Amateur film-maker Jonathan Doyle is suing the state of New Hampshire after park rangers told him he needed a permit to walk on a mountain dressed as Bigfoot.
The 30-year-old artist, who was filming walkers’ reactions to the Bigfoot ‘sightings’, claims the decision violates his freedom of speech.
His case has received backing from the American Civil Liberties Union.
Doyle and a group of friends had travelled to Mount Monadnock on 26 September last year to work on their Bigfoot film when Park Manager Patrick Hummel informed them they needed to buy a $100 permit to proceed.
He refused to obey the ranger’s orders, claiming it would disadvantage other artists who want to use the mountain in the future, and instead lodged a complaint with the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union (NHCLU).
Doyle explained to the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript: “What about people who are not professional artists, but who will be and are coming in to their own expression and inspiration by using the mountain?
“I love and respect our mountain, Mount Monadnock is my favourite mountain but this situation is absurd and uncalled for.”
Doyle also pointed out that no officials had complained when he made a similar Bigfoot film on the same mountain in 2009.
Attorney Barbara Keshan of the NHCLU agreed the group’s First Amendment rights had been violated and lodged a court complaint.
Ranger Hummel told the paper: “This was basically an advertised public performance piece. He had not called N.H. State Parks to set it up and because we had complaints from hikers it was shut down.
“Most folks who complained just felt intruded unsuspectingly on their recreation opportunity.”
He also stated that Doyle’s previous filming attempts had not been interfered with because they had not attracted complaints.
Video: Watch Doyle’s first Bigfoot film