"Endangered Species: FWS Recommends Shielding Some Records From Public"

"The Fish and Wildlife Service is recommending that staffers 'withhold' certain documents requested by the public on Endangered Species Act decisions in cases where the service can 'foresee harm' in future lawsuits challenging those decisions.

In a Sept. 6 internal guidance memorandum that's labeled 'Confidential and Privileged — Do Not Release,' the service 'provides recommendations' to staffers on 'reviewing, redacting, and withholding deliberative information' requested through the Freedom of Information Act.

The seven-page memo, first obtained by The Guardian and independently verified by E&E News, suggests FWS should consider withholding draft 'versions of policies and rules'; internal 'summaries, analyses, and comparative materials'; internal 'briefing documents that address pre-decisional substantive issues'; and 'decision meeting notes and summaries, score sheets, and memos to file reflecting substantive deliberation and especially participant names, position, or individual decision recommendations,' as well as other documents in the 'administrative record' produced by the service as part of an ESA decision."

Scott Streater reports for Greenwire October 18, 2018.

Source: Greenwire, 10/19/2018