Archive for San Gabriel Mountains Forum
  Forum Index -> News & Conditions

Forest Service wants to charge $1,500 photography fee

Lawmakers slam fed plan to charge $1,500 photograph fee on public lands

No, not really.

Yes, there are some regulations pending, but this is what's called "Click Baiting".  Misleading headlines are posted causing people to get all bent out of shape.  Don't fall for it.  It's nothing.


What part of pasting in the exact verbiage is posting a misleading headline? You are lying, Jim. And yes, there are some regulations pending, like charging for photography and even claiming the right of refusal based on the content associated with the photos. If that doesn't get people bent out of shape, it should. What if a guy wants to make a few bucks writing a blog about camp stoves? Should he pay for a $1,500 special use permit to take photos of the stoves in action?
Mike P

HJ, are you saying that I didn't have to pay that $1500? Dang it!!!!
Mike P

In all seriousness, Packer, Hikin' Jim is correct. Here is an explanation from Modern Hiker: Fees

So settle down, Greg, everything will be OK... I promise...

Modern Hiker? Im increasingly skeptical of that guy.

There is a website that explains it. Like it says, they can detain you on suspicion of commercial filming without a permit...but it happens very rarely.

The website says the reason for charging fees is because the law , passed by congress, and signed by clinton demands that it happen.
Uncle Rico

Here is the actual proposed directive as published in the Federal Register:

Nothing new here that isn't already done on other public spaces.  Getting a special use permit to have exclusive short-term rights to use an area is pretty normal.  I've seen it at/near the beaches here in OC many times - filming episodes of 90210, Dexter, John in Cincinnati (sp?), videos (the Offspring did extensive filming in Huntington Beach for their 'California Cruisin'/Bumpin in My Trunk' video), and also seen areas corded off for swimuit model photoshoots at the surfline.  The permits usually come with requirements for fire safety, security, times of day (and actual days of the week) for doing shoots, and environmental maintenance (such as cleaning up and returning the area to its original condition), and can impose stiff fines for non-compliance.  Sure, an event will probably restrict public access to a limited area for a short period (maybe even a few days), but its no big deal and the fees can offset  the skimpy budgets Congess gives the Forest Service.
Uncle Rico

A couple of things to bear in mind about this proposed directive.

One, it is already an existing interim directive (the third such directive apparently) that is set to expire in October of this year. You can read the existing interim directive, which is Chapter 40 of existing Forest Service Handbook 2709.11 here:!..

Click on the hyperlink identified as wo 2709.11 40.doc

Second, the FSH requires a special use permit as follows (see, Ch. 45.51a):

"A special use permit is not required for still photography when that activity involves breaking news (sec. 45.5).  A special use permit:

1.  Is required for all still photography (sec. 45.5) activities on National Forest System (NFS) lands that involve the use of models, sets, or props that are not a part of the natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities of the site where the activity is taking place.
2.  May be required for still photography activities not involving models, sets, or props when the Forest Service incurs additional administrative costs as a direct result of the still photography activity, or when the still photography activity takes place at a location where members of the public generally are not allowed."

"Still photography" is defined as:

"The use of photographic equipment to capture still images on film, digital format, and other similar technologies on NFS lands that:
(1) Takes place at a location where members of the public are generally not allowed or where additional administrative costs are likely, or
(2) Uses models, sets, or props that are not a part of the site’s natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities." (See, Ch. 45.5(2)(f)).

A "model" is "an individual who poses for the commercial filming or still photography of a product or service for the purpose of promoting its sale or use.  A model may also include inanimate objects, such as vehicles, boats, off-highway vehicles, articles of clothing, food and beverage products, and so forth, placed on NFS lands so that they may be filmed, photographed, or recorded to promote their sale or use." (Ch. 45.5(2)(d)).

"Sets and Props" are "items constructed or placed on NFS lands to accommodate commercial filming or still photography, such as backdrops, generators, microphones, stages, lighting banks, camera tracks, vehicles specifically designed to accommodate camera or recording equipment, rope and pulley systems, rigging for climbers, and structures.  Sets and props also include trained animals and inanimate objects, such as camping equipment, campfires, wagons, and so forth, when used to stage a specific scene.  A set or prop does not include any of the preceding items when they are used to report breaking news, nor does a prop include a hand-held camera or a camera mounted on a tripod." (Ch. 45.5(2)(e)).

More than you probably wanted to know, but there you have it.

Senator Wyden and Representative DeFazio, with whom I disagree on much, I generally believe have the rights of the People at heart, and they are both opposing this. If you don't want to listen to Democrats on the issue, you might want to know that constitutional Republican Mike Lee out of Utah is also sounding the alarms. Forum Index -> News & Conditions
Page 1 of 1