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On the list of clearly and obviously idiotic governmental regulations, the planned (actually, long-standing interim rule which may be made permanent) rule on wilderness photography must have a place of honor. Regulation of activity in wilderness areas start from a rational premise, that man should visit but not stay and that his footprint should be as light as possible. And you can see the argument if someone (news organizations included) want to bring in equipment larger than a photographer can carry on his person. Short of that, how does the photo rule (as reported on by a string of Northwest papers today), which may require $1,500 permits even of ordinary visitors to the lands and allows government employees to decide which news stories merit wilderness photography and which don’t, serve to protect the condition of wilderness areas? It could undermine them instead if it infuriates people about the idea of designating lands as wilderness (hello, Boulder-White Clouds).

Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Forest Service plans wilderness photo rules (Boise Statesman, Lewiston Tribune)
Judge Lodge takes senior status (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune)
First gubernatorial date held, minus otter (IF Post Register, TF Times News)
Capital for a day meets Lenore (Lewiston Tribune)
Pedestrian mall maybe for downtown Lewiston (Lewiston Tribune)
Questions arising about Lochsa land deal (Moscow News)
C of I adds to faculty, for more students (Nampa Press Tribune)
Clothes store wants to build at canyon rim (TF Times News)

New connector trail west of Corvallis set (Corvallis Gazette)
Family working on pot dispensary business (Corvallis Gazette)
Demolition of old city hall approved (Eugene Register Guard)
Klamath county working on air quality (KF Herald & News)
Gold Hill may set 25% pot tax (Medford Tribune)
Forest Service plans wilderness photo rules (Salem Statesman Journal, Medford Tribune)
Pendleton library considers new services (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Potatoes have above average season (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Stanfield may get low-income housing (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Reviewing 2nd District U.S. House race (Portland Oregonian)
Fires break records in 2014 in Oregon (Portland Oregonian)

Harrison medical sets plans for Silverdale (Bremerton Sun)
Ferries gather input from riders (Bremerton Sun)
Glacier Peak to be watched closer for eruptions (Everett Herald)
Group formed on Everett homelessness (Everett Herald)
4th district candidates talk up Hanford (Yakima Herald Republic, Kennewick Herald)
Group urges pot laws tightened on in-car use (Tacoma News Tribune, Olympian)
Big tidal wetland created near Cathlamet (Longview News)
Flat water fee considered in Port Angeles (Port Angeles News)
Clallam auditor race reviewed (Port Angeles News)
Seattle cops test body cameras (Seattle Times)
Halfway mark reached in light rail extension (Seattle Times)
Avista moving some big gas lines (Spokane Spokesman)
Selah considers ‘all inclusive’ park (Yakima Herald Republic)

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