CoA Institute Sues BLM for Shielding Information on Expansion of Federal Lands

Cause of Action Institute  January 25, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) today sued the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) to obtain access to records about the agency’s acquisition of land in Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico.  Last year, the BLM asked Congress for nearly $90 million for new purchases, even though the agency already is responsible for about 250 million acres of federally-owned land.  Americans deserve to understand how and why the BLM wants to increase its control over land that could otherwise be used for private or state purposes.

To shed light on the BLM’s land deals and ensure that the agency is responsibly managing its resources, CoA Institute submitted a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) request on August 10, 2016 seeking purchase agreements, appraisals, and related communications.  Nearly six months later, the agency has failed to issue a final determination on CoA Institute’s request or produce responsive records as required by FOIA.

CoA Institute Assistant Vice President Lee Steven: “When the Bureau of Land Management buys private land to add to the hundreds of millions of acres the federal government already owns, Americans have a right to know why. According to the Congressional Research Service, the federal government owns almost half the land of 11 western states and more than 60 percent of Alaska. The last thing these states need is more federal control of their land.”

Federal Land Ownership: Overview and Data

The full complaint:

Case 1:17-cv-00154 Document 1 Filed 01/24/17 Page 1- 6

Exhibits in the complaint: 

Case 1:17-cv-00154 Document 1-1 Filed 01/24/17 Page 1 - 5
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CoA Institute is a non-profit strategic oversight group committed to ensuring that government decision-making is open, honest, and fair. 

For information regarding this press release, please contact Zachary Kurz, Director of Communications: zachary.kurz@causeofaction.org

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Posted in Land, News.

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