time. Here is an except from the linked document;


Still Photography
Still photography activities require a permit only when one or more of the following applies:
1. Use of model(s), set(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location’s natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities.
2. The activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed.
3. The Park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.
4. The Park needs to provide management and oversight to:
a. avoid impairment or incompatible use of the resources and values of the park, b. limit resource damage
c. minimize health or safety risks to the visiting public.
Those who do not need a permit include visitors taking photos or filming for their personal use, as well as professional or amateur photographers who are shooting in areas open to the public and who require no special services from Park personnel. Coverage of breaking news by bona-fide news crews is exempt, but is subject to restrictions and conditions necessary to protect Park resources, public health and safety and to prevent impairment or derogation of Park resources, values, or purposes.
The policy of the National Park Service on commercial filming and photography is: “The making of still and motion pictures or television productions for public consumption is an acceptable park use provided these activities pose no threat to the park resources in the judgment of the park manager, and do not conflict unduly with the public’s normal use of the park.” The decision to issue or deny a permit for a special park use flows from the appropriate policy guidance written in several documents that include National Park Service Management Policies 2001, Director’s Order-53, Special Park Uses, and Guidance Memos Dated April 13, 2006 and May 8, 2006.




Note that unlike the regulations I posted for Yellowstone, these explicitly state that

"Those who do not need a permit include visitors taking photos or filming for their personal use, as well as professional or amateur photographers who are shooting in areas open to the public and who require no special services from Park personnel"

So it appears that some parks are more closely aligned with the proposed new Wilderness regs than others-- not sure if by local policy or as part of the statute-- my guess is the former.

Another Kevin
09-30-2014, 07:26
post deleted by author

Mags
09-30-2014, 16:07
Looks like there is more activity on this issue. As AK said, when two politicians with both sides of the aisle are suggesting that a govt entity steps back, you know it is worth looking at a proposal a bit more closely.

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2014/09/ron_wyden_forest_service_shoul.html

Alligator
09-30-2014, 20:03
Looks like there is more activity on this issue. As AK said, when two politicians with both sides of the aisle are suggesting that a govt entity steps back, you know it is worth looking at a proposal a bit more closely.

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2014/09/ron_wyden_forest_service_shoul.htmlMeh. I'll see your two Senators and raise you 71 more + 374 Representatives. That would be the total number of aye votes from both sides of the aisle when The Wilderness Act was passed. If there's a problem with it, where is their outrage for their predecessors? Lay the blame squarely where it belongs. Congress put the provision in the law. And Congress wrote PL106-206, which has the call for fees and the definitions for commercial filming and still photography.

Another Kevin
09-30-2014, 21:47
post deleted by author

Mags
09-30-2014, 23:25
I'm objecting to the granting or denial of permits based on the message of the film. Nowhere does the Wilderness Act require that regulators permit only media projects that support the purpose of the Act. It requires that the projects in their execution comply with the requirements of the Act. Can you see the difference?


This!

It has nothing to do with the Wilderness Act but rather a group's interpretation of the wilderness act and what is acceptable under the provisions. The fact that the USFS officials are holding press conferences and doing press releases, aka spin control, is saying something in itself.

Alligator
09-30-2014, 23:37
Alligator: For the third time, I'm not objecting to the fees. I'm not objecting to the Wilderness Act. I said up above that I considered the Yellowstone regulations a model case of how the regulators should comply with the Wilderness Act - and it has a regime of project reviews and a system of fees.

I'm objecting to the granting or denial of permits based on the message of the film. Nowhere does the Wilderness Act require that regulators permit only media projects that support the purpose of the Act. It requires that the projects in their execution comply with the requirements of the Act. Can you see the difference?

Congress drafts a lot of good laws imperfectly and eventually has to go about amending them, particularly when regulators interpret them in an unintended manner.

