Smokey Bear To Be Replaced By ‘Permit’ the Frog

kermit the frog
‘Permit’ The Frog?

The US Forrest service is preparing to demand tithing from the media.  Pay a fee for a permit and we’ll let you take pictures on public land.  No, it was not announced by a guy in a dark pinstriped suit named Vinnie.  Hey, youse wanttotake some pictures?  C’mere first.”

Forest service censorship.  Violators will be punished to the full extent of the law they claim has been on the books since 1964.

The U.S. Forest Service has tightened restrictions on media coverage in vast swaths of the country’s wild lands, requiring reporters to pay for a permit and get permission before shooting a photo or video in federally designated wilderness areas.

She said the agency was implementing the Wilderness Act of 1964, which aims to protect wilderness areas from being exploited for commercial gain.

Is there a postcard cartel we didn’t know about with lobbyists in DC?  Is Smokey the Bear in danger of being replaced by Permit the Frog?

This could backfire, probably will.   Or it might not and then backfire later in a way you may not have considered.

Restricting the “press” requires the Forest Service to define who is ‘press.’  Bloggers like those here at GraniteGrok, ply a trade in the daily not-for-profit new media news and opinion business.  We get press credentials at events.  We are, for all intents and purposes, press.   But modern technology has turned everyone into a potential reporter when what they record, be it still, video, audio, or a combination, could be news to someone.  So should anyone snapping candids on vacay have to concern themselves with a post dated bill for a permit fee plus fine for unauthorized and unlicensed capture of light reflecting off public lands should they somehow end up somewhere defined as ‘Press?’

Don’t laugh.  Look at what this administration has tried to pull off in the past 6 years and tell me that this is something we’d never see from a herd of unelected bureaucrats.   Honey, why is the Forest Service SWAT team on the lawn?

They ultimately get to decide, with the force of government and their interpretation of the law, behind them.  So watch out for Smokey the bear.  Sorry, ‘Permit The Frog.’

“Only You can rat out unlicensed picture takers.”

Green shirts!  Run!

The fact that I can write any of this with a straight face tells a story about America in 2014.   The regulatory state just keeps pushing to see who will push back.

And now it is a place where Illegal aliens have the right to invade the country and break the law in exchange for a taxpayer funded income, food, clothing, housing, and medical attention–even if it means crossing the border on public land–but if the media wants to snap a picture of the illegal aliens invading the country on public land, they had best go pay $1500.00 dollars for a permit.

Who am I kidding.   The press would ever ask to do such a thing.  Taking pictures of illegal aliens invading the country is probably a hate crime.