Trying, And Failing to Get Transparency About the Government Shutdown of Private Park Operators

Hans Bader submitted a FOIA on October 9 about US Forest Service and Dept. of Agriculture decision-making leading up to the unprecedented shutdown of private operations on US Forest Service land.  I have seen the FOIA results and -- almost laughably -- virtually all of the documents relate to the end of the shutdown, and all of the documents are dated after the date of his FOIA.  In other words, the US Forest Service essentially ignored the documents requested by the FOIA request and submitted a stacks of unrelated documents.

More from Mr. Bader here


  1. randian:

    SOP I'm afraid. They know they have an unlimited legal budget to litigate FOIA requests and you don't.

  2. W.C. Taqiyya:

    Let's see, a government agency that doesn't do the job in it's title and fails to respond to document requests from the people it no longer serves and this surprises you?

  3. HenryBowman419:

    Government bureaucrats figured out long ago how to avoid FOIA requests. Unfortunately, there are no teeth in the law: if the bureaucrats obfuscate (which is typically what happens), they've learned that nothing bad happens to them. If some went to jail for obfuscation, the results of a FOIA request would be strikingly different.

  4. mesaeconoguy:


    This is where we talk about the ballistic properties of various short- and medium-range cartridges.

  5. TeleprompterOTUS:

    The US has become a banana republic under Obama.

  6. OMMAG:

    The actions of the parks service were transparent enough. The only interest they have now is avoiding efforts to make them accountable.

  7. louctiel:

    The conservative watchdog group Cause of Action has issued a report that shows emails calling for reviews of FOIA requests at different agencies from the White House General Counsel Office. The General Counsel reviewed not only the FOIA requests, but also who had filed them.

  8. Not Sure:

    Mr. Coyote- You are obviously operating under the assumption that the government people who are paid with the money generated by your (and your company's) endeavors along with the taxes you pay, are there to serve you and assist you in your attempt to serve your customers.
    Sorry to say, it ain't so.
    You want answers? "Shut up", the government explains.

  9. Harry:

    Coyote, the USDA people have more urgent problems to deal with, like finding another ten million people to put on food stamps, to raise commodity prices and help the Joads move back to Oklahoma. All you have to do is call your campgrounds dude ranches, buy a few hundred grade Holsteins on Farm Credit, and you will get Volunteers for America cleaning the toilets and a tax credit for every piece of machinery.

  10. johnson85:

    They really need personal civil and criminal liability for willfully withholding information responsive to a FOIA request without a statutory justification.