Missouri opens conservation areas for professional photographers
Photography and commercial videos will soon be licensed in over 1,000 conservation areas, lifting a long-standing ban on such activity.
The new permits will go on sale July 1. Photographers will pay $ 100 per year and videographers $ 500 per day to use the areas for film or documentary shoots, or wedding and engagement photos. Large groups and other special uses, like a drone or being in conservation areas after dark, will require a separate but free permit.
“A lot of it goes to the main objectives of our conservation areas,” said Amy Buechler of the MDC of the ban on commercial activities. “Many were purchased, maintained, or built with federal funding that stipulated that the primary focus was wildlife protection, as well as areas for fishing, hunting and viewing wildlife. And so we’ve generally stayed pretty close to that mandate. “
But Buechler said the department had received enough requests to prompt him to consider a licensing system. The department acknowledged in its announcement of the new opportunities that many other local, state and federal land management agencies allow commercial photography and videos on the lands they oversee, and said it had reviewed various policies for determine its version.
The ministry estimates it will bring in around $ 10,000 per year, which Buechler says will mainly cover personnel costs related to the review and licensing. But the ministry also sees another value in permits.
“It allows new groups to come to our regions, involving different people in the outdoors in perhaps less traditional ways,” she said.
The department received two comments on the rule change. Neither objected to allowing commercial photography in conservation areas. They expressed concern about the cost of permits and how the department would distinguish between amateur and commercial photographers.
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