Home · Register · Search · View Winners · Software · Hosting · Software · Join Upload & Sell

Moderated by: Fred Miranda
Username   Password

  New fredmiranda.com Mobile Site
  New Feature: SMS Notification alert
  New Feature: Buy & Sell Watchlist
  

FM Forums | Pro Digital Corner | Join Upload & Sell

  

National Wildlife Refuges require permit for photography ...
  
 
mattschwartz
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #1 · National Wildlife Refuges require permit for photography you plan to sell


First, let me preface this by stating that I (obviously) am not a professional photographer, and in fact, I have never sold any photos. However, I am looking into selling photos in the near future, and being pro some day (separate topic entirely, no need to try and discourage me )

I just found out, to my dismay and irritation, that National Wildlife Refuges require you to have a special use permit if you will be taking photos which you intend to use for any commercial purposes (stock photos, selling prints, use in book, etc). At first I thought it was only for big commercial things, like films (that is, to my knowledge, how it works in National Forests), but after reading more carefully, it does indeed apply to just basic still photography, if it will be used for any commercial purposes whatsoever. Although I should avoid being negative about this, or anything really, I can't help but be a bit ticked off about it. At least I learned something valuable, and that is to do a lot of research in the future for what permits might be necessary wherever I plan to shoot (knowing that one day I might use the pics for commercial purposes).

So, I cannot sell or use commercially any of the photos I've ever taken at any NWR, since I did not have a special use permit at the time I took the photos.

They are not very transparent about how it works, other than linking to a PDF form to fill out and submit. They don't mention whether or not you have to pay for the permit or whether you have to do anything when you make a sale of said photos. It did say it can take up to 60 to 90 days for the application to be processed. And it appears you need to get the permit renewed for each visit and each NWR you go to. Absurd!!!

I just think this is really ridiculous. I can see it being reasonable for something like a large production of a film, or a big group of people doing something. But it seems overkill and frustrating for a nature photographer who just wants to go to various NWR's here and there, whenever they want, take some photos, and sell them. Well, I'm done venting now. But would be interested in any insight that professional photographers can offer about this. Has anyone here even done this? Can you offer some insight into your experiences with the application and permit? Do they charge you for this? Is there anyone else here that did not know about this? Thanks for any help, and I apologize for my frustrated attitude.



Mar 18, 2014 at 06:09 AM
Bernie
Online
• • • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #2 · National Wildlife Refuges require permit for photography you plan to sell


If you are not going out with the intent of selling (today), what's the problem? Otherwise it's a Minority Report issue.Fear of breaking the law for what you might do in the future....?

We have a refuge near me and have seen a ranger once and only when I went to the visitor center. This is a place I visited innumerable times. It borders on a lot of private land. How can that be policed? When am I shooting from the publlic road maintained by the township / county?

Shooting for art's sake is technically not a commercial purpose.

There are a lot of rules and regulations that exist only if you begin abusing your visitation.... destroying property, leaving garbage, etc.



Mar 18, 2014 at 12:43 PM
trenchmonkey
Online
• • • • • • •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #3 · National Wildlife Refuges require permit for photography you plan to sell


I'm pretty sure this would be near impossible to enforce...unless GPS was engaged
on the body capturing your alleged "transgression". I'm a guide for a 90 mile stretch
of the Middle Rio Grande Bosque that has several NWR's I frequent (going on 21 yrs)
Good luck finding out where this one was shot...my backyard? my neighbors?? BdA



© riversbendphotography

  NIKON D800    400mm    f/5.0    1/3200s    200 ISO    -0.7 EV  




Mar 18, 2014 at 12:54 PM
FLSTCSAM
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #4 · National Wildlife Refuges require permit for photography you plan to sell


Holy goose down Batman, I can hear them honking!

Sam



Mar 18, 2014 at 08:52 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



BluesWest
Offline
• • •
Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #5 · National Wildlife Refuges require permit for photography you plan to sell


I just found out, to my dismay and irritation, that National Wildlife Refuges require you to have a special use permit if you will be taking photos which you intend to use for any commercial purposes (stock photos, selling prints, use in book, etc).

As I understand it, a permit is NOT required unless certain conditions are met. Here is an excerpt from the relevant regulation that was posted in an old thread on the Naturescapes forum:

c) Still Photography

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), 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.

(2) The Secretary shall require and shall establish a reasonable fee for still photography that uses models or props which are not a part of the site's natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities.

(d) Protection of Resources.--The Secretary shall not permit any filming, still photography or other related activity if the Secretary determines--

(1) there is a likelihood of resource damage;



Mar 19, 2014 at 03:54 AM
mattschwartz
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #6 · National Wildlife Refuges require permit for photography you plan to sell



As I understand it, a permit is NOT required unless certain conditions are met. .....


Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Based on your reply, I did some more research (found the thread you referred to on NS, or a similar one, then went off to various related links and documents).

