Tuesday, September 26, 2023


RV “vloggers” fined, threatened with arrest for taking video in National Park

From RV Miles
Popular YouTubers and travel bloggers Kara and Nate (karaandnate.com) had a rough surprise when they were contacted recently by the National Park Service about filming in parks without a permit, and have made the decision to stop traveling to national parks altogether.

According to a video the couple posted on YouTube, threats of arrest warrants were made unless the couple responded to allegations that they filmed content on national park property. They promptly responded, and ultimately were issued a $1,000 fine and a ban from filming in parks in the future.

Kara and Nate’s videos in parks are no different than those made by most YouTubers (including some by us here at RV Travel), many of whom fly under the radar due to the fact that there’s little way for the NPS to know whether people are making money off the work. But Kara and Nate have been publishing quarterly income reports for years in order to help people realize their full-time travel dreams. Someone at the NPS caught wind of those reports and contacted the couple about their lack of commercial filming permits.

The National Park Service requires that anyone filming within parks “for a market audience with the intent of generating income” obtain a permit to film. Even if it’s just you walking behind Aunt Edna with your iPhone on a trail – if the intent is to make money, the NPS wants you to have a permit.

But what does “making money” mean? It’s not clear. If you are a vlogger (video blogger) who makes $4 off a video of your national park visit through YouTube monetization, are you “making money”? Clearly your expenses outweigh the income. But neither the law (16 U.S.C.460l-6d) nor the National Park Service’s policy deal with what “making money” or “market audience” mean. We’ve made $9.65 off of one of our latest podcast episode videos, which has some shots of our recent visit to Yellowstone. Will we receive a call?

Several individual parks have the following language on their websites: “Permits are required for any project that generates an electronic media, film, still photography or video production for television, the motion picture industry, public interest or private multi-media which consists of production crews and vehicles, broadcast equipment, props/sets, talent/actors, construction, trailers, housing, animals, or aircraft.” The second half would lead me to believe that someone with a camera and a tripod might not fall under a “commercial permit,” but there’s no consistency in language across the park service, and this language is not written into the actual law. Kara and Nate fall squarely in the “making money” category, but nobody knows where the line is.

The permit process requires a non-refundable application fee that ranges from $25 for students to $1,000 for feature films, with most content creators on the hook for $75-$300 that they won’t get back even if they’re denied. The permit is then free for smaller projects, as long as it’s 1-2 people and a tripod, doesn’t require supervision, and the filming process is short of 4 hours. That last part’s not going to work for most people filming their family vacation and slapping it up on YouTube. Beyond 4 hours, most YouTubers would be paying a $150/day shoot fee. The permit process also requires a 14-day advance submission, and for you to submit storyboards, scripts, maps, a schedule, etc. It’s clearly aimed at TV shows and films.

The National Park Service may want to consider this an opportunity. It’s time to re-examine what “commercial” filming means, and make clear guidelines on this issue, so that people know what to expect and can follow the law and regulations appropriately. Policies seem to reflect a time when you had professional filmmakers and you had visitors. The lines have certainly blurred over the last 20 years. I’ve reached out for comment.

See the video from Kara and Nate below. Jump to the 7:00 mark for the discussion of the incident.


Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodburyhttps://rvtravel.com
I'm the founder and publisher of RVtravel.com. I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


  1. So they were actually busted for using a drone to film (which is not allowed in NPs?).
    Couldn’t take the time to get a permit? Guess the rules are for the little people.

    So now they aren’t going to visit NPs because they can’t monetize their stay there? Too funny.

    Having a hard time feeling sorry for these two. Noticed that their YouTube rant was highly unpopular, for a reason, obviously.

    • Guess I missed it, but the ruling didn’t seem to include commercial filming? The plaintiff was making a non-commercial film.

  2. What I do not get is, when called on the carpet for breaking either policies, rules and even laws that do not suit personal agenda, more time is spent whining about it then actually doing something about it. BLM and NP has been around for a long time. In fact more time than most who are alive now. Operating under the notion that its easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission is absurd.

    Any activity that derives for profit is considered a business activity. If you disagree with the current policy, rule or law, pay the fine and start a petition to make change for the future.

    Whining about how you feel gets absolutely nothing done. It’s not what you say but rather what you do that gets {bleeped} done!

    • Charles,

      I don’t see them as whining, but rather informative to their viewers to what happened and what to ovoid. This particular incident was because of a drone flight that is against the rules in national parks and some other public held lands. One could say that they should have none better as you allude to “Operating under the notion that its easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission is absurd.” If everyone should know everything about anything then there is no need to warn us about plastic bags on our heads.

      What I do find concerning is the fact that their financial information was accessed with out warrant or writ and that is now perfectly ok, but this is now the world we live in it appears.

  3. What is so sad about this, is most YouTubers create content that inspires one to visit such NP’s. This action will only hinder its marketing to future potential visitors and in turn their own income potential in a negative way.

