SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (News4Utah) – The U.S. Forest Service is reminding photographers that they need to pay to do their job in certain areas of Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Many photographers say they don’t think the $125 special use permit, mandated by the Forest Service, is fair.
Albion Basin is a hugely popular area for photographers like Baylie Ranae, who runs Baylie Ranae Photography.
“I understand why they’re doing it — it makes sense. To preserve the nature and to preserve the wildflowers, because they’re getting trampled. It’s just hard,” said Ranae.
“Because clients don’t want to pay for the fees, I don’t want to pay for the fees, and it’s hard to find that balance,” she added.
News4Utah spoke with District Ranger Bekee Hotze. She showed the many areas of trampled flowers from years of people walking off the trail and taking photos.
“It’s not about the fines, it’s not about us getting money. It really is about protecting the resources for all of us to continue enjoying the way we do,” said Hotze.
“When it’s a professional photographer, they bring out the whole wardrobe, they bring out a changing tent. If it’s a bride and her family, there could be 15-18 people up here, trampling it,” added Hotze.
Last year, she says, officials tried spreading word about the $125 special use permits for photographers. But not one photographer signed up.
So, this year, they are going public again with their message.
“You could get a fine,” she said.