Forests

17 J-Groups Join SEJ in Letter on Wildlands Photo Regs

Eighteen journalism, photography, and First Amendment groups on October 1, 2014, wrote U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell opposing the proposal to finalize a directive requiring permits for "commercial filming" in Forest Service Wilderness areas. Tidwell has already said the USFS does not want to restrict journalism on wilderness lands, but the groups seek changes to regulatory language that would make this clear. SEJ is one of the groups.

"In Alaska, a Battle to Keep Trees, or an Industry, Standing"

"The Tongass National Forest, a panoply of snow-dusted peaks and braided rivers, slender fjords and more than 5,000 islands draped over a stretch of Pacific coastline, is widely viewed as one of America’s great natural treasures. Under pressure from environmentalists, the Obama administration pledged four years ago to phase out logging of virgin woodlands here."

Source: NY Times, 09/29/2014

SEJ FOI Chair Talks to Forest Service Chief Tidwell

After proposing a directive that seemed to require permits and fees for journalists working in U.S. Forest Service wilderness lands, the USFS announced that it had never intended the restrictions to apply to journalists. Tim Wheeler, chairman of the Society of Environmental Journalists' Freedom of Information Task Force, talked with USFS Chief TomTidwell to clarify the USFS position. Here's his report.

1st Amendment Alarm: USFS Says Media Need Photo Permit in Wilderness

"The U.S. Forest Service has tightened restrictions on media coverage in vast swaths of the country's wild lands, requiring reporters to pay for a permit and get permission before shooting a photo or video in federally designated wilderness areas."

Source: Portland Oregonian, 09/25/2014

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