    • wait…all tv shows that deal with travel etc create content to help entice folks to visit. They pay their fees and dues to create that content. No difference that I can see.

  4. It’s been just pointed out to me at a writer’s site that the couple actually was picked out because they were taking video WITH A DRONE. If this is true, flying any drone in a national park by anyone is illegal.

    • Having a drone buzzing around could get out of control very quickly. Because if one can do it, a thousand can. Sort of like the helicopters in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Hiking to a nice waterfall loses it’s appeal when one cannot hear the water for the choppers overhead. Yes, I am aware that drones are fairly quiet, but they bring their own issues for the safety of the public and for animals that will be eventually be pursued by them. Sorry about their problem, but I see drones in national parks as being a definite no.

  5. I just don’t get this??? What am I doing that is in question? Making money seems to be against the national law considering this information. NPS needs to revise this policy.
    This is just another example or bureaucratic nonsense.

    • You’re right the bureaucratic nonsense is ridiculous I have filmed in so many national parks I have taken so many pictures and posted them and sent them to people all over this country for the national parks to go after these individuals for making a film is absolutely ridiculous. The national Park service needs to be charged with treason because that is not the American way this has got to stop they have made so many rules and regulations when it comes to our national parks that it’s almost impossible to go there and have a good time those parks are paid for by taxpayer dollars those Park rangers are paid for by taxpayer dollars they’re double dipping and it’s not right that is treason

      • You can take photos and video. You can post them on your social media page you can share them with friends and family. What you can not do in a National Park is fly a drone. They were fined for flying the drone and any activity related to flying the drone. The fact that they were taking video using a drone seems to be getting shoved to the background to make them seem like victims. When they clearly violated park policy. It doesn’t take much research to find out that you can’t fly a drone in a NP. Many have signs posted

      • Oh God, stop using “treason” for a reason for everything. Treason is defined as “the crime of betraying one’s country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government”. Now stop making silly comments bellowing “TREASON!”.

  6. During my 41 year career as a professional travel photographer/writer, I’ve carried out shoots in roughly 50 national parks and my park photos have been marketed by major photo agencies (Corbis, Getty and Alamy) and have illustrated dozens of articles and guidebooks. I have yet to obtain a permit or pay a fee to the NPS. That is as it should be. I might make money on my words and photos — but those words and photos have probably attracted a lot of people to visit the parks. Permits and fees obviously have a place for large TV or video productions that require park staff assistance or that interfere with regular visitors. Beyond that, the government should THANK all of us hard working journalists who help them promote the world’s largest and finest system of national parks.

  7. The irony is the posts on facebook, etc. is “FREE” publicity for the NPS. People are the best communicators of our parks offerings. Talk about “tripping over your “big” politically correct NPS feet!

  8. The people who run the parks are generally very helpful. I started RVing in 1989. I purchased a metal detector and would go around a lake or desert areas looking for lost items. A camp host informed me I needed a permit from the park’s headquarters to do this. So I went there and got a permit. With it came a list of thing I could keep and things to be turned into the parks lost and found department. Turn-in items: vehicle and boat keys, wallets, dentures, expensive jewelry. Lost and Found dep.(may) have a list of lost items and they would try to return them. If not they were yours to keep. Just ask!

  9. What gets me more is how the publisher/editor tries to headline it with words like threatened…etc. come’on man I’ll bet it was a standard communication. Also, as the article indicates, many other vloggers do the same thing. well…you know the saying…

    I feel this article has more to do with getting readership/ad revenue than anything else.
    I’m not deriding anyone or being abusive…so we’ll see if not being a sheeple gets me kicked out…

    • Right! Typical of ANY news outlet to sensationalize and prey on the sheep getting them worked up… I immediately thought the same thing.

  10. If an individual has an issue with a federal bureaucracy call your congressperson and senator.
    That is one of the reasons they are there for to help their constituents deal with the bureaucrats buracrap.

  11. How would you like to pay a royalty to the park every time someone views your film? You make money and they make money. That would certainly be fair. Yes, let’s make I t all perfectly fair….. Pay the fine, shut up, and be happy that you made money off the park system and go on with life.

    • Amen. People are here complaining and stating they’ve been doing their whole lives. Just because you do it your whole life and don’t get caught doesn’t make it right… his freaking hard is it to get a permit.

  12. Easy work around…don’t post those videos on a site where you get paid. Then you still have the content but have complied with the laws. If you want to get paid, then pony up for the fee. If you are making this a “business” operation then you must abide by the laws of business.

  13. The National Parks should be paying YOU for the promo. How sad, Zion, Bryce, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon are so amazing. Petty people. Enjoy your travel, I hope to do the ” senior” version of your travels in two years, ” retirement on the road” Safe travels! Lynda B, MI

    • The National Parks don’t need a (promo). At present they are underfunded and over ran with too many people. The parks are getting trashed and the Park Service doesn’t have enough money to sufficiently staff enough employees . So no, the Park Service doesn’t need any free publicity. I worked in Zion for 15 years and have personally witnessed the devastation caused by too many visitors.

