Forest Service clamps down on ski photography in wake of snowboarding death

As if the underfunded U.S. Forest Service didn’t have enough to worry about regulating mining, oil and gas production, logging, cattle grazing and ski-area development on national forest land, now it’s in the photography business too.

The Forest Service’s Aspen-Sopris Ranger District recently tightened up its rules for commercial photo shoots within ski-area boundaries on Forest Service land, reacting in part to the death of an Aspen man who was snowboarding for a film company in steep terrain just outside Aspen.

The Forest Service has always required permits for film crews working outside of ski-area boundaries on public lands, according to the Aspen Times, but now it will require permits for commercial shoots within ski-area boundaries as well.

Ski company officials regularly used to allow film companies shooting commercials or ski films to work within ski-area boundaries without a permit if they agreed to promote the resorts. Now those shoots must be permitted, and ski companies have to notify the Forest Service.

is an award-winning reporter who has covered energy, environmental and political issues for years. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post. He's founder of Real Vail and Real Aspen.

Comments are closed.