Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Western group sues Interior for documents on monument designations

A government watchdog group is suing the Interior Department for any records relating to five national monuments named under President Barack Obama, arguing the public deserves to see just how much the Obama administration solicited input on the designations despite what Republicans are saying now. The Western Values Project, based in Montana, filed suit Wednesday in the federal court for the District of Columbia, asking a judge to force Interior to turn over a slew of documents the group had requested in January but that Interior has yet to produce. The group says Republicans have been pushing the false narrative that the Obama administration didn't invite public input into the designation of Bears Ears National Monument and four others, and the documents will prove that the Interior department under Obama asked for and received a deluge of comments. The Western Values Project filed a federal freedom of information request Jan. 19, asking for any "scientific studies, scientific data, agency studies, agency management plans, maps, photos, references, testimony, public comments, congressional input, legal analysis or other such information used to develop the monument designations since January 1, 2014."...more

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