    • Exactly what Gordon said. Lunda is another sheep who falls in line with the connotation and the way the writer of this article skewed the article. It’s not hard to get a permit and there’s MANY reasons why people should instead of ‘doing it their whole lives’ without getting caught…

  14. The same argument could be made that they were actually advertising or marketing for the national Park to encourage more people to visit the national Park in which I believe they should receive money for doing such from the national Park think of it as a tourism marketing

  15. Seriously, give me a break! McConnell and Nancy P profit off of insider trading. BUT Kate and Nate touring the National Parks and sharing their stories and making some bucks are cheating? Get real!!!

    • They can make all the money they want IF they get a permit first. It is the same for all NPS properties, Even the memorials on the National Mall. No commercial photos inside the structure without a permit. The NPS is underfunded as it is. Fees from commercial users help lower fees for public users. They ought to double the fee for commercial users and cut the fees for the public.

  16. 1) I don’t follow this couple, but there are people who simply cannot visit these parks in person, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, that likely derive considerable vicarious pleasure from armchair travel. Does the NPS really want to deprive them of this? Or make it so costly ($150/day) for content producers that they reduce their creativity?

    2) The national parks are not exactly cheap to visit for US citizens who actually own them. They are the property of US Citizens after all, and should be usable by US Citizens at reasonable rates. Including travel type video blogging provided there is no disruption of park usage by so doing and that no degradation or pollution of the parks is caused by the filming. One could even argue that allowing virtual travel blogs might reduce the harmful impact of humans on the parks, although the opposite may also occur due to publicity.

  17. Simple, play by the rules. Just cause you don’t feel it’s right, doesn’t mean you are right.
    You are acting like spoiled rotten kids. You are not acting like adults. I’d love to see the whole ME generation get real jobs and be productive members of society. Just my opinion…. By the way Zion, Arches, and Grand Canyon are AWESOME….. Just finished a week seeing all the sites.

  18. Sorry…can’t feel sorry for these kids. These are the rules like it or not. They make money, this is their job. Suck it up to learning experience and move on.

    • I would believe this rule is made for Hollywood, not the earning vacationer.

      Did you tax the kids selling Lemonade in your neighborhood???

    • don’t be stupid…..they have every right to film in any park which by the way are the People’s Parks….not the government!

      • Sure. Filming their trip is fine. But they are actively using that filmed trip to profit. As a business. They need to obey the rules and buy the permit. Irs not a hard concept to grasp for honest people.

      • Without the guarding of our precious parks by the gov’t, the sheeple would’ve ruined them LONG ago. You’re stupid and ignorant if you believe people will self govern themselves and not destroy it all without the strict guidelines in place to protect the parks.

  19. If you think that is bad. Try this. BLM requires vendors of any services to obtain a permit to conduct business for profit on BLM land. Here are the requirements to getting a vendor permit.

    1. You must provide BLM with a copy of proof of property damage, personal injury and comprehensive public liability insurance. Which lists BLM as an “Additional Insured” party.
    2. The property damage coverage must be $600,000 minimum.
    3. A local County and State business license is to be filed with the permit application.
    4. You must report all earnings to BLM at the expiration of the permit. And pay BLM a portions of all earnings.
    5. You must have an off BLM land Sticks and Bricks Address. No PO or PMB box addresses!

    Here is the real kicker!

    You CANNOT stay on or use BLM land for personal use! This means you CANNOT stay as a BLM Long Term VisiterArea if your are issued a BLM Vendor Permit.

  20. Pay for the permit, let them know what your plans are. The rules are there for a reason and the money goes towards preservation of our national parks, allowing them to be enjoyed for generation. Don’t be ignorant.
    I’m a fishermen and a hunter. I make sure I know and follow all the regulations and rules of everywhere I fish and hunt so I and others can keep fishing and hunting.
    Not following the rules leads people to believe that cutting down Joshua trees in Joshua tree national Park is okay.

    • Agreed. Then to encourage an attitude of spite toward the park threatens parks which already are under siege for adequate funding. Without parks and government regulating them people unfortunately would not “do the same thing”
      There are many solid stats out there about the small fraction of natural beauty had not protected parks formed.

  21. In reading through the comments, it’s apparent that many responses are made without reading the rules, which I’ve excerpted here:

    When is a permit needed?All commercial filming activities taking place within a unit of the National Park System require a permit. “Commercial filming” means the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income.

    If you watch the video of these two, that exactly describes their filming and income-producing activity in their own words. Instead of whining about the established park rules and fees, they should do something needed and constructive to earn income from HELPING the National Parks instead income from USING the NPs. Suggested activity for them would be paying jobs like clean up the trash or clean the restrooms.

