Recent comments

  • Traveler's View: Fear Mongering On The Public Lands   3 weeks 3 days ago

    This is actually a decent rule change if you are a professional documentary filmmaker. It allows for indy filmmakers to be able to create films in the wilderness that were basically impossible before this ruling back in 2010. This isn't going to affect Joe Tourist with his camera taking snapshots of the wilderness for vacation. And it's not going to affect the coffee table book/calendar creators. What it's going to affect are filmmakers that can now shoot documentaries in the wilderness on wildlife and ecology. Before, you could shoot those things, but you couldn't make anything back on it.. So it was a losing proposition. The road blocks are actually a little less stringent with this. In the future, youll see Nat Geo, documentary films similar to those old Marty Stouffer wild america type productions, or more PBS productions on wilderness lands that you couldnt see before. It's not all bad, and the hysteria was so overblown due to bad journalism that distored the directives. Eventually, youll see good productions on the Wind Rivers, Alpine Peaks Wilderness etc. Currently you can't, because it's a losing proposition for film companies. This opens it up a tiny bit more, although within reason. If you're going to haul a giant crane back into the wilderness, then that's going to come with some big time oversight, etc. National Parks have allowed filming pretty much since their creation, although with similar type regulations.

  • Traveler's View: Fear Mongering On The Public Lands   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Hmm, works for me. Here is is in full:

    http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5109390.pdf

    (Pertinent data begins on page 55...)

  • Traveler's View: Fear Mongering On The Public Lands   3 weeks 3 days ago
    Something Went WrongSorry, there was a problem with this link: http://goo.gl/4EokuOYou can now continue to this website, or go back to the page you were on before.Remember, only follow links from sources you trust.
  • Traveler's View: Fear Mongering On The Public Lands   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Might as well read it for yourself? (begins on page 55) http://goo.gl/4EokuO

  • Traveler's View: Fear Mongering On The Public Lands   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Thanks Jim. In reality, you are not the one creating the confusion. As Acadia has pointed out, even the FS doesn't seem to know how to interpret the rules.

    I think we can all agree that licensing should not be required for non-commercial activites that are non disruptive/destructive or otherwise don't interfere with the visitor experience. Some of us would go even further and say licensing should not be required for commerical activites as long as those activities meet the same non-interfering criteria.

  • Traveler's View: Fear Mongering On The Public Lands   3 weeks 3 days ago

    ec - Somewhere in the process of opening links from various Forest Service documents, I was taken to the list of definitions on this subject for Interior. The FS apparently referenced the Interior list somewhere in their documents, but I wasn't keeping good notes and lost track of where I was in the land of Google :-)

    Perhaps my point should have been that clear definitions on this subject already exist for other federal land management agencies, and the Forest Service may have already adopted those same definitions. If not, they could easily do so, either by reference, or by duplicating them in their own regs. They then need to provide a clear and easy-to-find link to that information.

    Sorry for any confusion.

  • Traveler's View: Fear Mongering On The Public Lands   3 weeks 3 days ago

    So the linked definitions don't provide any cover for the Forest Service - the target of the concerns under discussion. Are their similar definitions that do cover the FS?

  • Court Documents Allege Private Trails Cut Into Great Smoky Mountains National Park   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Not studied up on Common Law recently? or inverse condemnation?

    Somewhat familiar with Common Law and VERY familiar with real estate law. At best, the NPS would have a claim of prescriptive easement which would allow it to use the trail but would not give it ownership. It doesn't appear they excercised that right. The NPS has never owned the property and you can't give away property you don't own.

    If anyone would have a right of inverse condemnation, it would be Sundquist (or the prior property owner). But then the NPS would have had to excercise eminent domain and I have seen no evdience the NPS went through eminent domain procedures which require a court hearing and payment to the property owner.

  • Traveler's View: Fear Mongering On The Public Lands   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Yes, ec. The significance is that the link to a Department of Interior publication. The Forest Service is under the Department of Agriculture.

  • Court Documents Allege Private Trails Cut Into Great Smoky Mountains National Park   3 weeks 3 days ago

    That's why we take our argument to offical judges.

  • Court Documents Allege Private Trails Cut Into Great Smoky Mountains National Park   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Nope, SB, I don't have to present any evidence of anything because I'm not the opposing side of your argument. I'm sitting on the sidelines trying to understand, and with the angry vehemence fueling your side, it's hard to get objective information, which is what my requests for clarification have been seeking. I gotta tell you, though, good luck convincing an objective judge when your diatribe has been such that it moved Ecbuck and I to a similar viewpoint.

  • Court Documents Allege Private Trails Cut Into Great Smoky Mountains National Park   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Yeah EC, and you probably didn't believe that the NPS would fire someone for blowing the whistle when trees were cut to accomodate a famous person either, huh Danno?

  • Court Documents Allege Private Trails Cut Into Great Smoky Mountains National Park   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Yep Smokies - and I stand by that statement. Other than the ranger that I have chastized previosly, I don't see any evidence that the NPS (management) pretended it didn't happen.

  • Court Documents Allege Private Trails Cut Into Great Smoky Mountains National Park   3 weeks 3 days ago

    EC.

    No King around these parts huh? Not studied up on Common Law recently? or inverse condemnation?

    You are correct that complainants and especially their attorneys are ignert. King George, sort of like you, would have called us rabble.

  • Court Documents Allege Private Trails Cut Into Great Smoky Mountains National Park   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Submitted by ecbuck on May 27, 2014 - 7:33pm.

