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Published December 02, 2013, 01:12 PM

'Wardens' TV show cited for filming without permit

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — For the second time in three years, the producers of the cable TV show "Wardens" have been cited for filming on U.S. Forest Service land in Montana without a permit.

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — For the second time in three years, the producers of the cable TV show "Wardens" have been cited for filming on U.S. Forest Service land in Montana without a permit.

A federal court summons has been issued for Mitch Petrie, the head of Minneapolis-based Muddy Boot Productions LLC, on the misdemeanor charge, the Independent Record reports.

Petrie said his attorneys are working with federal officials on the matter.

A representative of Muddy Boot Productions contacted the U.S. Forest Service on June 19 to request a permit to film on multiple forests in Montana during 2013, charging documents state. However, the permit was rejected after officials learned the company had filmed on forest lands on five different occasions between Jan. 1 and June 24.

"We discovered they had been filming without a permit already, and we ultimately denied giving them one once we found that out because we were in the middle of an investigation," said Scott Fenimore, a legislative affairs coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service. "They have been cooperating with us, and the expectation is that as things get resolved we would consider another proposal in the future, given their history."

The company also filmed on Forest Service lands on July 6, after the permit was rejected, prosecutors said.

The cable TV show that chronicles the lives of conservation officers received a similar citation in 2011 for two days of filming in Montana and was fined $500 for each day.

At the time, Petrie said a videographer followed Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wardens from state land onto federal land without the permit to film commercially in the national forest.

"We cited them, they paid the fine and we got them the permit thereafter," Fenimore said.

The company had the proper permits in 2012.

Petrie told Agent Jackie Fisher that he acknowledged the company made a mistake by filming without a permit and wanted to cooperate with the investigation, wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Racicot. "He said the company was not trying to circumvent the process or avoid paying for permits and the unauthorized filming was just a misunderstanding."

National Forest officials say special use permits cost an average of $150 to $200 per day.

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