I got some clarification on the issue, in case anyone is interested, here is a list of some related links, quotes, etc:

As stated in the reply above, but worded slightly differently, (regarding lands governed by the DOI = national parks, national wildlife refuges etc).....still photographers only need a permit when:
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 locationís natural or cultural resources or administrative facilities; or
3. Park would incur additional administrative costs to monitor the activity.
(and other circumstances such as when the activity could cause harm to the environment, other visitors, etc..basically related to the intent of the 3 points above)

And this applies to any photographer, regardless of whether you are going to sell your photos or not. This is good news!

However, this only applies to Public Lands managed and under the control of the Department of Interior so it would not include much of the public lands for example Forest Service and State Lands which are also public lands. So I will need to research their own policies.

BTW, the initial place where I found this so called requirement, which prompted me to post this original question/thread, was what I found on a NWR page...this web page rather clearly states what I am talking about. Note the paragraph to the right side of the duck stamp image, then the text beneath as well. http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Columbia/Visit/Permits.html and so, clearly, the information that is posted on that page is INCORRECT given the particular wording and general aim of what they are saying, compared to the actual laws that are in place. That page was last updated March 4, 2014!

The official document from the government which covers everything (long and confusing) is here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-22/pdf/2013-20441.pdf

And some related links, articles, blog posts etc
http://www.photoattorney.com/photographing-our-national-parks/
http://www.photoattorney.com/permit-required-photography-public-lands/
http://www.naturescapes.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=236986
http://www.photoattorney.com/nps-rangers-hassling-photographers/

I also found that the regulations are more stringent for video...

*All commercial filming requires a permit.*

*Commercial filming* means the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income. Examples include, but are not limited to, feature film, videography, television broadcast, or documentary, or other similar projects.

This could easily apply to any video you take for the purposes of stock clips, or using in any kind of compiled piece which would make money in any way. Not that they would be able to tell if you were using your DSLR for filming vs still photography (and that was brought up by a lawyer in a comment on their initial proposal for the permit/fee system), but regardless, it *would* apply to DSLR video which you intend to use in any way for commercial gain, UNLIKE the still photography of the same intent. I find it interesting that they make such a determination.

I have not yet found the up to date official fees and info (for the rare cases when permits are required), but here is a proposed fee schedule from Aug 2013: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-08-22/html/2013-20440.htm



Mar 19, 2014 at 06:35 AM
Trevorma
Offline
• •
Upload & Sell: On
p.1 #7 · National Wildlife Refuges require permit for photography you plan to sell


So the issue here is with this proposed fee schedule?

Number of people Fee
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1-3, camera and tripod only.................... $10/day or $250/month
1-5, more than a camera and tripod......... 50/day
6-10.......................................................... 100/day
11-20........................................................ 200/day
21-30........................................................ 300/day
over 30..................................................... 450/day

My 2 cents? If it's just you going is $10 really a deterrent? if it's a group then I think the assumption is that it is a guided photo tour. So if you and your significant other go for a day hike in a NWR to take some photos that $10 is going to be the end of your trip?

Probably should also mention here that if you intend on pursuing a career as a pro photographer there are certain costs associated with that, and one of them is permits.

Our natural areas are vanishing quicker than we think, and the funding for them has dried up. I gladly pay daily fees to go to Canadian National Parks. If that Money is helping keep those areas around for my 4 month old son to see when he is older then I am happy to pay. I have grabbed shots at Algonquin Park in Ontario (had to pay $35 for a day pass) and made a massive print from them.... well worth the fee.



Mar 19, 2014 at 01:07 PM
mattschwartz
Offline

Upload & Sell: Off
p.1 #8 · National Wildlife Refuges require permit for photography you plan to sell


Thanks for your reply, input, and advice. My concern with the policies had little to do with the fees, and in fact the fee schedule was the last piece of info that I came across. The fees are not too bad (though, FYI, those fees are not all of the fees that would be incurred..you would also be charged fees for the review of your application, and any other costs incurred to the managing agency, which could be significantly more than the fees listed there). The actual concern I had, what was the subject of this thread, was the impracticality of obtaining a new permit for each NWR visit. The idea was that it takes weeks, if not months, to have the permit application reviewed. This would mean you'd need to plan every single visit and location months in advance, apply for the permits..wait...etc. And what would happen if you visited, then wanted to visit the same location the next day, or a week later? That would be essentially impossible to do with the system as I thought it worked. A nature photographer often hears word of subjects spotted, or finds out about a location, and just heads over to take some pics. And multiple visits to multiple NWR's at random times are definitely the usual, as noted above. Thus, the permit system would make that essentially impossible. However, the final findings were that the permit system does not apply to the type of shooting I (and most pro nature photographers) will be doing, in general, thus I don't need to use the permit system.


Mar 20, 2014 at 06:57 AM





FM Forums | Pro Digital Corner | Join Upload & Sell

    
 

You are not logged in. Login or Register

Username   Password    Retrive password