Oregon Guides and Guide Services
US Forest Service - FOIA Request 1, Reply
This is a copy the response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted to the Forest Service concerning our problems with them, probably the first of many.
File Code: 6270?1?1
This letter responds to your July 14, 2003 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, received by Regional FOIA Coordinator Sue Zike on July 14, 2003, and forwarded to this office on July 15, 2003. You requested a copy of the operating plan and any documents related to its approval submitted for the undercover operation which was part of Case/File Number 01-06-U-0027.
The FOIA provides that all Federal Government records be made available to the public unless they fall within one of several exemptions. Exemption 7 protects from disclosure records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes. The first subpart of this exemption authorizes the withholding of such records or information, but only to the extent producing such records or information could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings. Therefore, I must consider a two-step analysis. If an enforcement proceeding is pending or prospective, and if release could reasonably be expected to cause some articulable harm, I can protect the records. Crooker v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, 789 F.2d 64, 65?67 (D.C. Cir. 1986).
Because allegations resulting from this incident have not been resolved, release of law enforcement records would be premature and cause harm to the Government's case. Therefore, I am withholding these records pursuant to Exemption 7(A).
Agencies are not required to notify requesters when investigation cases are closed.
When this case is officially closed, several FOIA Exemptions may still apply to information contained in these files. Exemptions 2, 5, 6, 7(C), 7(E), and 7(F) may be used to protect predecisional information, techniques, procedures, as well as the safety and privacy of individuals and law enforcement officers.
The FOIA provides you the right to appeal this decision. Any appeal must be made in writing to USDA Forest Service, ATTN: Chief s Office, Stop 1143, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250 ? 1143, within 45 days from the date of this letter. The term "FOIA APPEAL" should be placed in capital letters on the front of the envelope.
THOMAS J LYONS
cc: R6 - Sherene Jennings