Wednesday, April 02, 2014

TV Crew to Follow ‘Bigfoot Hunters’ in Yellowstone

Bigfoot hunters coming to Yellowstone Park
Yellowstone National Park is home to some of the most photographed wildlife in the world, with tourists on constant lookout for everything from grizzly bears and gray wolves to pelicans and pikas. But this summer, a reality show crew will be adding at least one new species to their must-see list: Bigfoot.

As unlikely as it might sound, a four-person production crew is scheduled to spend up to 10 weeks in Yellowstone from mid-June through August taping segments for “Yellowstone Bigfoot Hunt,” a new reality TV show set to debut in October on the Adventure Channel.

The decision by park officials to permit the production is drawing criticism from some environmental groups, while others are praising the project as a great way to draw attention to the park while boosting local gateway economies.

Common sense dictates that finding a previously undiscovered primate in the high country of Yellowstone is about as likely as spotting a unicorn. But park officials say the program has met all necessary requirements for receiving a commercial photography permit.

“So long as the production doesn’t interfere with normal park operations and abides by the terms and conditions of the permit, they will be allowed to tape segments about Bigfoot—or any other-size-footed animals they might find here,” said Yellowstone spokesman Stan Thatch.

Permit guidelines for the park state that “documentaries filmed specifically for sale to a news station or educational channel are considered a commercial venture and require a permit.”

Thatch said “Yellowstone Bigfoot Hunt” is considered a commercial film shoot, and under park rules, the production company must pay a $150 daily location fee based on its crew size.

Whenever the crew is operating in an area with thermal features or along roadsides or other sensitive areas, it will be required to have a Yellowstone staff member on site as a monitor, Thatch said. Such a requirement is a standard provision of the park’s permit guidelines. The crew must reimburse the National Park Service at the rate of $65 per hour for each staff monitor, he said.
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