    • I would believe this rule is made for Hollywood, not the earning vacationer.

      Did you tax the kids selling Lemonade in your neighborhood?

      • There is a major difference between the casual vacationer taking videos for personal use to remember their vacation. Verse a full time RVing couple with a active YouTube channel, earning income from said YouTube channel.

        The problem is, to do it according to the established published park rules. A permit would be required for every park visited… to publish to a monetized YouTube channel. If they are making the income the Park Services claims. It shouldn’t be an issue.

        I’m sorry to hear of their issue. They should appeal the life time permit ban. Pay the penalty and abide by the policy in the future.

        • I’ll bet you DID charge the kids in your neighborhood for selling koolaid.

          THE major difference in this discussion is HOLLYWOOD vs the casual entrepeneur (sp?)


          Take your rules………….

          • Casual entrepreneur is still a business. Commercial enterprises are subject to different rules than mom and pop on a vacation filming the kids at landmarks.

          • Well, lets see them go through all the rver’s you tubes and do the same because I know many full time rvers that make videos and make money. Sounds like somebody was jealous of these kids and made a point of turning them in.

          • Absolutely. All of the parks and forests were much more pleasant 40 years ago, before they became infested by overuse. `Influencers’ and their easily lead horde are hardly doing nature any favors.

  22. I’m relieved that public resources are being protected from commercial uses that affect us all. It’s well known that many beauty spots are fragile, and being inundated by hordes of new `influenced’ visitors with FearOf MissingOut, who trample California Poppy fields, etc., damaging them, and commit other atrocities (which has been featured here in RV Travel as well), such as trash everywhere, isn’t in the public interest. If national and state parks were underused, and camping was a new and undiscovered hobby, one could appreciate an effort to introduce it. But it’s not. RV Travel discusses in each issue the problem of overcrowded RV parks and federal and state camping resources.

  23. Obviously, the NP filming permits are intended for large commercial enterprises. The goal, it would seem, is to not have invasive film productions that are detrimental to the environment and inconveniencing park visitors. The NPS never anticipated VLOGers whose filming techniques are no different than any other park visitor. Should there be a distinction for professional VLOGers? Technically, they are making an income based on their videos, albeit a small income. I say VLOGers should be allowed to film without a permit. Many people watch the videos and are encouraged to visit the parks.

    • Yup, and without people visiting the parks they don’t make any money. No money means we don’t need the parks and they should all be drilled for oil or have mines.

      • Right. Because nature, and wildlife habitat has no value, if it isn’t exploitable? Museums aren’t profitable per se. They safeguard national and historical treasures. We have a responsibility to preserve the natural world for future generations, both of mankind and wildlife.

    • Nah…. These fines likely go to Oil and Uranium Mining Companies so their CEO don’t have to pay Capital Gains on his performance bonus. (To be fair, free tuition and healthcare will BENEFIT Americans, not just the rich).

  24. Perhaps the NPS rules need some updating. That said, it seems this young couple has established a business that generates enough income to support them. They’re in business. Operating a business requires following rules and obeying laws that might not otherwise apply to someone. If you want to make money from your videos or photos, it’s your responsibility to find out what you need to do in order to do so lawfully. Whose land it is, what their intent was or who might have been inadvertently filmed in the process are beside the point. Whether a law is outdated or not, it’s still the law. You violate the law, you pay the price.

    Seems to me the best thing this young couple could do is a Mea Culpa. “Wow! We didn’t realize our venture was in violation. We don’t agree with it, but it is what it is. Maybe we should all work to update some rules, since so many people are vlogging for a profit these days.”

  25. I’m a Canadian who (before Covid) spent many months over the decades stateside that included being in National Parks. I got the impression it was common knowledge that filming for financial reasons was not allowed (without a permit). Taking a memento type video is always allowed! Think of it this way. Your tax dollars support the parks – it is public money. So having a permit – which includes by default the purpose for filming being reviewed, makes sense. It protects all the people using the parks for personal enjoyment from those who will potentially exploit the parks for personal gain.

  26. They did break the rules, they were caught and fined. They have an opportunity to take the citation to court. Mitigating circumstances can be explained and a reasonable decision can be made.

  27. I’m sorry, but I have little sympathy for them. It’s widely known that you have to have a filming permit, and this even applies in some State and County parks. You making my money? Get the permit, otherwise film outside the park in similar terrain. No one will know. You break the rules, you face the consequences, it’s that simple.

  28. My take as someone who just visits is that it’s not wrong for NPS to go after these people.

    If everyone just sets up at a viewpoint to film for their professional “influencer” what about us normal people trying to visit?

    These Influencers show a very edited lifestyle, so how do you think they would feel to have me and my unwashed hair and pajamas in the background?

