Environmental groups sue BLM to get names of the holders of public grazing leases
By Ralph Maughan On September 29, 2009 · 7 Comments · In B.L.M., Cattle, Public Lands
Can you even imagine that these things are kept secret?
Western Watersheds Project and Wild Earth Guardians are suing to make public that which should open and free to all.
Story on Fox12Idaho News. Environmental groups sue BLM for grazing info. Associated Press
Tagged with: grazing • Western Watersheds Project
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
7 Responses to Environmental groups sue BLM to get names of the holders of public grazing leases
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Ralph……does the FS release this information?
The FS information is much easier to get. For the Gila it is all available online, for example here are the Annual Operating Instructions for the Cross V allotment (2007 to 2008) …. have not tried to get the latest AOI. Cheers, Todd
Annual Operating Instructions (AOI)
Allotment: Cross V
Permittee: Mark J. Svir
Permit Number: 61298
Authorization: Authorized to graze the following in 2007:
Authorized From To Allotment
15 cow/calf 3/1/2007 2/28/08 Cross V
Remainder (35 head) nonuse for Resource protection
Nonuse for resource protection is granted in order to allow for recovery of the Wilson fire area in the Devils Canyon and South pastures. The tentative stocking plan is to stock 15 head in Cottonwood and Outlaw pastures until next fall (2007). At that time the burn area in the South pasture (low-moderate intensity) will have had 2 growing seasons of deferment. If determined by the district that the burn area has recovered sufficiently to support grazing, the authorized livestock numbers would be increased accordingly (up to approximately 30 head). Approximately 30 head would be grazed until the following fall (2008) at which time the burn area in the Devils Canyon pasture (low-moderate-high intensity) will have had 3 growing seasons of deferment. If determined by the district that the burn area has recovered sufficiently to support grazing, the authorized livestock numbers would be increased accordingly (up to approximately 50 head).
Part of what they really don’t want you to know is how few ranchers there are – and the huge swath of devastation each causes …
You know: Info like if you got rid of 30 sheep ranchers in ID and NV – you would free up around 40 million acres for bighorn sheep.
AND ranchers view themselves as a class apart. BLM is their minion in supporting the livestock industry’s bullying elitism.
I think kt is right. Look at the info todd just posted of an AOI in Wyoming, “AOI” means annual operation instructions.
Is there anything there that would fall into the BLMs objections to releasing the names, etc. as they claimed in the AP article — “[the requested] information fell under the same exemption that allows agencies to keep from releasing medical records, personnel records and other information that, if disclosed, would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
The allegations would appear to come from the plaintiff’s complaint, and plaintiffs can allege anything, which unless it is contained in a BLM writing may or may not be a true statement.
However, it seems to me, without having researched the law including differences between BLM and FS regulatory and management practices, that a lessee is a party to a federal contract. Absent some overarching privacy issue (which does not seem to be the case) the identity and terms of the contract should be publicly available, even without a FOI request.
Best of luck to plaintiffs. I hope the judge takes BLM to the woodshed, if there is not a clear legal reason for denying the request.
Odd that it’s just coming up now after all these years and arrogant too that BLM claims that “if disclosed, would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.” They are called PUBLIC Grazing Leases after all!
The BLM is very public about Oil and mineral leases why the secrecy about ranching? not all leases for minerals are held by big corporations lots of small claims out there, and the information is out there, in fact take a look at this set of really awesome google earth layers i found for BLM leases.