National Park Service Announces Implementation of Location Fees
National Park Service Announces Implementation of Location Fees for Commercial Filming and Still Photography
WASHINGTON, D.C. National Park Service (NPS) Director Fran Mainella announced today the NPS is implementing, at the direction of Congress, a Public Law that will allow collection of location fees for commercial filming and still photography starting on May 15, 2006.
Public lands were set aside in order to conserve and protect areas of untold beauty and grandeur, historical significance and uniqueness for future generations, said Mainella. Often, it's the magnificence of these same lands that attracts filmmakers. This revised regulation will allow the Park Service to collect reasonable fees for use of federal lands as a result of both commercial filming and certain still photography activities. It's a positive step forward and a good balance to help ensure these national treasures are enjoyed and cared for in the proper manner.
A recent General Accounting Office (GAO) report recommended the NPS expedite the implementation of the revised regulation and the collection of location fees. The final rule removes the portion of the existing regulation that prohibits the NPS from collecting fees for filming. The revised regulation will give the NPS the authority to establish a fee system earning the government a fair return on the use of the land for commercial filming and certain still photography activities on federal lands. The law still directs the NPS to recover costs associated with this service and continues to require filming permittees to conduct their activities in ways that minimize or eliminate disruptions to visitors. For the present time, the NPS will utilize a current Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Fee Schedule. A memo will be sent to the field issuing guidance on proper procedures for collecting location fees for commercial filming and still photography, cost recovery and the disposition of money collected.
I believe that this is only appying to Commercial shoots. This has been discussed on the largeformat forum.
Almost two years ago I paid the fee out of my own pocket for Per's Zion gathering. It is not new, but has been given more teeth. This is in regards to commercial enterprises such as movies, commercials, and workshops/gatherings where it is organized for the express purpose of photography. I paid $200 at the time. If it had been spread out over everyone who attended it would have been less than $10 each.
Given that congress has slashed a lot of the budget for maintaing the parks, it is no surprise that the parks are trying to find ways to replace those funds they desperately need.
Glad to see that they are using the BLM rules. Here's why:
I have a printed copy of the still photography section highlighted in bright yellow. That's in case a part-time summer want-a-be trys to tell me that a tripod means a permit.
Where you say "still photography" it only means if using; "models, sets or props that are not part of the site's natural or cultural resorces or administrative facilities."
If your making a film or ad bill the client.
The rules are irrelevant in this political climate.
Originally Posted by photobum
If you don't believe me, try setting up a tripod at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC. or at the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial. Five'll getcha ten that the gun toting goon who runs you off doesn't even know what BLM stands for, much less what their photography rules are.
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Ironically the BLM has no 'standard' rules for commercial use, much less for photography.
I have gotten permits from various BLM offices for doing commercial activities all over S. Utah, and NONE of them run by the same rules. Some want to audit books, some want an 'honest' assesment from me to tell them how much I owe them. Most run on a standard %-age of the gross to determine how much to charge per user-day on their land. Gets really mushy and grey when I am going from National Forest to BLM to National Recreation Area land in one day.
Gets REALLY grey when I tell the people issuing permits that I have no idea how the images will be used. They 'could' potentially be used for all kinds of commercial activities, but for right now at the actual time of the picture taking they are usually on spec or for stock. I challenge any governmental entity to predict the future as to how one picture will sell in the future and one picture won't.
The fee system is a good idea, the park service is in dire need of funds, but IMO they could raise each entry permit a few more bucks and issue a few more tickets for parking where you're not supposed to and blocking traffic (in Yellowstone for example), and a few more tickets for idiots who are out petting buffalo than start splitting hairs and trying to figure out which activities are commercial and which aren't.
Granted, the line is very clear when you have lighting equipment, props, models, etc...then it's a no brainer. Charge them a ton and make them pass the cost through. I have no problem with that.
When I have to start paying fees to use my 'public' lands for non-commercial activitires, then they aren't so public anymore.
Actually they ARE raising entrance fee's to many national parks this year...
Originally Posted by Michael Slade
Here is the press release for Yellowstone and Grand Teton:
Glacier National Parks entrance fee goes to $25 on Monday May 1st as well.
When in Yellowstone last June, I saw many more citations being issued that I have ever seen in the last 15 years, we were shooting coyote pups at the childrens fire trail last year and a ranger showed up and issued over 25 tickets to people who were parked off pavement, it was quite a specticle...
Makes those one year passes to all parks that cost $50 sound very attractive.
Originally Posted by Satinsnow
That's apples and oranges. Washington DC has had a tripod by permit law for well over forty years. I was being chased off by the park police in 1966. It has nothing to do with 9-11 or political climate. The BLM rules have nothing to do with DC metro and park police. Those so called goons are enforcing a law that they had nothing to do with but is in affect in their jurisdiction. You could always get the permit or petition the government.
I generally avoid US National Parks these days, with one or two exceptions (Hawaii Volcanoes being one). They are just too crowded, with a mindset of control that makes me uncomfortable - I go to parks for solitude, not to get harassed by Park Rangers.