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Latest News

Forest Service chief says journalists are exempt as wilderness filming meeting nears in Portland

Khai Le

In his clearest language yet, the U.S. Forest Service chief is committing to exclude the news media from a controversial permitting scheme for filming in federal wilderness.

Before it drew nationwide outrage, the agency had planned to require permits for journalists to film anything other than breaking news events in wilderness – even a reporter shooting video on an iPhone.

Chief Tom Tidwell, writing Tuesday to Forest Service staff nationwide, said journalists would never need a permit to film in wilderness.

”News coverage on [Forest Service] lands is protected by the Constitution, and it is our responsibility to safeguard this right on the lands we manage for all Americans,” Tidwell wrote.