From The Durango Herald: U.S. Forest Service officials were dealt a blow this week when a federal court ruled that the agency unjustifiably withheld documents related to the proposed Village at Wolf Creek development.
A Colorado U.S. District Court on Wednesday found that the Forest Service violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to conduct an adequate search of documents and did not properly explain its decision to withhold thousands of pages of documents from the public.
Senior Judge Wiley Y. Daniel stopped short of ordering immediate disclosure of the documents but gave the Forest Service until Oct. 30 to conduct a new, more complete search.
The judge also ordered officials to provide “sufficient explanation” of any withheld pages by the same date. It’s likely that additional documents would be released at that time.
“The court has verified what we have been saying throughout this decision-making process,” said Matt Sandler, staff attorney for Rocky Mountain Wild.
“The Forest Service has failed to be transparent, has withheld documents and has committed resources to approving this irresponsible development while failing to keep the public informed.”
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