Taking Photos on Private Land Could Be Illegal - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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Taking Photos on Private Land Could Be Illegal

This Utah hiking video could soon be illegal

(cow on foot path image)

Nate Carlisle | The Salt Lake Tribune A range cow stands along the Boren Mesa Trail in the La Sal Mountains near Moab on Oct. 1, 2011.


Video

Published on Feb 23, 2012 07:48AM 0 Comments


If you've done much hiking in Utah you've probably stepped in something stickier and more odorous than red dirt.

Plenty of trails cross public grazing land. In October, I hiked one such trail in the La Sal Mountains near Moab. This cow in the attached photograph stood beside a marker and made for a great fall picture. Some other range cattle made it into the embedded video.

If I take the same photo and video this summer, I could be looking at a year in jail.

HB187 would make it a Class A misdemeanor to photograph livestock, crops or orchards without the owner's consent. The bill has already been passed by a committee in the Utah Legislature. HB187 is now before the entire House.

According to an article in the Herald Journal, the bill is an attempt to thwart PETA and other animals rights groups which have attempted to document the mistreatment of animals. But the bill makes no distinction between people photographing from private or public property or the photographer's intent.

Of course, hikers are more likely to hit the trail to photograph a bighorn sheep than they are a domesticated sheep, or would prefer to video the kind of cow with antlers rather than the kind that will wind up as steaks and hamburgers. But, if HB187 becomes law in Utah, hikers better hope nothing with a brand or ear tag sneaks into that nature photo.

What do you think? Is HB187 good law? Does it just need tweaked? Am I the only one who has ever bothered to photograph a cow on a hiking trail?

Update: A reader correctly pointed out the bill says the photographer must be on the farmer or rancher's property for taking pictures to be illegal. But that doesn't completely clarify the matter. I am no attorney but have read some statutes and the statute defining "property" is vague when you consider many ranchers buy permits to graze on public land. For that matter, there are some public trails with easements onto private property.

Update on the update: Here's what a real attorney says about the bill.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogshiking...sp#.T0ZT63yiBsg

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 09:19 PM
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Re: Taking Photos on Private Land Could Be Illegal

That will never stand up to the constitutional test.




When you are up to your butt in alligators, it is hard to remember your intent was to drain the swamp. Stay focused!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 09:32 PM
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Re: Taking Photos on Private Land Could Be Illegal

so basicaly there saying it would be illegal to go on private property and take pics ?

Your never to old to learn something stupid
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 09:34 PM
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Re: Taking Photos on Private Land Could Be Illegal

Still would be nice to see PETA using their money & resources to fight it.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 09:48 PM
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Re: Taking Photos on Private Land Could Be Illegal

not sure i disagree with the concept of that bill. i dont think anyone would be to keen on someone coming into their backyard and taking pics of the place ........same could be said of a ranch/farm operation.

Your never to old to learn something stupid
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 12:12 AM
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Re: Taking Photos on Private Land Could Be Illegal

Quote:
That will never stand up to the constitutional test.
It is now illegal to take pictures of police on duty in some places. Waugh!

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 12:47 AM
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Re: Taking Photos on Private Land Could Be Illegal

The article states trails cross public pasture land. public being the operative word.

Public land is just that. If a farmer is leasing public land that the everyday citizen has the right of access - I would think restricting non-invasive activity would stand muster.

Like John said. This will not make it past the courts. The intention is good - the outcome isn't.

Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss? Separate the issues.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 12:56 AM
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Re: Taking Photos on Private Land Could Be Illegal

Quote:
Originally Posted by buzz
not sure i disagree with the concept of that bill. i dont think anyone would be to keen on someone coming into their backyard and taking pics of the place ........same could be said of a ranch/farm operation.
It says public land right in the article. This is stupid and it will not hold up. Once again, it is right-winger idiot fanatics trying to take away basic liberties. Course, they are doing it to hurt left-wing idiot fanatics. Problem is, it will hurt EVERYONE!

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 01:17 AM
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Re: Taking Photos on Private Land Could Be Illegal

<span style="font-weight: bold">Update: A reader correctly pointed out the bill says the photographer must be on the farmer or rancher's property for taking pictures to be illegal.</span>


i was thinken about private land, but you make a good point about left/right. i dont think we need to keep complicating and adding stupid laws, just sayen i get the point of not wanting people trespassing on private property and taking pics.....obviously what they are taking pics of makes all the differance

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-25-2012, 08:09 PM
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Re: Taking Photos on Private Land Could Be Illegal

Agree.
The one link in the article suggests it can be applied to livestock on public grazed areas the way it is written. When you go to the west, usually any state or federal land gets grazed a good bit by private ranchers.
I don't want somebody coming to my house and taking pictures. I'm sure you don't either. It is called trespassing, and we can have them charged.
This country is caught between the radical left and right. The fact is, most of us are in the middle and just want to go about our business as good citizens and not tell everybody else how to live!

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