USDA Sued by Hells Canyon Council Over FOIA Violations

The Greater Hells Canyon Council, a nonprofit Oregon organization, filed a complaint against the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Forest Service alleging the defendants violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

According to the complaint, the Forest Service adopted a set of rules, titled East Screens, which barred logging of old trees in six national parks. In 2016, the plaintiff asked the Forest Service for documentation on their implementation of, amendment, and adherence to East Screens. The Forest Service did not respond until April 2021, and then, withheld and redacted many requested documents without legally adequate explanation.

The plaintiffs seek the following for relief: a declaration the defendants violated FOIA, an order for the defendants to immediately comply with FOIA, and costs of litigation.

The plaintiffs are represented by Crag Law Center and Bahr Law Offices PC.