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Author Topic: National Park permits?  (Read 8080 times)
dawgzang
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« on: June 16, 2012, 05:30:15 AM »
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I was reading an old thread about National Park permits but it is still unclear if I need a permit or not. I am new to this and want to make sure I do things right. My intentions are to visit many National Parks over the next year to build up a landscape portfolio. I will then sell prints. From the thread it looks like I do not need a permit if I am one person with no models or props. Am I missing something.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=10761.0

http://www.nps.gov/applications/digest/permits.cfm?urlarea=permits
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HSakols
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2012, 08:55:41 AM »
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Don't worry about it.
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2012, 09:33:17 AM »
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The rule was originally meant to protect the National Parks two ways. One was to try and limit the use of NP images in commercial endeavors (commercials, endorsements, etc), the other was to keep larger media operations from adversely affecting both the landscapes and visitors. Unfortunately, it was sporadically and inconsistently enforced and often against individual art photographers, such as yourself, who had no commercial interests.

It has since been, at least as far as enforcement, redefined. Most individual photographers (non-commercial, mind you) are now safe from the long arm of park law.
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"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

Chuck Kimmerle
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Colorado David
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2012, 09:24:38 AM »
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You are good to go in U.S. National Parks.  However, if you plan to sell an image, you'll need to buy a photography permit in National Forests and National Wildlife Refuges.  The price can vary a lot from place to place as the fee structure is determined by the individual entity's management.  I paid $100 for an annual photography permit in a National Wildlife Refuge in the Oregon High Desert, but a National Forest in South East Alaska charged $100 per day. If you are caught without one and they determine you're not a hobbyist, they can confiscate your equipment.  Canadian National Parks can also confiscate your equipment if they suspect you of being a professional photographer.  I have also had to buy a Canadian work permit when clearing customs if they decide your work is displacing a Canadian worker.  A good many of these regulations are determined to apply to you by an individual who has the authority to make them stick with no appeal process.  Your best bet is to do a lot of research on each area you plan to photograph in and then never argue with an enforcment authority.  Always be on your best behavior.  You qualify as a professional photographer if you have plans to sell prints or stock.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 09:31:52 AM by Colorado David » Logged

MarkM
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2012, 05:42:39 PM »
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You are good to go in U.S. National Parks.  However, if you plan to sell an image, you'll need to buy a photography permit in National Forests and National Wildlife Refuges.  The price can vary a lot from place to place as the fee structure is determined by the individual entity's management.  I paid $100 for an annual photography permit in a National Wildlife Refuge in the Oregon High Desert, but a National Forest in South East Alaska charged $100 per day. If you are caught without one and they determine you're not a hobbyist, they can confiscate your equipment.  Canadian National Parks can also confiscate your equipment if they suspect you of being a professional photographer.  I have also had to buy a Canadian work permit when clearing customs if they decide your work is displacing a Canadian worker.  A good many of these regulations are determined to apply to you by an individual who has the authority to make them stick with no appeal process.  Your best bet is to do a lot of research on each area you plan to photograph in and then never argue with an enforcment authority.  Always be on your best behavior.  You qualify as a professional photographer if you have plans to sell prints or stock.

David, It would be helpful if you could site a source for this information because it directly contradicts published information from the Forest Serivce, for example here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/chugach/passes-permits/event-commercial/?cid=STELPRDB5199833 and the law for example here: http://www.fs.fed.us/specialuses/documents/pl106-206.html which reads:

Quote
…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.
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Colorado David
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2012, 10:18:22 PM »
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Well, It's late.  I suppose I could dig out the receipts for the fees I paid in Oregon and Alaska.  This information is all from personal experience and from quite a lot of other members of the Professional Outdoor Media Association.  Rep. Don Young of Alaska introduced legislation several years ago in an attempt to make the fee structure level across the Forest Service and the National Wildlife Refuge system.  It died in committee because no one found our constituency very large or loud enough.  I'll look tomorrow for web references.
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Colorado David
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2012, 10:51:07 PM »
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Here's one.  http://www.fws.gov/refuges/visitors/permits.html

The way it was explained to me is that photographic products of a monetary value included prints that would be sold or stock photography that was shot in hopes of licensing.

Quote from link;
We have developed three different Special Use Permit (SUP) forms which would enable the public to engage in activities on a national wildlife refuge.
To meet OMB requirements that encourage electronic information collection, we designed the new forms as both the application and the permit.  These new forms are available to the public online in a fillable format.  It is now possible for prospective permittees to fill out the first pages of the form, print it, sign it, and return it to the refuge for processing.  The permit is not valid until approved and signed by a refuge official.
1.  National Wildlife Refuge System Commercial Activities Special Use Application and Permit (FWS Form 3-1383-C) http://www.fws.gov/forms/3-1383-C.pdf for:
Commercial activities such as guiding hunters, anglers or other outdoor users.
Commercial filming (audio, video, and photographic products of a monetary value)
Agriculture (haying, grazing, crop planting, logging, beekeeping, and other agricultural products)
Cabins (see also the General Special Use Application and Permit described below)
Trapping
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Hollow4
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2012, 01:07:15 PM »
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In a national park you do not need a permit to photograph. You may photograph at will and sell prints so long as you don't fall into any of the following: (Fom the NPS.gov Website) NPS.GOV

Commercial Filming and Still Photography Permits

Lands of the United States were set aside by Congress, Executive or otherwise acquired in order to conserve and protect areas of untold beauty and grandeur, historical importance, and uniqueness for future generations. This tradition started with explorers who traveled with paint and canvas or primitive photo apparatus before the areas were designated as a national park. The National Park Service permits commercial filming and still photography when it is consistent with the park’s mission and will not harm the resource or interfere with the visitor experience.

When is a permit needed?

All commercial filming activities taking place within a unit of the National Park system require a permit. Commercial filming includes capturing a moving image on film and video as well as sound recordings.

Still photographers require a permit when

1.      the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or ///// i.e. CLOSED AREAS///////

2.      the activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location’s natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or ///////A tripod does not count/////////

3.      Park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity. /////No admin cost involved by you photographing a landscape//////

National wildlife rufuges, state parks, and internationally may and most likely will be different
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Bill Campbell
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2012, 02:04:48 PM »
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According to Federal Law 106 - 206 ( you can read it here http://www.largeformatphotography.info/photo-permits/PermitRegulations.htm) a permit is not required on land under the jurisdiction of the Dept of Interior nor the Dept of Agriculture if you are a still photographer and not
1.      the activity takes place at location(s) where or when members of the public are generally not allowed; or

2.      the activity uses model(s), sets(s), or prop(s) that are not a part of the location’s natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or

3.      Park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.

This includes all NP, NF, NWR and BLM lands.. State parks are under a different code of law and that is by state.

So anyone who is being asked to get a permit because they may sell they image is actually going against in acted Federal Law.

We realize that this may be going on and NANPA and ASMP are looking into the matter.

Please report any incidences of requirement of permit when it goes against PL 106- 206 to president@nanpa.org so we can follow up on this.

Thanks..

Bill Campbell
President, NANPA (North American Nature Photography Association)

PS-- if you shoot video, you are required to have permit according to PL 106 -206.. Something that needs to be revisited but this will require a change in the law.. Something we are also looking at..

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