    They are using the space for commercial purposes and space is not an unlimited resource. If NPS charges me to go backpacking or entrance fees, that is proprtional to my use of the space. They should do the same to influencers.

  29. I admire what this young couple is doing, but…we were fulltimers for 10 years and saw all kinds of people of all ages enjoying the fulltime lifestyle. Some were burdens on society, for example, no health insurance, so off the ER they go. I think they are wrong. They should comply with the NPS regulations. They are going to forego visits to Yellowstone and other NP’s because of this. Personally, I think they are whiners. I dont know enough about them to say they feel entitled to do as they please. There is a very simple solution…get the permits or dont make the videos while inside the park. They could video the entrances and then just do a write-up of their experience. I have no sympathy for them.

    Oh, I must add that whoever reported them are scum. Mind your own business, unless you see destruction or defacing of the NPS property.

    • Does everyone with an iPhone need a permit? What if I take a picture and post it on my media channel and derive .005 cents from ad revenue (yes half a penny), do I need a permit? What about satellite images/video, do they need permits? What if I wear spy glasses or google glasses that don’t get in the way of anyone and I show my friend who pays me $1 for a cool image, permit then? Seems ridiculous to require permits for these scenarios.

      The intent of the permit rule seems to be for major tv or movie companies. NPS will have to figure out a better solution, the future is more filming and data collection.

  30. A commercial misappropriation is just that; The use of a name or likeness without permission for commercial purposes. National Parks are trademarked entities and given that the vloggers generated a full-time income, it should come as no surprise that their videos caught the attention of the NPS. We also don’t know all the facts, but this seems like a civil case and not a criminal one, so I’m not inclined to believe that there were actual threats of jail time.

    • The National Parks are owned by all citizens of the United States. They’re not private property. Perhaps trademarking the names is useful to prevent fraud, but should not prevent the use of the names in an appropriate venue…including what the bloggers were doing. The basic reason to require a permit seems obvious to me from the statement quoted from some of the National Park websites, which I think is: to cover costs of supervision by N.P. personnel who are likely being assigned to commercial filming projects so that there isn’t too much interference with the publics enjoyment of the park and to make sure that the commercial film crew is not damaging the National Park.

      From a common sense standpoint, these bloggers were neither committing a crime nor were they misusing someone else’s property. I don’t think they were doing anything wrong at all!

    • Does everyone with an iPhone need a permit? What if I take a picture and post it on my media channel and derive .005 cents from ad revenue (yes half a penny), do I need a permit?

      The intent of the permit rule seems to be for major tv or movie companies that clog up space and rope off areas and have major productions. NPS will have to figure out a better solution, not just threatening everyone who takes a video. the future is more filming and data collection and possibly in ways we don’t yet know.

  31. You admit you are a commercial channel and that you make money off of your YouTube videos. It’s a business and businesses have costs. You didn’t follow the rules and you got caught. Now you have to suffer the consequences. Grow up, pay up, play fair, and obey the law next time. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Sorry, but it’s just a little hard to sympathize with you.

    • Does everyone with an iPhone need a permit? What if I take a picture and post it on my media channel and derive .005 cents from ad revenue (yes half a penny), do I need a permit?

      The intent of the permit rule seems to be for major tv or movie companies that clog up space and rope off areas and have major productions. NPS will have to figure out a better solution, not just threatening everyone who takes a video. the future is more filming and data collection and possibly in ways we don’t yet know.

  32. In 2014 under law 36 CFR 1.5 the National Park Service made it illegal to fly drones inside all parks. Their reasoning is that they are disturbing to people and wildlife. We visited 8 national Parks and several State Parks this past summer and all had signs at the entrance and also printed in the pamphlets that were handed out at the entrance kiosk. These people should have know better or just did not think it applied to them. I hope that RV travel intent is to educate people on this and not defend however based on some responses I am not sure. This brings a new lite to Michelob Ultra seeking a “Chief Exploration Officer” to get paid $50,000 to explore U.S. National Parks while drinking beer and publishing photos of their experience.

    While at Arches National Park this past summer we were subjected to a drone flying just above our head while taking a quiet hike in a beautiful place, at first we thought it was a swam of bees, I have to admit that it was annoying.

    • Drones are illegal in Nat’l Parks and should be. Yellowstone has had them end up in thermal features. This couple is NOT using drones… more a go-Pro type camera. Can’t speak if Michelob will be using drones.

      • At approximately the12 minute point of the video they explain that they were also contacted by the FAA for using a drone for a commercial business without a license.

  33. I am a full time RVer and a DOI employee. I’ve worked for the National Park Service as a Special Permit officer. My experience with permitting gives me a unique perspective on this subject and thought to share it. It’s really no big thing to get a permit. But it is the law. Permits are required for events and filming. Why? Because the permits give a party the right to exclude the general public from the space being used for a finite period of time. These permits are monitored so that We the People will not be squeezed out of public space, for too long and too frequently, for private or commercial purposes.

