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Thread: Should LF photographers be given special car permits to access US national parks?

  1. #41

    Should LF photographers be given special car permits to access US national parks?

    300 million visitors to Nat'l parks in year 2000. Do we as individuals really believe all these folks have a right to drive their cars through the parks???? Come on folks! Beauty is a necessity for most of us,rich or poor, but having wild places left to enjoy is a privelidge not a right. We as photographers are just going to have to tough it out like other groups with needs. I am certainly in no position to hike but tough luck for me. The inept park service needs to change, but that is not a decent justification to destroy the parks. Greed, is just that, what do you really want a wild place with all of its splendor or 3oo million visitor with cars?

  2. #42

    Should LF photographers be given special car permits to access US national parks?

    It is quite clear that the original question has been used as stepping stone for a number of indivuals to express relatively narrow points of view. For those of you who have used a shuttle system such as the system in place in Denali, you will attest to the fact that it does not work most of the time. Standing by the road in the pouring down rain with thousands of dollars of camera gear, waiting for a bus with an empty seat, is not particularly pleasant. Sitting on a bus with a large camera pack in your lap becomes more unpleasant when you are in the asile seat and you have to move whenever the person next to you wants to get in or out. Getting off a bus and having to walk 1 - 2 miles back because the bus driver, who fancies himself or herself as a "professional" photographer, claims that they did not hear you, makes it much more difficult. Finally, having to carry camping equipment because the bus does not run during the "magic" hours makes it almost impossible.

    Years ago, the national parks virtually begged professional photographers to promote the parks so that they could get more funding from the federal governmnet. Now that we have achieved sucess and the parks have become popular, they want us to go away. The fact is that the overcrowding is being used as an excuse to expand the private consessions in the parks (for political payback). This has become quite clear with Denali reducing the number of road permits given to professional photographers (the permits are being given to the busses). In addition, Denali has significantly increased the eligibility requirements for the permits.

    Now to address some of the asides. First, for those of you who do not want to see another picture of Half Dome or Delicate Arch, you most certainly are not professional photographers. As John Shaw has said, everyone has a picture of Mount Rainier but nobody has the best picture of Mount Rainier. Secondly, for those of you who begrudge the Ansel Adams tripod holes, what is wrong with letting others learn the art of photography by emulating the masters?

    I do not believe that the format used should be a criteria, nor do I believe that the number of photographs one has published should be a criteria. On the other hand, an incentive system that removes a large number of vehicles from the roads would reduce congestion enough that "needs" vehicles could be allowed. This access could be controlled by a reasonable permit system which would take into account the needs of the applicant. The current Yosemite valley system may be the basis (with some modification) for a future model.

  3. #43
    Founder QT Luong's Avatar
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    Aug 1997
    San Jose, CA

    Should LF photographers be given special car permits to access US national parks?

    Paul: I have used the Denali bus system last summer, carrying a full 5x7 and 35mm system and overnight gear, and was quite surprised at how easy it was to work in the park, after hearing opinions such as yours or Joe Englender's. Denali is a wilderness park, and as such photographers wishing to work in it should be able to somewhat survive in the wilderness. We should be grateful that there is a bus system at all, which certainly won't be the case of Gates of the Artic and other wilderness parks. If you want to make the best picture of Denali, fine, but it's not the job of the NPS to help you do so more than it's their job to help you reach the summit of the mountain.

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