Amateur yeti filmmaker stands up for First Amendment right to record bigfoot skits in NH park

Jonathan Doyle, a performance artist, has appealed a case involving his right to film bigfoot skits in New Hampshire's Monadnock State Park to the NH Supreme Court. He argues that the permit requirements are unduly onerous for small-scale productions: "I am maintaining the integrity of being real, enjoying day-to-day things, and having fun with your friends. If I let that go, I’ve given up a significant right to the state."

In its Supreme Court brief, the state argues that the permit requirements are reasonable to help the park staff manage competing uses on one of the most-climbed mountains in the world.

The permit regulations are for “mitigating the impacts of commercial events’’ in state parks, and “protecting visitors from unwelcome or unwarranted interference, annoyance, or danger,’’ among other considerations, the state wrote in its brief.

The problem, from Doyle’s perspective, is that permits cost $100, there is a 30-day waiting period, and anyone who wants a permit must post a $2 million insurance bond to protect against injuries and damage, adding several hundred dollars to the cost, according to filings.

That’s too much cash and red tape for a few friends out on a lark with a consumer video camera, Doyle argues.

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