    • This totally makes sense to me. Once when I took my dogs to a little used national ACE wilderness area for our regular hike, it was inundated with a riding group’s members on a poker ride. This is a commercial enterprise for which the entrants pay a fee, for the chance to win a prize. Because I did not want to chance that my legally off leash dogs would upset any riders, we abandoned our hike. I am quite sure that they didn’t obtain a permit. If they had obtained a permit, and the area had posted this on their website, other users could have made other plans for that day. Although I arrived at 7am, by the time we travelled anywhere else, it would have been too hot to hike. And they left garbage!!!!!!

  34. This is over the top. I can see permits being required for commercial movie productions: there would be a potential for an environmental impact, disruption of services, etc. but these two? Hardly an issue. Who do these parks belong to anyway? The people! I would say that these two are doing a public service by filming and posting on-line. Free advertising for the NPS.

  35. Originally it was stated that they used a drone. No national park that I know of allows drones. In most parks it is strictly prohibited as this can be an invasion of privacy. This opens the park up to a liability because of your actions. Plus many amateurs have crashed drones into parks features. One guy crashed his into a geyser at Yellowstone.

  36. When I go try to capture whatever serenity and grandeur remains of our National Parks, and I most certainly don’t want my enjoyment or tax dollars in National -or State- Parks to be compromised having to deal with by a bunch of self-promoting freeloading businesses like you-tuber narcissists flaunting the rules that were put there for a reason. It doesn’t matter whether the business is a v-log, canoe rental or a hot dog stand; follow the rules or move on to someplace else.

  37. This isn’t right. Income generated through ad revenue is not considered commercial use by the NPS. So either this couple is profiting by some other means in addition to YouTube or the NPS has overstepped their bounds.

  38. This would be funny in, say Yosemite NP where commercial busses roll in there each day with foreign tourists. One certain culture, with their desire to carry selfie sticks everywhere and film at each stop the bus makes, and NPS escorting them, “no no no”. So a bus load of tourist, times 40 selfie sticks times twenty buses would be a tough one for NPS. The government run amok. If I recall, there are similar policies like this when filming around Tiananman Square.

  39. Solution? Post it free with a different name if necessary until someone can figure a proper way to issue permits. Like right now because tomorrow im gone. Days or weeks doesn’t work.
    Hi, I’m from the Government. I’m here to help.
    We’ve all seen that song and dance.

  40. I don’t know who they are but they should have to follow rules like everyone else. I would love to fly my Mavic Pro 2 in a park but don’t because it isn’t allowed. They are not entitled to anything like none of us are. Now that doesn’t mean I agree with the type but doesn’t change the fact

  41. I believe the initial intent of the law was for major TV and movie producers, probably needs to be updated things have changed. This does not appear to be in the spirit of the law.

  42. I’ve been a professional photographer for over 40 years. I have bought many a permit in order to shoot wherever needed. If these two darlings want to be a professional and respected part of the economic food chain, I suggest they play by the rules. There should be no exceptions, especially when their vlogs have helped contribute to overcrowding, over-usage, and the disparate need for more funding in our National Parks.

  43. It’s time we challenge the National Park Service’s permit requirements! Today use of YouTube content is both a public service to those that are unable to travel to them and those who pls to travel to such destinations. I’m for starting legal fund to challenge and redefine the NP rules that some NP administrators have created. I have a $100, who is which me on it? Who want to be the case to challenge them with.

  44. I have no sympathy for commercial RVers. My sense on these types is “We’ve chosen this irresponsible lifestyle. Now help us pay for it.” They are in this to make money, they are no different any other media content producer. Pay your fee, get a permit, post it on your channel and then beg you Patreons for money.

    Or you could get a job.

    • How can you call this an irresponsible lifestyle? A big part of their VLOGs are educational and of interest to other RV’rs, otherwise, who watches them? I know that I personally have gotten ideas for travel destinations by providers of YouTube content that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. BTW, my wife and I are both retired, full timers, and are on a journey to enjoy the natural resources and beauty of this country.

      I say good for them for providing their content as a service and entertainment for those of us who enjoy it. I also agree that had their been a consistent and well publicized policy of permitting across the NPS, they would likely have complied and all this would have been moot.

      • The fact that their products are educational and of interest is irrelevant to the fact that they are operating an income-generating business. They need to get a permit the same way as every other business that wants to operate in a park.

      • It took me less than 10 seconds to find the regulations concerning photography in national parks with a simple google search. This includes the permit requirements for commercial photography. The fact that these folks published the fact that they made money with their vlogs makes them commercial, and therefore in need of a permit. I am also a retired full timer and enjoy watching some of the RVer’s who make videos. but that doesn’t grant them any special privileges to ignore the rules that apply to everyone else.