Two congresscritters is at least a start. It only takes one in each house to introduce a bill.From The Wilderness Act, Sec. 2 [emphasis added]"...For this purpose there is hereby established a National Wilderness Preservation System to be composed of federally owned areas designated by Congress as "wilderness areas", and these shall be administered for the use and enjoyment of the American people in such manner as will leave them unimpaired for future use as wilderness, and so as to provide for the protection of these areas, the preservation of their wilderness character, and for the gathering and dissemination of information regarding their use and enjoyment as wilderness; and no Federal lands shall be designated as "wilderness areas" except as provided for in this Act or by a subsequent Act."

Sec 4.c no commercial enterprise.

Special Provisions Sec. 4.d.(6) [emphasis added]"Commercial services may be performed within the wilderness areas designated by this Act to the extent necessary for activities which are proper for realizing the recreational or other wilderness purposes of the areas.

or
Commercial filming may be performed within the wilderness to the extent necessary for activities which are proper for realizing the recreational or other wilderness purposes of the areas.
or
Commercial filming may be performed within the wilderness to the extent necessary for making films which are proper for realizing the recreational or other wilderness purposes of the areas.
or
Commercial filming may be performed within the wilderness to the extent necessary for making films which are proper for realizing the recreational purposes of the areas.
and
Commercial filming may be performed within the wilderness to the extent necessary for making films which are proper for realizing the wilderness purposes of the areas.
so
Commercial filming may be performed within the wilderness to the extent necessary for making films which are proper for the gathering and dissemination of information regarding their use and enjoyment as wilderness.

That's how the argument works.

It does not mean
Commercial filming may be performed within the wilderness to the extent necessary for making films (aka commercials) which are about selling cars. For which a permit will be denied on FS Wilderness. It would be denied in the Wilderness areas of Arches National Park (http://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/filming.htm).

Wilderness
Potential permittees should be aware that over 95% of Arches National Park (Delicate Arch and Fiery Furnace included) and 86% of Canyonlands National Park are Recommended Wilderness and are managed as federally designated Wilderness. Only educational filming is permitted within Wilderness areas.
It would be denied in the 14000 recommended acres of the Colorado National Monument. (http://www.nps.gov/colm/planyourvisit/commercial-film-photography-permit.htm)

Wilderness

Potential permittees should be aware that about 14,000 acres within Colorado National Monument are Recommended Wilderness and are managed as federally designated Wilderness. Only educational filming is permitted within Wilderness areas.



and since you consider that the the Yellowstone regulations are a model, scroll down the page (http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/filmpermit.htm) to Additional Information and follow the link provided as Yellowstone Filming Orientation (http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/upload/ynp_orient_film2014.pdf).

Filming in Recommended Wilderness (RW) areas (most of Yellowstone backcountry) is restricted to productions that are promoting wilderness. No advertisement work will be
permitted in the RW.
Still going to give NPS a pass? Interior's Final Rule (https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/08/22/2013-20441/commercial-filming-and-similar-projects-and-still-photography-activities) on Commercial Filming
Because like I said, they added a section to specifically include the Wilderness Act.
Section 5.5When will an agency deny a permit for commercial filming or still photography?
The section was renumbered from § 5.4 in the proposed regulation. In paragraph (d) the words “unacceptable impacts” were added to conform to current National Park Service policy. Paragraph (g) was amended to add a reference to the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 (http://api.fdsys.gov/link?collection=uscode&title=16&year=mostrecent&section=1131&type=usc&link-type=html)-1136).
and this is the section referred to.

§ 5.5 When will an agency deny a permit for commercial filming or still photography?

We will deny a permit authorizing commercial filming or still photography if we determine that it is likely that the activity would:
(a) Cause resource damage;
(b) Unreasonably disrupt or conflict with the public's use and enjoyment of the site;
(c) Pose health or safety risks to the public;
(d) Result in unacceptable impacts or impairment to National Park Service resources or values;
(e) Be inappropriate or incompatible with the purpose of the Fish and Wildlife Service refuge;
(f) Cause unnecessary or undue degradation of Bureau of Land Management lands; or
(g) Violate the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 (http://api.fdsys.gov/link?collection=uscode&title=16&year=mostrecent&section=1131&type=usc&link-type=html)-1136) or any other applicable Federal, State, or local law or regulation.

