This photo of the moon rising over Half Dome was taken earlier this year, on Feb 22, in Yosemite National Park, California.
Permits for Events and Workshops on Public Lands
I was chatting with a friend on G+ recently and he said he might start leading photography workshops. The requirements vary from property to property, but generally you need $2 million in liability insurance, first aid training, and you have to apply for permits ranging from $200 per year to $1500 for a single event, and there can be additional monitor charges. I've been down that road, so I referred him to this useful summary of parks and permit requirements:
Still Photography and Permits On US and California Public Land
What happens if you don't get a permit? I hear that the fines are not small, and there are photographers who will gladly turn you in if they catch you with a group and no permit. For example here's a note which was circulating earlier this year.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE REGARDING PERMITS
Fellow Photography Workshop Operators,
My name is Stephen Oachs, the founder of the Aperture Academy, based in San Jose, California. The Aperture Academy (http://www.apertureacademy.com) conducts over 200 workshops each year with approximately 30% of these operated with the National Park System, National Forests and other government managed areas.
As you should know, working with government agencies to obtain the proper permits is challenging and comes with a long list of requirements, including proper insurance, CPR training, and wilderness certifications such as Leave No Trace, EMT and/or Wilderness First Responder training. These requirements are understandable as we are responsible for providing our customers with not only a fun and educational experience, but most importantly a safe one.
It has come to our attention over the past few months that there are more and more photographers conducting workshops without the proper permits, insurance and safety training and this is causing the park system to increase their scrutiny in an effort to police the offenders. With that, it is also making it more difficult for those of us who operate legally and do everything it takes to ensure full compliance.
For those of you who share in our mission to operate legally, safely and ethically, thank you. For those of you who continue to cheat the system and refuse to abide by the law, I am asking you to either step up and begin operating legally, or, choose to operate your photography workshops in locations that do not require special use permits.
Given the importance of this type of compliance and how violators threaten the future success of Aperture Academy and other tour businesses, If you insist on operating illegally and we become aware of this, we will not hesitate to report you to the appropriate government agencies.
Thank you for your understanding and attention to this matter — good luck to you all in 2013!
Stephen W. Oachs
Gallery: (408) 369-8585
Moon Rise Over Half Dome Friday, February 22, 2013
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