Did you get a great picture of a bison in front of the mountains this summer?
What about wildflowers? Do you have some landscapes or sunsets from your trips on public land?
Did you ask the Forest Service, BLM or Park Service for permission to take your photograph first? Believe it or not, Wyoming’s new data trespass laws say if you collect such “resource data” from “open land” without permission, and it could be submitted to someone who works for the government, you’re a lawbreaker.
In celebration of Free Speech Week, WyoFile is asking citizen photographers to submit their once-innocent, now-potentially illegal pictures to WyoFile. Join us in showing Wyoming some examples of photography that, despite the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Wyoming says is illegal now.
Submit your shot for inclusion in WyoFile’s Beautiful but Illegal? Wyoming Photo Gallery. There are just a few ground rules:
Photographs must have been taken of “open land” in Wyoming — “land outside the exterior boundaries of any incorporated city, town, subdivision … or development.”
Photographs must have been taken after March 5, 2015, the effective date when Gov. Mead signed Senate File 12 into law.
Photographs must depict resource data, which Wyoming law defines as “relating to land or land use, including but not limited to data regarding agriculture, minerals, geology, history, cultural artifacts, archeology, air, water, soil, conservation, habitat, vegetation or animal species.”
Photographs must have been taken on public land without trespassing on private property. WyoFile does not condone or encourage trespassing on private land.
Photographs must have been taken without first asking permission from the public agency that manages the land.
Photographs should have a short caption and the way you want your credit to appear.
If you think your picture meets these criteria but shouldn’t be illegal, here’s how to submit it:
Enjoy the Beautiful but Illegal? Wyoming Photo Gallery:
Lake Marie (courtesy Sean Ryan)
A WyoFile reader submitted this photo and caption that shows the kind of image that plaintiffs say could be made illegal by Wyoming’s data trespass laws: “Avoiding cow shit (and hopefully E. coli) while searching for native Colorado cutthroat in Bridger-Teton National Forest.” (Andrew Bennett)
“Had a great time fishing the Ham’s Fork from the walk-in access area this October.” (Daniel Carolan)
“Public bad lands.” (Nikki Donahue)
“Prehistoric stone circle (tipi ring) [on BLM land] evidencing use of public lands in earlier time.” (Lawrence Todd)
“Mid-20th Century inscriptions on rock face in the Big Horn Basin,” on BLM land. (Lawrence Todd)
“A recent trip on public lands in Wyoming.” (Andy Beach)
Taken around mid September, ‘outside’ Devils Tower National Monument area. (Glen Boulier)
“Just snapped this from Fox Creek Rd 2 weeks ago.” (Dulce Wassil)
“Public land image of some Absaroka Range Mountains.” (DL Jones)
“Cathedral Group, June 2015.” (Matt Bryan)
Medicine Bow National Forest. (Julia Robison)
Documenting late summer thunderstorms and fossil snails at Whitehorse Creek Wilderness Study Area, Northern Red Desert. (Julia Stuble)
Grizzly bear near Pahaska. (Jeannie Hunt)
“The Sands, on BLM land north of Rock Springs. August, 2015. (Frank Prevedel)
Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge. (Mike Reinhart)
Grand Teton National Park. (Mike Reinhart)
“Alpine wildflowers with Wind River Peak in the background.” (Steff Kessler, Lander)
“Alpine wildflowers and Wind River Peak.” (Steff Kessler, Lander)
Taken on public land in Wyoming. (Gypsy Cowboy Photography, Hub Whitt, owner)
Taken on public land in Wyoming. (Gypsy Cowboy Photography, Hub Whitt, owner)
“Fall cattle roundup and move near Big Trails, 25 miles south of Ten Sleep in Washakie County, late September 2015. Taken from right of way of Wyo. Hwy 434.” (Dewey Vanderhoff)
“Electric livestock fence meets swinging iron gate on forest service access road leading to cellphone and agency radio towers on Bald Ridge above Chief Joseph Scenic Highway 30 miles NW of Cody. This is a fairly new catch fence to keep publically grazed livestock from getting down into the Clarks Fork Canyon.” (Dewey Vanderhoff)
“Chugwater sandstone rims and buttes in the Hole In The Wall region of the Middle Fork of the Powder River west of Kaycee Wyo., taken from the public access road leading to the Outlaw Cave campground and Ed O. Taylor wildlife preserve in September.” (Dewey Vanderhoff)
“Snapped on descent into Jackson on September 11, 2015, 6:23 pm.” (L.S.)
