After information was released saying the U.S. Forest Service set into motion plans to fine picture-takers for snapping images on any wilderness areas in its care, it has since clarified by saying regulations only apply to commercial projects, exempting news crews.
The directive pertains to commercial photography and filming only, according to Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.
“If you’re there to gather news or take recreational photographs, no permit would be required. We take your First Amendment rights very seriously,” Tidwell said. “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.”
A release from the Forest Service says 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.”