New Obama Orders on Transparency, FOIA Requests

This should make it easier to get wolf and other wildlife information-

One of the major problems that has emerged in recent years is simply getting information from the federal government which should be by law, freely available. The Bushies made it so the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) was becoming almost useless, and agencies like USFWS and Wildlife Services could withhold anything that made them “uncomfortable.” Lately, that seemed to be just about everything.

As a result, you had to put 2 and 2 together to get real news (or likely) news. For example, yesterday I did a story on the “quick kill” of wolves that Idaho was planning as soon as delisting took place. For several months, conservation groups had expected that this was likely immediately on delisting. However, Montana or Idaho or the federal agencies would hardly tell you this.

As a result, for the story I had to begin with the Idaho Cattle Association meeting held in Sun Valley just after the election and the resolutions they passed. They passed a resolution asking the wolf packs that were “problems” be taken out during the winter even though there were no “depredations” currently (or ever) from those packs. I had to watch what Wildlife Services did, what was being said about wolves in the state legislature where conservation folks attend committee meetings, and watch from stray comments in email or stories on-line to figure out that a quick kill was on its way.

In the near future, a more direct route to stories is likely.

Here the good news story from the Washington Post.

New Obama Orders on Transparency, FOIA Requests
. The Federal Eye. “Keeping Tabs on the Government” by Ed O’Keefe. Washington Post.