While Forest Service workers are furloughed, Hollywood filmmakers are unable to secure permits for filming in national forests, which are frequently used in the filming of movies, commercials and television shows.
"You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and the Angeles National Forest, our San Gabriel Mountains, won’t be able to play a leading role in t.v. commercials, movies and shows as long as this government shutdown continues," said Daniel Rossman of The Wilderness Society's California office.
Can you guess which recent blockbuster was filmed in Santa Fe National Forest, N.M.? Answer here. Photo by: Razzumitos, flickr
With its steep, dramatic mountain highways and picturesque forests, the Angeles forest often plays a leading role in commercials, movies and television projects.
"If you take a close look at some of those auto commercials you see, there's a good chance that the cars cruising along hairpin turns were shot in the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles," Rossman explained.
At least one car commercial project has been stalled in the Angeles Forest, according to Southern California Public Radio, KPCC. They report that film companies pay up to $1,000 per day for permits and that's money that would be going to the Forest Service.
In September, a dozen filming permits were issued for the Angeles National Forest in southern California, according to FilmLA, the nonprofit that handles film permits for Los Angeles County. Since the Angeles National Forest normally issues more than 160 permits per year, it's logical to assume that several projects in that forest alone have been stalled since the shutdown began on Oct. 1
The permit halt comes at a time when counties and states look to lucrative filming fees and the economic boost of commercial film projects.
Film projects on our national parks would also be potentially at risk. While it's unclear at this time if any movie or television projects were ongoing at any national parks at the time of the government shutdown, we do know that all national parks are closed to the public. Park Service staff are furloughed with the exception of small numbers of emergency and other critical staff.
Stalled filming is only one part of a massive economic impact caused by the closure national parks and national forest facilities. The impacts to local economies and recreation-related businesses has been devastating, with many small businesses in gateway towns facing layoffs of bankruptcy, while larger resorts and lodges at the national parks report losing millions of dollars per day.
While the national forests near Los Angeles are used most frequently by Hollywood, national forests throughout the country have played the backdrop for numerous films.
Those include classics like True Grit (Inyo National Forest, Calif.) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Black Hills National Forest, Wyoming) as well as modern blockbusters like The Hunger Games (Pisgah National Forest, N.C.) and the 2013 Johnny Depp version of The Lone Ranger (Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico). Recent television shows filmed in our forests include Breaking Bad, which was partially shot in the Cibolla National Forest near Albuquerque, N.M.