    Agreed rmackie. Its not up to "others" to decide they want a trail reopened and it certainly isn't appropriate for the NPS to pretend it isn't happening.

  • Traveler's View: Fear Mongering On The Public Lands   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Jim,

    Is there significane that the Forest Service isn't one of the defined parties in that link?

    "Agency, we, our, or us means the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as appropriate."

  • Traveler's View: Fear Mongering On The Public Lands   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Kurt - National Parks Traveler: Your article is WELL DONE, very clear and concise. Exactly what needed to be said. I appreciate your efforts to address the premature, unwarranted reaction to the U.S. Forest Service's policy update. Well done & appreciated.

  • Traveler's View: Fear Mongering On The Public Lands   3 weeks 3 days ago

    All the uproar indicates the wording of the new regulations could have been clearer; the definitions of things like "models, props and breaking news" as applied to Dept. of Interior lands is found elsewhere in the Federal Register at this link. Those definitions seem pretty logical, and clearly don't apply to visitors taking vacation photos.

    Unfortunately, quite a few media outlets simply copied and repeated incorrect information from other stories. As is common, some stories also failed to distinguish between national "forests" and "parks" when they quoted the Forest Service news releases. Here's just one example, which claims [incorrectly] that the new Forest Service regulations would "exclude millions of Americans from being allowed to take photos in our national parks."

    One more example of the double-edged sword of today's electronic communications: it's easy to access and spread lots of information in a hurry...but not all of it is accurate.

  • Traveler's View: Fear Mongering On The Public Lands   3 weeks 3 days ago

    I knew if I waited long enough, there would be an article in the Traveler that I could understand, pertaining to this subject. Thanks!

  • Traveler's View: Fear Mongering On The Public Lands   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Thought readers would be interested in the original story published in the Oregonian. Reporter quoted USFS spokesman, First Amendment advocates and even cited a case in Idaho in which USFS used those temporary rules to block access to a public television crew until Idaho governor got involved. www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2014/09/forest_service_says_med...

  • Court Documents Allege Private Trails Cut Into Great Smoky Mountains National Park   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Anybody have a link to a copy of Exhibit F? I would like to see the orginal Ace Gap trail in relation to Mineral Springs Road.

    Looks to me like the trail may have been moved for the convenience of the NPS -i.e. get it (the trail) away from increasing development on privately owned property north of the park.

  • Traveler's View: Fear Mongering On The Public Lands   3 weeks 3 days ago

    I read the directive itself on Friday. I consider myself a pretty intelligent individual (heck, I can usually decipher insurance "language") and the way the directive was written absolutely *could* be interpreted as requiring a permit for private photography. That is the problem -- laws are based on wording and if the wording is imprecise the law is the up to the interpreter.

    Your exerpt proves my point. "Breaking news stories" do not require a permit. Ok, fine, what is the definition of a "breaking news story?" What is considered a "prop?" Is a tripod a prop? What is a "model?" Is someone posing for a picture a "model?" What is a "set?" Is a picnic blanket and basket spread out in a meadow with a person posing on it considered a "set" with a "model?"

    The forest service and NPT can laugh and say OF COURSE we don't mean that private individuals need a permit to take a picture of a flower or your kid on vacation. However if you read the directive as it stands it does not explicitly say that the permit only pertains to "commercial still and film photography." It also doesn't address exactly what is considered "commercial." If someone posts their photo on Instagram or Flickr and a travel magazine reaches out to them to license to the photo for a story, is that photo now considered commercial?

    If the forest service really means to only direct this to commercial ventures, they need to write the directive so that explicitly says "commercial," and then define exactly what those are. The sad fact is that the public lands agencies need money (hence the fight over NPS fees) and leaving such an open-ended directive could prove very tempting to the next forest service chief looking for revenue.

  • Court Documents Allege Private Trails Cut Into Great Smoky Mountains National Park   3 weeks 3 days ago

    When the King has control of something for almost a century (actually 1 year), the King owns it. Period.

    Fortunately, we don't live in a kingdom and don't have a King. We do have adverse prescriptive easment laws but there is no evidence presented here that the use was adverse, notorious and continuous, all requirements for prescriptive easement. Further the NPS would have had to excercise their right of prescriptive easement and have it judicated in court. They didn't do that. Is not stealing the land in the first place "giving it away"?

    It makes far more sense to me that the NPS moved the trail not to "give back land" but to move it away from a home that had been built on rightfully owned property.

    The fact the lawsuit claim "eminent domain" demonstrates how ill informed the complaintants (and their attorneys) are.

  • Court Documents Allege Private Trails Cut Into Great Smoky Mountains National Park   3 weeks 3 days ago

    EC.

    It started out as an accusation. You are correct; however, the NPS actually admits they did it.

    "...67. Defendants deny Paragraph 67, except to only admit that tract 1.13 was acquired by former Tennessee governor, Don Sundquist, sometime before 2004 and that the Ace Gap Trail was legally relocated off this privately owned tract of land...."

    The NPS admits to moving a trail that had existed on his land for almost a century to "off his land."

    When the King has control of something for almost a century (actually 1 year), the King owns it. Period. The question then becomes how much the King has to pay for it, unless the time lapses to sue the King....which it did here.

    They gave the property back to him.

  • Traveler's View: Fear Mongering On The Public Lands   3 weeks 3 days ago

    Exactly John, no matter the "intent" the wording suggests otherwise and those that are interpreting the "intent" today may not be the ones interpreting it tomorrow. We have become overwhelmed by evidence of imprecise language no matter the intent being misused in the future