    • In other words these people are doing something that you’d love to do but either can’t or are too afraid to try. Because from where I’m sitting it looks like they’ve got a job…

  45. If you are making a profitable living as a YouTuber, then you are running a small business, and as such are responsible for putting in the effort of making sure your business follows any required rules. I have small business myself, and the first thing I had to do was familiarize myself with all the state, county, and local ordinances, requirements, taxes, etc. required to operate. As a Nomad, I have to incorporate any additional requirements that entails.

    • I’ve actually looked into this. The NPS only considers it commercial use if you profit directly. Profit from ad revenue is not considered commercial use. So there is either more to the story or someone who works for the federal government is clueless. Which isn’t exactly hard to believe…

    • It is a national park so there should be national permitting policies, not a pile of state requirements made up by little tyrant administrators. Typical bureaucrats trying to stifle their own existence, this is an historic sight to celebrate the land of th free. Not so much anymore.

  46. There are plenty of signs that say no filming and no drones as you enter and all around the parks. They knew the rule’s and chose not to follow them. Now they are trying to get sympathy points and free advertising.

    • agree. if you are making money ( and they definitely are) off video shot in any N.P., they should get a permit. does not matter that its you tube, tv, or movie.

      they know the rules, they chose to ignore, and now they are miffed when caught. too bad.

    • Had they used this experience as an educational experience on their vlog that would be one thing – but to come out and cry about it, like so many today, put me over the edge.

  47. Laws should be fairly enforced, but laws should not be ignored. Maybe the law does need to be changed, but they should not have simply ignored it. I am sure these vloggers will get more recognition and this video will get more money as they create outrage. I will NOT benefit them by watching the video.

  48. If you look at their income & expense reports, they certainly have enough money left in the budget to pay the permit fees. Maybe they didn’t know, but the responsible thing to do would be to start paying the permits.

    The parks are owned by the “we”, not “me.” If you’re using a bunch of footage and content from the Parks, it does make sense that you would pay the permit both as an impact fee, as well as a rightful credit to the People that own it. No guide service or tour group is allowed to just waltz into the park with nothing more than the entrance fee – they have to pay permits to make money off the Parks, as well. It should be no different for these online experiences.

    The Parks are also underfunded. If you love the Parks, fund them! Especially if you’re making money off of them…

  49. Good to hear. Anything to reduce invasive species and maintain the peace and serenity in all parks is in the best long term interests of the parks, their inhabitants and the responsible people who visit them. Too bad for these two that they seem to have no other skill sets. Another fine example of poor parenting meets miseducation. Rather than fine them, send them to clean up the trash in other national spaces.

    • Love this invasive species comment! We were camping in a northern state park campground, hoping to hear the calls of the loons at our lakeside site near sunset. Nearby campers launched a drone, whose loud whine drowned out All the natural sounds! Incessantly buzzing/whirring right above us for the whole evening, we felt our privacy invaded, and never heard the loons! Additionally, we felt sorry for all the critters whose feeding times were disrupted.

  50. If profiting, intending to profit, from video created in OUR National Parks, why are you unwilling to follow the rules and regulations? Are you special? And why does rvtravel defend you?

    • My thoughts exactly! Laws, rules, like them or not, are Laws and Rules. You obviously know how to read by way of your blog so pay the fees. Your wrong, you know it, so stop with the they’re picking on me routine. And why is rvtravel siding with you?

  51. It’s a non issue. With the new incoming administration, gas will be too expensive to go anywhere. Wondering if I should sell off my motorhome before it’s worthless.

  52. I quit going to national parks when I got a DUI for drinking 1 beer around 1 HR and 15 mins prior to driving to the bathroom about 300 yards away in the park. Yep. Only 1 beer. They sit back and seen me drink that one beer and then got me out of the water swimming after I got back from the bathroom 45 mins later and tested me and it showed I had alcohol on my breath. Not for BAC either. Just shows alcohol on breath. They said their policy was 0% tolerance of any alcohol. They gave me a Federal DUI charge and I lost my class A CDL licenses. If you wash out your mouth with mouthwash you could get a DUI in a national park

    • Did you not read the rules about alcohol in the park? As far as the park knows if you drink one beer, you’ll probably drink another, as a CDL holder you also know the rules there, so you have only yourself to blame.

    • you should have realized that zero means a zero. one too many drafts, or just daft? there’s a reason why they don’t allow alcohol in certain places. look what happened to the indigenous communities, for example. humans are not known to shepherd in good caretaking measures when under the influence.

  53. So why are there rules in our society? Why do we even bother to even try and obey them? About 3 weeks ago RV Travel posted photos of the huge piles of garbage in our National Parks and signs describing the “rules”. Everyone was outraged but no one person said “this rule doesn’t make sense”. Now we have a commercial enterprise making a really good living making travel videos but the “rules” just don’t make sense and shouldn’t apply to them. I disagree. Follow the “rules” with your commercial filming. If applying for a permit doesn’t fit your freestyle of living then don’t film in a National Park. Rules are for everyone to follow.

