Leaked DOJ Memo Advises Thwarting Public Requests For Records On Changes To Endangered Species Act

Courthouse News reports:

A leaked memo from what conservationists say is the Justice Department advises the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to withhold or delay releasing records sought in Freedom of Information Act requests regarding implementation of the Endangered Species Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity said the memo, dated Sept. 6, 2018, asks Fish and Wildlife to limit public access to records regarding deliberations on how certain species would be protected under the Endangered Species Act. Passed in 1973, the act defines a threatened species as one that is likely to become extinct within the “foreseeable future.”

“This is a clear attempt to stifle science and boost Trump’s anti-wildlife agenda,” said the center’s Meg Townsend. “The public has every right to know how our government makes decisions about the fate of our most endangered species. This memo keeps the public in the dark and creates the perfect environment for political meddling.”

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