Proposal: Media needs permit to film in wilderness

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service says it is extending the period for the public to weigh in on a proposal that would make permanent new restrictions on commercial video and photography in the nation's wildest areas.

Under the plan, the agency said it would consider the nature of a proposed project before approving a special-use permit and charge fees of up to $1,500 for commercial filming and photography in federally designated wilderness areas.

Press advocates have criticized the rules as a violation of the First Amendment, saying it raises concerns about press freedom.

Agency spokesman Larry Chambers said in a statement Thursday that the proposal is "a good faith effort to ensure the fullest protection of America's wild places" and that the rules have been in place for more than four years.

The comment period is extended through Dec. 3.