Originally Posted by S/V Illusion
Don't know where you do this but U.S. Federal and many state statutes prohibit this and have done so since the mid 1990s.
I post this not to start a debate over the merit of such "pollution" but only to say that doing so subjects you to civil penalties and there is sufficient case law to demonstrate assessed damages as well. May not make sense but it is true!
If it were me, I'd find a driving range...
Twenty or thirty years ago, I took a crew into Death Valley National Park to shoot a Michelin tire commercial
. One of our locations was Ubehebe (YOU-bee-HEE-bee) Crater, the remains of an extinct volcano.
Our gaffer, a man in his late-fifties at the time (but with the disposition of an incorrigible teenager) was a dedicated golfer and took his clubs everywhere he went, just on the chance that there would be a place to play golf.
At Ubehebe, he thought it would be a real kick to drive some balls into the crater, and proceeded to do so. He thought it was pretty funny
, I guess, but the park ranger
who was accompanying us . . . well, not so much. He informed us that unless the gaffer climbed down to the bottom of the crater and retrieved every one
of the balls he had hit into it, the ranger
was going to shut down filming and banish us from the park.
It's permitted to climb down into the crater, which is more than 500 feet deep, but there isn't exactly a maintained trail to do so. It's mostly unstable scree - a bit like walking on ball bearings - but the old gaffer had no choice and went down into the crater.
It took him almost two hours to descend to the bottom, search for his golf balls, and climb back up to the rim - and we were worried that he might not make it. We had been told that all filming had to stop until all of the balls were retrieved, but after the gaffer was well-down into the crater, the ranger let us go ahead (one hour alone was probably costing about $10,000).
Once the gaffer was gone, the ranger lightened up considerably and we all had a good laugh at the offending crewman's faux pas.
He came out of the crater with only two balls (we were surprised he found any), but I always suspected he had those two in his pockets when he climbed down.
I guess the moral of the story is, if you're thinking of doing something that seems like you're stepping over the line, think twice before you do it. The unintended consequences can be a real bitch!
PS: Ironically, there's an area within Death Valley National Park called The Devil's Golf Course. It's an area of such forbidding terrain, that "only the devil could play golf" on its surface according to the 1934 National Park Service
guidebook. Our gaffer was a devil, for sure, but his interest in golf that day had already declined considerably.