Antelope Allotment: FOIA Records Request

Antelope Allotment: FOIA Records Request

Current Status:

Date Filed:
Jun 20, 2024

Case Title:
Western Watersheds Project vs. U.S. Forest Service

Staff attorney(s):
Hannah (Clements) Goldblatt


Western Watersheds Project

To Protect:

Oregon Spotted Frog

Sensitive Aquatic Habitat



Case Information:

June 20, 2024 — Advocates for the West filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to compel the U.S. Forest Service to release public records as required by law. The case involves two separate FOIA requests sent to the Forest Service regarding resource conflicts on the Antelope Allotment within Oregon’s Fremont-Winema National Forest. The Antelope Allotment contains important habitat for a critically small population of Oregon spotted frogs, which are protected under the Endangered Species Act and are vulnerable to livestock grazing.

For both requests, the Forest Service failed to comply with FOIA’s requirements, including a 20-day deadline to provide a determination of the scope of the records the agency intends to produce along with its reasons for withholding any records. For the first request, the Forest Service eventually did respond (more than six months after it was submitted) and produced a mere 11 documents, demonstrating that the agency’s search was utterly inadequate in part because it did not search two ranger districts where records were likely to exist. For the other request, nearly 10 months have passed and the agency has still failed to make a determination or produce any documents.

Case Filings