10th Circuit rebuffs environmental group’s lawsuit over government records

Colorado Politics: The federal appeals court based in Denver has rejected the arguments from a wildlife and habitat conservation group that the U.S. Forest Service failed to conduct a legally-adequate search for records — despite disclosing 140,637 pages of documents related to a controversial roadway project.

Rocky Mountain Wild filed an open records request with the Forest Service in July 2018 seeking government documents about the Village at Wolf Creek Access Project, a proposed access road to privately-owned land near the base of Wolf Creek Ski Area in southwest Colorado. In response, the agency charged 27 employees with searching their files, ultimately producing 14,740 documents.

But Rocky Mountain Wild alleged the search did not comply with the Freedom of Information Act and sued the Forest Service in federal court. A trial judge sided with the government, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit upheld that decision last week.

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