Friday, December 3, 2010

Center For Biological Diversity v. USDA

Dec 2: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 09-17233. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), which required USDA, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), to disclose the GPS coordinates of wolf depredations to which it had responded. The district court held that the coordinates were not exempt from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 3 or Exemption 6.
    The Appeals Court reversed the district court ruling and said, "Exemption 3 applies because Section 8791 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA) exempts from disclosure such geospatial data and applies to this case even though it took effect after the USDA withheld the coordinates." The Appeals Court said further that, "In light of this conclusion, we do not reach the question of whether Exemption 6 also applies."
    Access the complete opinion (click here).