Court: BLM Must Release Names of Grazing Permit Holders

September 22, 2010

A federal district judge ruled September 13, 2010, that the Bureau of Land Management must release the names and addresses of people holding BLM-issued grazing permits. The BLM had long withheld such information, claiming it fell under the privacy exemption of the Freedom of Information Act.

In response to a lawsuit by the Western Watersheds Project and WildEarth Guardians, "Chief Magistrate Judge Candy Dale said the public interest in monitoring the BLM’s rangeland grazing program outweighed the minimal privacy interests of the grazing-permit holders," the Associated Press reported.

If the decision stands, BLM could eventually be forced to disclose such information for holders of some 18,000 permits across 160 million acres in the West.