Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas introduced to Congress, on Jan. 2, H.R. 5893 – also known as the “Ansel Adams Act” – hoping it would serve “To restore the First Amendment Rights of Photographers.” Unfortunately, Stockman’s last day in office was Jan. 3, 2015, and bills cannot be carried over from one Congress to another. In order to keep this bill on the table it must be resubmitted by a new member of Congress, or it is effectively dead.
POMA members can help by contacting their Congressional representatives and asking them to reintroduce H.R. 5893, which will effectively make it a new bill.
Passed in 2000, the current law often was applied inequitably and beyond the original intent of the legislation. The law was meant to address challenges presented by large Hollywood production companies that wished to film movies on public lands. The law set forth guidelines and usage fees for those massive movie productions, which often interrupted the publics’ access to and enjoyment of Federal public lands and/or caused damage to the land/facilities.
However, the law was grossly misconstrued and used to restrict or outright deny individual journalists or small film crews access to public lands, even individuals and crews that would not cause an interruption of the public’s use of the land and resources or cause damage.
Please contact your representatives today and ask them to help pass this important piece of legislation.