"There is substantial interest in understanding the scope of the grazing and rangeland program, particularly in light of the environmental impacts associated with grazing and the amount of tax dollars spent on the grazing program itself."
These are the words of Idaho District Court Judge Candy Dale, who this month ordered the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to release federal grazing permit holders' personal information-including name, address, phone number and financial data. The ruling came in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by Western Watersheds Project and WildEarth Guardians.
The result: individuals' privacy has been outweighed by the public's interest. If the BLM does not appeal the decision, it could be forced to turn over the personal information about those who hold nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases on nearly 160 million acres across the West.
The Public Lands Council is looking into options for involvement so as to prevent the harassment and the intrusion of the privacy of its members.
Reprinted from Public Lands Council