Following Backlash, U.S. Forest Service Says Media Won't Need Permits To Shoot On Federal Land

September 26, 2014 9:23 PM

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After the U.S. Forest Service's announcement earlier this month that photographers may be required to get a permit to shoot on federal wild lands, the backlash was swift. First Amendment advocates expressed concern that the policy could impinge upon press freedoms and the rights of journalists, bloggers and individual photographers. "It's pretty clearly unconstitutional," Gregg Leslie, legal defense director at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, told The Oregonian after reports emerged that people could be fined up to $1,000 for taking photographs on federal wild lands without a permit. "They would have to show an important need to justify these limits, and they just can't."

It seems the adverse public reaction to these restrictions has made an impact. On Thursday, the agency said that it had heard the concerns of the public and would make changes to their policy to ensure that it does not violate First Amendment rights.

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