A former National Park Service director is leading a campaign to funnel some movie-making profits into the parks that have "starred in scores of movies," according to a report in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Roger Kennedy "favors a hefty location fee for moviemakers," with a portion earmarked for park education programs. In general, national parks "have earned less than extras -- and often nothing -- for their unique roles" in movies.
By comparison, the Bureau of Land Management charges fees of up to $700 a day, while the US Forest Service charges up to $3,500.
"Location fees could be a bonanza" for the park system, which has experienced budget difficulties in the face of an increase in visitors. Arches National Park in Utah alone has averaged 52 filmmakers a year over the last five years, serving up scenery for the makers of "Thelma and Louise" and Miller ads.
But NPS officials say they're barred from charging location fees by a 40-year-old agency rule. If Congress lifts the ban, Hollywood studios might be willing to pay up to $500 a day, according Kathleen Milnes of the Motion Picture Association of America (Frank Greve, Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/15).