  54. It is obvious the NPS is being heavy handed in applying rules intended for the invasive process of producing feature length films. The simple lack of definition of “making money” puts the applied rules in question. Like most of the government they have not kept up to date with modern technology due to the bureaucratic structure of the rule making process. By not allowing this type of filming the NPS is actually preventing the American public from enjoying the parks which we pay for and own. Does this mean that if my wife and I are visiting one of the National Parks and happen to film ourselves at the campsite to send to our friends and family and have a sponsor for our BLOG we need a permit? Having read the rule that is so unclearly published I could not tell.

    • This is what happens when we elect lawyers to represent us in government, the forefathers intent was for average citizens to represent us in congress. The modern cost of running a campaign has eliminated that where only the rich can afford to run for office, and we all know the more educated one gets the less common sense they have. I’m all for education, but I know our children aren’t being educated by teachers but by indoctrination. I like to compare college to military boot camp, the first 30 days of boot camp is spent deprogramming all the civilian info and the rest of boot camp is replacing that with military info. When a kid goes to college the first year is spent removing common sense so book learning can replace it, after 4 years you know a lot but you no longer know how to wisely use it, no common sense.

  55. Jim below has a good response. Not only that, we’re seeing bureaucracy at its best.

    On the drone subject, it’s a real issue. I’d love to buy a drone, but the thought of flying a drone in national parks concerns me, forget whether I earn money.

    We recently visited Yosemite, Glacier, Sequoia. They were all crowded. My question is, what time is a good time to fly my drone when many tourists are there?

    One particular situation comes to mind. We traveled thousands of miles to see the Oregon coast. In one particular spot, guy took out his drone and was buzzing it all around in front of many people. What would it be like with 10 drones?

    I love animal photos. Can I buzz my drone close to animals for a great closeup or buzz my drone around Lower Yellowstone Falls?

    Food for thought. I’m waiting to buy mine when we get clarification.

    • There are certain restrictions pertaining to drone usage around airports, government facilities, as well as state/national parks, etc. for reasons you mention, including safety and nuisance. Luckily that info is available via the specific websites, the FAA, as well as through apps you can load on your phone. My drone self-registers and will alert me if I’m near a restricted area, or of local elevation restrictions. Just in case, I use an app called B4UFLY that will tell me if I’m in an area with restrictions as well.

    • I sure don’t wish to see or hear a bunch of toy drones, helicopters, model airplanes, toy motorboats or other noisy, invasive toys when I go try to capture whatever serenity and grandeur remains of our National Parks, and I most certainly don’t want my enjoyment or tax dollars in National -or State- Parks to be compromised by a bunch of self-promoting small businesses like these you-tuber narcissists flaunting the rules that were put there for a reason. It doesn’t matter whether the business is a v-log, canoe rental or a hot dog stand; follow the D@#& rules or move on to someplace else.

  56. Perhaps the government should of educated then asked for the appropriate fees if any. Heavy handed for an honest mistake.

    • As a judge told me eons ago about a speeding ticket when I told him I didn’t see the speed limit sign, Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. So I guess if you’re going to a different area you should read the laws pertaining to that area. There are plenty of Americans locked up in foreign prisons because they thought they could do the things there that they do back home, NO YOU CANT! A major reason I don’t go to foreign countries. I have enough problems obeying US law.

  57. It is like “Atlas Shrugged”, there are rules, procedures, guidelines and laws that common folks do not know of. Printed out, would probably be as big as an old Yellow Pages directory.
    However, it is a national park, owned by the citizens of the USA, not private property.

    • While they say the National Parks are owned by ‘we, the citizens’, I don’t recall being contacted as an owner about these photography rules. Just sayin’

  58. But officer I was only going 5 miles over..

    but mom, I only took 3 dollars from your desk, this is not fair…… I needed the money…

    well ,ya know I got drunk,it wasn’t my fault actually……

    sir it’s only a small amount of pot.. …

    .I only looked at one question on her paper during the test ,everyone does it….

    Dad, I only snuck out once to go to that party…everyone was there.

    Not having respect for anything or laws you don’t agree with is why we have such disregard for authority, law enforcement ,dress codes in public, behavior on planes and etc.

    Life is just to mean…I’m special, rules doesn’t apply to me, they offended me…it’ mean spirited.

    seriously folks , if your Gona break the law or rules be smart enough to not post it online…

    How will teach your children right from wrong if you want a free pass when you do it..?. Is that old fashioned thinking now .? .. is it considered abusive parenting now?

    • Jim, I think your list is a bit over the top.

      Yeah, you should check the rules before ‘anything’ing’, but you have to have an inkling there is a rule to check on.

      I’m always amazed at some of the rules on “Public Lands” that tell the “Public” what they can and can’t do. Don’t tell me that as a member of the “Public”, I can’t even USE ‘my’ land.


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