Both Departments have placed restrictions on commercial filming (a commercial service) in wilderness areas. This is due to The Wilderness Act passed by Congress in 1964. If you want that amended write your Congressional Reps. Be careful what you wish for though.

Another Kevin
09-30-2014, 23:42
post deleted by author

Coffee
10-01-2014, 09:58
Both Departments have placed restrictions on commercial filming (a commercial service) in wilderness areas. This is due to The Wilderness Act passed by Congress in 1964. If you want that amended write your Congressional Reps. Be careful what you wish for though.

Well, there are two possible resolutions to a first amendment issue: Congress passing a new law to correct a prior problem and judicial review of the constitutionality of the law (or part of the law).

With the current state of affairs in Congress, we indeed should be careful what we wish for and hesitant to open up the entire Wilderness Act for potential alterations. My preference would be for the offending language in the original law to be subject to judicial review to determine whether it is consistent with the first amendment. Courts can set aside portions of a law passed by Congress if such provisions violate the constitution without setting aside the entire law. A recent example I can think of is when the Supreme Court set aside the 2010 health care law's mandates related to forcing states to expand Medicaid or lose all funding for the existing program but left intact the individual mandate and the rest of the law. Something similar could be done to correct an offending aspect of the Wilderness Act with respect to the first amendment without risking fundamental revisions to the Act that Congress might seek to implement if the entire issue is reopened.

rafe
10-01-2014, 20:18
Here's a link to a post about this topic on the Lawyers Guns and Money blog:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2014/10/forest-service-restricting-photography-wilderness-areas

The post also cites some congressional opposition to the USFS proposal.

Tuckahoe
10-01-2014, 20:28
AK I am sorry to see that you deleted your own posts as you are the one that has so skillfully stated what is so wrong here.

Alligator
10-01-2014, 22:15
Well, there are two possible resolutions to a first amendment issue: Congress passing a new law to correct a prior problem and judicial review of the constitutionality of the law (or part of the law).

With the current state of affairs in Congress, we indeed should be careful what we wish for and hesitant to open up the entire Wilderness Act for potential alterations. My preference would be for the offending language in the original law to be subject to judicial review to determine whether it is consistent with the first amendment. Courts can set aside portions of a law passed by Congress if such provisions violate the constitution without setting aside the entire law. A recent example I can think of is when the Supreme Court set aside the 2010 health care law's mandates related to forcing states to expand Medicaid or lose all funding for the existing program but left intact the individual mandate and the rest of the law. Something similar could be done to correct an offending aspect of the Wilderness Act with respect to the first amendment without risking fundamental revisions to the Act that Congress might seek to implement if the entire issue is reopened.Yes that is a second possibility. I was looking a few days ago for any cases involving commercial filming and wilderness . I did not find any specific cases. I did read a lengthy article were the author examined cases brought to the courts involving the Wilderness Act were one of the conclusions from the author was that the court very often sided with restrictions. Again though, I didn't find a case in there that was specific to this discussion but I did not spend a whole lot of time on it.

Traveler
10-02-2014, 10:57
In context, wilderness areas are just that, wilderness... even trail crews are limited in the kind of equipment they can use in them (no chain saws in many instances, etc). Having whirligigs zipping around does raise eyebrows, never mind the scofflaws that are dropping them into pristine hot spring ponds in yellowstone for generations of visitors to see that level of stupid.

The direction of the argument that people should have freedom to do as they please in wilderness areas, has an eventual end when monster trucks are bouncing around in them. There are a lot of "slippery slope" issues in life, when it comes to these land areas, in my view we should be as conservative with them as possible and keep them as wild as we can.

rocketsocks
10-02-2014, 11:03
Every time I come to this thread I feel like I walked into AP English, and the teacher says remedial reading is one flight down. :D but seriously...great thread, learnin' lots here, yous guys are wicked smart :)