“Bonnie and Bart enjoy the view at McCullough Peaks.” (Keith Collins)
“Beautiful but Illegal? Might be according to Wyoming law. Picture taken August 2015 of storms over Flaming Gorge.” (Nancy Marshall)
Labor Day in Wyoming (Ashley Collins)
“Watching the Herd.” (Dava Martin)
“Hidden Beauty in the Desert” (Dava Martin)
Grand Teton National Park, taken Sept. 2015 (Ashley Collins)
Southern extent of Medicine Bow Peak over Mirror Lake. Medicine Bow National Forest. (Jeff Phillips)
Southern extent of Medicine Bow Peak. Medicine Bow National Forest. (Jeff Phillips)
“The beauty of Tie Hack.” (Kallie Roberts)
“Just one of around 4,000 frames taken after law took affect. All on public lands and gotten to by public roads.” (Patrick Newell)
Yearling bighorn sheep. Taken on April 7, 2015 on the North Fork of the Shoshone River. (Rob Koelling)
Shell Falls, Bighorn National Forest. “Taken illegally on 08/16/2015 by Matthew Dillon.”
Canoeing at dusk, Leigh Lake, Grand Teton National Park. (Nancy Debevoise)
Mirror Lake, Big Horn National Forest. Captured 8-15-15, by yours truly. (Courtesy Benjamin Roberts)
Temporary cattle tagging (?) operation inside a Red Desert WSA on BLM Land. (Courtesy Amber Wilson)
Documenting beaver activity on USFS land near Boulder Lake, WY- August 2015. (Courtesy Amber Wilson)
Documenting the effects of climate change:dam building, Christina Lake, USFS land, October 17, 2015. (Courtesy Amber Wilson)
On Happy Jack taken on July 21st 2015. Windmill Sunset Picture, painted sky. (Courtesy Ashley Hartman)
Photo of petroglyphs near Torry Lake, Wy. Taken July 7, 2015 without permission of the U.S. Forest Service. Will I go to prison? (Courtesy Bob Caesar)
String Lake, Grand Teton National Park. (Courtesy Nancy Debevoise)
Sunrise on Leigh Lake, Grand Teton National Park. (Courtesy Nancy Debevoise)
Dusk along Grassy Lake Road, John D. Rockefeller Parkway. (Courtesy Nancy Debevoise)
Off Grassy Lake Road, John D. Rockefeller Parkway area. (Nancy Debevoise, Lander Wyo.)
Kearney Reservoir, Big Horn Mountains. (courtesy Roy Holdeman)
This Wyoming vista was submitted via Twitter, from @fordroes.
Wiggins Fork, Shoshone National Forest. (courtesy Ellen Halperin)
This photo taken on Sept. 28, 2015 shows a fenced-in ‘parking area’ on state-owned land near the Bridger-Teton National Forest boundary. “As you can see the so-called parking area (which itself is .1 mile from a road with adequate parking) is full of musk thistle.” (Susan Marsh)
Near White Mountain, from BLM property facing Rock Springs. “I took it to show the polluted sky caused from burning coal. No fires around either.” (Nadine Girouard of Rock Springs)
“Fremont Canyon, taken on Public Land with my Cell Phone.” (Brandon Fuzz Mcnamara)
“Teepee Ring. Taken on Public Land.” (Brandon Fuss Mcnamara)
“You don’t need a water sample to tell you it’s a bad idea to drink untreated surface waters. Even if there was no free range organic beef, there are still elk, deer, moose, bears, etc which poop in Wyoming watersheds.” (Chuck Bryant)
“June 13, 2015. Enjoying a beautiful sunset while camping in Vedauwoo!” (Shannon Mitchell)
“Illegally taken at Half Moon lake… ?” (Courtesy Scott Aldridge)
“West Glacier Lake and Browns Peak, Medicine Bow National Forest” ( Jeff Phillips)
“Sunrise and low laying clouds over Lewis Lake and Sugarloaf Mountain. Medicine Bow National Forest.” (Jeff Phillips)
“Mt. Moran. Public Lands data Collection.” (Rod Morrison)
“Public land.” (Courtesy Rod Morrison)
“Public Land.” (Courtesy Rod Morrison)
“Public Road ( lots of Sheep Shit).” (Courtesy Rod Morrison)
“The worse kind of data collection….” (Courtesy Rod Morrison)
“Climate Change data collection…..of the worst kind….” (Courtesy Rod Morrison)
“Taken from the rest area between Muddy Gap and Jeffery City near Split Rock. Wyoming’s vast wide open spaces are a beacon to people seeking quiet solitude.” (photo by Denise Caskey)
Castle Gardens, WY, October 13, 2015. (Courtesy Diane Smith Feather)
Shield pictographs at Castle Gardens, Oct. 13, 2015. (Courtesy Diane Smith Feather)
Alcova reservoir in July 2015. (Courtesy Richard Blanchard)
Little Mountain. (Amber S., Rock Springs, Wyo.)
