Photographing Denali Park From Bus

 

Photographing Denali Park From Bus

12/04/2008

Photographing wildlife at Denali is difficult at best because almost all access is via bus which allows minimal time at wildlife stops and limits proper positioning. Some drivers even make up their own rules which further inhibit photography. Recently a driver at one wildlife stop claimed that it was illegal to stick a long lens out the bus window and when the photographer continued to photograph, drove away from the wildlife stop, eliciting howls of disapproval at her from all the passengers. This European photographers lens had only been protruding less than two inches from the window. However, there is no rule that prohibits lenses being aimed out the window at a wildlife stop. Here is part of the applicable contract rules for drivers:

A) Requirements Common to Tours and the Visitor Transportation System (c) Drivers must introduce the following rules and practices for safety and/or mitigation of environmental impact: 5. Wildlife stop protocols: a.) Remain quiet near animals b.) Camera lenses are the only things allowed to protrude from bus windows. All body parts, including hands and heads, must remain within the bus. (f) Drivers must enforce wildlife protocol on their buses. Drivers are authorized to terminate a wildlife stop if passengers refuse to obey wildlife protocols. Based on the preceding, it is a contract requirement for drivers to depart from the area IF passengers are non-compliant with the wildlife protocols, but sticking a camera out the window is NOT prohibited. Remember a private contractor operates the bus system NOT the National Park Service.

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