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Environmental group sues for Cabinet-Yaak grizzly project records

By KECI Staff
Published On: Apr 07 2014 11:32:27 AM MDT
Updated On: Apr 07 2014 11:33:50 AM MDT
Grizzly Bear
MISSOULA, Mont. -

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies is suing the U.S. Geological Survey saying the agency failed to respond a Freedom of Information Act Request.

According to federal court documents, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies submitted a FOIA request on January 21 this year.  The group requested all handouts, documents, reports and findings on the Cabinet-Yaak Grizzly Bear DNA Project.

The project aims to give researchers a better idea of how many grizzly bears are in that area using DNA from hair samples collected by researchers. The USGS is in charge of records related to the project.

Court records say government agencies have 20 business days to determine whether they will comply with a FOIA request.  The Alliance for the Wild Rockies says it had not received any response from the USGS by April, almost two and half months after filing the request.

Attorneys also say in court documents that an online FOIA tracking tool used by U.S. Department of the Interior shows the request open with "N/A" status on several due dates, including the date the agency will decides whether to respond.

The Alliance for the Wild Rockies is asking a judge to order the USGS to immediately make the records requested available.