Clark’s Fork of the Yellowstone River, in Clark’s Fork Canyon, part of the Shoshone National Forest, July 2015. (courtesy Don Hopey)
“Taken on White Mountain on a public dirt road on August 28, 2015, doing the horse loop tour.” (courtesy Hope Jensen)
“R88W T56N Sec 31NW State Trust Land slash and soil pile photo record. October 9 2015. Taken with the intent to monitor state forestry practices.” (courtesy Rob Davidson)
Petroglyph in Wyoming. (courtesy Amanda McClure)
A marmot keeps tabs on a pesky camera toter en route to the Medicine Wheel in May 2015. (courtesy Nadia White)
Lake Hattie nestled in the foothills just outside Laramie, Wyo. (courtesy Tracey Rosenlund)
A drainage in central Wyoming. (Dustin Bleizeffer/WyoFile)
This photo of cattle on reclaimed land at a coal mine was taken from a public road in June 2015. (Dustin Bleizeffer/WyoFile)
A sage grouse is frozen in the headlights on a road through an oilfield on BLM land. (Angus M. Thuermer Jr./WyoFile)
This photo was taken in the Bighorn National Forest in the summer of 2015. (Dustin Bleizeffer/WyoFile)
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Beautiful images — thanks for sharing, everyone.
Photographs must depict resource data, which Wyoming law defines as “relating to land or land use, including but not limited to data regarding agriculture, minerals, geology, history, cultural artifacts, archaeology, AIR, water, soil, conservation, habitat, vegetation or animal species.”
Air, really??? I would love to see some air pictures… not a flag waving, not a pinwheel spinning, but AIR.
Well, I guess visiting Wyoming is off the list now!
I know it’s going to be a tough year for the Wyoming legislature but I’m sure they will find funds to expand prison capacity for all these lawbreakers.
This is so dumb, I suggest people go back and read the law again. Open land and public land are two completely different things. Open land is very specifically defined unfenced private property not incorporated by a city or township.
Glad to see at least one person actually understands the intent of the law. While the liberals bang their drums, they can thank Western Watersheds for the new trespass to collect data law. They had no business crossing private lands or collecting data from such in the first place. I do find it hilarious that so many people think they are being rebellious by taking perfectly legal pictures that will, of course, bring them no contact from law enforcement or the state. However, if the new law eventually gets Mr. Ratner booted from the state I see it as a good thing. Happy photo taking everyone.
I think you guys have forgotten that were part of this union that’s called the United States of America there’s a thing in the constitution called the Supremacy Clause so any congressional authorized authority such as the EPA BLM Department of the Interior have the right to collect data on all lands pursuant to the specific authorities and that have been delegated to them by the federal government. firet of all it’s just stupid that we have to pass a law that protects private landowners ability dafuq with their land and everyone else downstream. Let me give you a prime example, a rancher is not supposed to allow his cattle to stand in the river and s*** “e coli contamination of the water” so you know somebody down stream let’s say in the Green River watershed, that water makes its way down to the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and then is the total used by the entire city of LA, so since we work as a country and not as individual jackasses we shouldn’t allow the person upstream to be able to privately dump all this s*** on someone else.
I am appalled by the fact that as a conservative I can no longer take photos and send samples of my harvested animals to the state and to the Fed to check to see if it has wasting disease or any other sort of prion disorder. It says something about our government when we have to legislate things that should be common sense
And if anybody is really interested in doing some reading here’s a link the legislative session it’s under SF 0 0 1 2
Buck Brown seems to be quite wrong in asserting that “open land” does not mean public land. I accepted his invitation to go back and re-read the enrolled act, which is the version that passed the legislature. Open land is defined thusly in Section 1 d. (ii): ” ‘Open land’ means land outside the exterior boundaries of any city, town, subdivision approved pursuant to W.S. 18-5-308 or development approved pursuant to W.S. 18-5-403.” This same definition is used in the Wyoming Statutes that were created by the act (6-3-414 and 40-27-101). Perhaps Mr. Brown can straighten this out.
As for Mr. Stine’s blaming Western Watersheds for this bill, that’s pretty thin reasoning. In the first place, whether people from Western Watersheds trespassed on private land to collect data is still an open question. They say they didn’t, but some landowners say they did. In the second place, if Western Watersheds trespassed, they ought to be prosecuted under EXISTING law. The only reasonable explanation for the passage of this new law is that the collection of data or information, not trespassing, was the activity that galled certain people, and they needed a new law to turn that previously legal activity into a crime. For this outrageous reaction, we should blame Western Watersheds?
Anybody have a recent illegal snap of state capitol?
This is some smart, crisp journalism. Kudos to WyoFile. I bet this single initiative “makes a difference.”
Can you see the haze in those pictures? I can. The cows on reclaimed land has haze. Lake Hattie and the marmot are hazy too. These pics are valuable scientific pics showing the air pollution is Everywhere. We need to do something about this and the laws stopping us from these pics is just what they want stopped. They don’t want proof Wy is polluted out there. Not the water, the land, nor the air. We, the people, get sick and die. They, the leaders, get richer and move away.
Brilliant idea! Off to find my camera………..
Does it have to be only photos? Wouldn’t a written description, made on public land, qualify as well?
– love the Wyo flag meme.