[font color=\'#000000\']Hi, folks, I am new to the website and this forum, but I already consider them terrific resources. I am sorry to be posting about something "controversial," but this is bothering me, and I wondered how other photographers deal with it.
I have just returned from a wonderful two-week trip through the five National Parks in Utah, and also shot in the State Parks like Kodachrome Basin, Coral Pink Sands, and Goblin Valley.
It seemed like wherever I went, there were many signs warning me to stay off of the "cryptobiotic soil." For those who don't know, this is a kind of fungus that grows on top of the sandy soil, helping to hold it together, and encouraging plants to sprout and discouraging erosion. The mature life-form is easy to see (and stay off of) as dark, lumpy clumps. But the immature form is--get this--invisible to the naked eye.
The Park Services don't want people tromping around on this stuff. I even caught a piece of a video on the Moab tourism TV channel depicting what they want us to think of as "eco-criminals" carrying tripods hopping around on a hill. The narrator was saying, in effect "Your pictures won't be any better a few feet from the parking lot."
I think that this "suggestion" is wrong-wrong-wrong. I spent the whole two weeks trying to manuever around near the parking lots, pull-outs, and (IMO) poorly-maintained "trails," looking for good angles to make good images. And all the time I was fearful that I would be reported to a ranger, as they ask the public to do.
I am all for "taking nothing but photographs and leaving nothing but footprints," but the Park Services now don't want us to leave the parking lots and pullouts. What's next? "Don't leave your vehicle"?
How do others feel about this, and how do you deal with it?