Social media photographer faces fine

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A well known Instagram user @trevlee has been handed a $1,500 fine and has been ordered to remove photos that show him partaking in illegal activities in Yosemite National Park.

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So what were the moves that got him in trouble? Well for one, climbing giant sequoias, a protected species. Photos of him sitting around a campfire seemed innocent enough but in fact showed him and his friends burning fires that a) took place during a fire ban and b) were in an area where fires were not allowed. Court documents show that Lee worked within the park and was not simply a doe-eyed, awe struck visitor. Lee plead guilty to these offences, as well as others. He must now pay his fine and undergo a year of unsupervised probation, in addition to publicly admitting via his Instagram account that his actions were in fact illegal.

So that leaves us with the issue of whether or not social media can be used by the courts to enforce laws. A quick scroll through Instagram while searching #Banff not too long ago made it painfully obvious how many people still disregard Parks Canada’s laws against feeding wildlife. Many shots capture moments where people are far too up-close-and-personal with commonly sighted wildlife such as bear and elk. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor to a national park, there is enough information out there that is not only easily accessible, but is also very clear on how to safely and respectfully conduct yourself within the boundaries of the parks.

See what other social media users were saying as the story made the rounds online earlier today.

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