Steve Daines Challenges Forest Service Proposal to Charge for Photographs on Public Lands
The U.S. Forest Service is currently asking for public comment on whether or not it should require "special use permits related to still photography and commercial filming in congressionally designated wilderness areas." Montana Congressman Steve Daines says the plan threatens the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens.
“Many Montanans and visitors to Wilderness Areas across the country each year choose to document and share special moments on social media, a blog, or through emails and texts with their family," said Daines. "The uninhibited ability to share these experiences is important to fostering an appreciation for public lands and protecting Montana’s way of life,” Daines wrote. “I’m also concerned that the rule could impose an unwarranted burden on the press when exercising its First Amendment rights. While I understand the Forest Service’s desire to recover certain costs, I believe these concerns should be addressed before the directive is finalized.”
The plan is currently open to public comment and those comments can be sent here.
Daine's full letter to the Forest Service can be found here.