Freedom-Schmeedom: Obama to Force Photographers in National Parks to Get Permits

Ansel Adams made himself and our national parks famous for photographing the natural beauty he found in the great American west. Now, in this land of “freedom and liberty,” Obama plans to prevent any more Ansel Adams by forcing photographers to get permits to be allowed to photograph our parks.

The stunning black and white photos Adams took of the American west, especially Yosemite National Park, are the very ideal of natural beauty preserved by the snap of his lens. Adams roamed freely in this land of the free and captured images that have been beloved by naturalists all around the world.

But now Obama is planning to put a stranglehold on new Ansel Adams by controlling who is *allowed* to take photos in our national parks with a new “permit” system. Worse, Obama plans to charge up to $1,500 for these permits according to a report by the Associated Press.

Mickey H. Osterreicher, general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association, said such rules would be a clear violation of the First Amendment and raises concerns about press freedom, including whether denying a permit would amount to prior restraint.

“What if they deny you a permit because they don’t like the story you’re working on?” he asked.

Oh, Obama’s regime has all sorts of reasons for this new system, but none of them hold water.

For instance, the government says it will exclude “breaking news” from permitting. But this only means that the government will be allowed to determine what “breaking news” means. This is intolerable in a land built on freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and well, just freedom itself.

There is also another point here. If these fees really do hold and are really as high as 41,500, that would naturally exclude Americans who may not have that much money to throw away on government fees and will naturally exclude millions of Americans from being 8allowed* to take photos n our national parks!

It also means that only big media will be allowed to take these photos which further means that Obama is again picking and choosing which Americans will be allowed their freedoms and which won’t not to mention buttressing crony capitalism by allowing only a moneyed class to be able to benefit from his policies.

There is absolutely everything wrong with this plan. Everything.

But it is a perfect illustration of everything that is wrong with Obama, too. You didn’t build those parks, America. They belong to Obama.

It is unsurprising that if Obama won’t allow us to enjoy our First Amendment rights, many have come to feel that it just might be time to start using our Second Amendment for what it was designed for.

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  • GarandFan

    While I’m not sure that King Barack is behind this move, I’d really like to know the reason for it. What exactly is the justification? Only thing that jumps to mind is covering for bureaucratic incompetence. But why worry about that? Incompetence has been a hallmark of the current administration.

    • King barack is behind it because HE is the one that put these people into place to DO this sort of stuff. It all comes from the ideology HE has fostered.

  • Hank_M

    It’s only a matter of time before “wilderness” areas are off limits and access to public parks is so controlled as to be useless.

    • jim_m

      The intent is that these become the private playgrounds of the wealthy and politically connected. This is taken from the soviets, who turned the wealth of czarist Russia into the playground of the party elite.

  • Par4Course

    Obama is not a post-racial President as many had predicted. Instead, he is, as J. Christian Adams has written, our first Post-Constitutional President. Requiring a permit to photograph our national parks – by Presidential fiat – is just another piece of that grim picture.

  • Paul Hooson

    What’s the reasoning behind this? More tax revenues, less forest fire dangers?

  • Commander_Chico

    Well, Holder’s quitting, maybe they’ll get a better lawyer who will explain the Constitution to them.

    The story notes that a law passed by Congress in 2000 which requires fees to be collected is at the root of this, however. They’re always thinking of new fees.

    • Paul Hooson

      Strangely, it was President Reagan who appointed Holder as judge to the D.C Superior Court because of his law and order attitude against violent criminals. He was knicknamed “Judge Hold ‘Em” by defense attorneys who were unsuccessful in getting Holder to grant bail for anyone charged with a violent crime. At one time, Holder was one of the most strong law and order figures, where many liberals opposed his nomination to AG, concerned about his regard for civil liberties.

    • Retired military

      Wont help much if Holder gets nominated to SCOTUS. He may be too old for Obama to pick but he has passed the congressional approval game and he is a minority.
      Also he has done nothing but cover up for Obama for the past 6 years. Obama wouldn’t mind him comintinuing to do that that for the next 20 years or so.

  • Brucehenry

    This proposal has nothing to do with National Parks. It’s about designated wilderness areas. NO ONE is proposing any restrictions on photography in national parks, and no one is proposing that tourist photos be prohibited anywhere.

    While I agree there arguably is a First Amendment issue with this proposal, there is no need for the alarmist sky-is-falling nonsense written here. If you read the whole AP link you see that there are concerns, but we’re not talking about banning photography anywhere and we’re not talking about Yosemite or Grand Canyon or Smoky Mountains or the like.

    Calm down for chrissake.

    • A_Nonny_Mouse

      Is it possible they’re saying you can’t ACCESS a “wilderness area”
      without paying a fee? Possibly to limit human intrusion on the pristine landscape, or some such?

      (Betcha $10 that if this goes through, enterprising marijuana growers will flock to such areas –having paid nothing of course– under the logical assumption that nobody else is gonna drop big bucks to view and photograph “the wilderness”. Thus, there’s a much-lessened chance for accidental discovery of their “grow fields”.

      Yay free enterprise!!

      • Brucehenry

        The proposal is to extend the ban on commercial activity in wilderness areas, in place for years, to the “news media.” This is what is worrisome re: the First Amendment. There are already rules in place for making movies and TV shows there so as not to harm the flora and fauna.But there could be free speech and free press issues if the rule is interpreted incorrectly. And the language in the proposal making the content of the film project subject to government approval is clearly troubling.

        In any event no one is threatening the right to take snapshots in national parks. That’s just Warner having one of his hysterical hissyfits.

        • jim_m

          In your rush to find something wrong with Warner’s article you still get it wrong. The wilderness areas and national parks are areas that overlap.

          Also, this is solely about commercial photography and filming. The ridiculous part is that it charges a small time professional photographer the same rate that it would charge MGM or Warner Bros to film a multimillion dollar movie. This is the dems throwing out yet another piece of graft for their media industry friends by excluding the small timer and cementing the successful in their place. Once more the dems pull the ladder up behind them.

          The only difference is that this time they included the news media. Big deal. How often did the news media really use these locations?

          Better yet, what does the government do in these locations or plan on doing that they don’t want the news media to see?

  • BluesHarper

    When does Obama find the time to make all the shit sandwiches he doles out?

  • LiberalNightmare

    freedom isnt free

  • RobR

    Obama’s fault, huh. What a bunch of tinfoil hatted throwbacks. Enjoy your delusions, losers.