A freelance photographer who was caught paragliding over a western Kansas feedlot faces a criminal trespassing charge.
According to the Hutchinson (Kan.) News, the photographer, George Steinmetz, was shooting aerial photos for an upcoming National Geographic series on "food issues" when an employee of the feedlot noticed the paraglider and alerted authorities. Steinmetz had not notified the feedlot, which is located near Garden City, of his plans. He also failed to obtain permission to launch the paraglider from private property.
A spokesman for the Kansas Livestock Association told the newspaper that an unauthorized flying object circling the feedlot poses a food security issue for the facility, especially in a time when agro-terrorism is a threat.
The incident also raises questions about trespassing and if landowners own the air above them. Cattlenetwork.com speculates that issue will face additional consideration as animal welfare and media groups are investing in unmanned aerial vehicles and drones.
A spokesman for National Geographic sided with the photographer and said the company would provide legal assistance if necessary.