FWS Hunton II

Jimmy Tobias filed this request with the U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, Region 4 of the United States of America.
Tracking #

FWS-2019-01089

Est. Completion June 1, 2020
Status
No Responsive Documents

Communications

From: Jimmy Tobias


To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

Any and all email communications, including attachments, between any email address ending in @huntonAK.com and one or more of the following FWS officials: Leo Miranda, Larry Williams, Erin Gawera, Jay Harrington, Robert Tawes, Connie Cassler and/or David Dell.

This request seeks records produced since January 20, 2017.

I am a reporter for The Guardian and Pacific Standard.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Jimmy Tobias

From: U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, Region 4

Mr. Tobias,

This is a duplicate of the last email that you sent me at the same time,
but with a different title of "Harrington Hunton Panther"

I sent the below response:

"Good Morning Mr. Tobias,

Again, I did not receive this request. Can you please provide the
"original request/email" that includes the email address, date, and time in
which this request was submitted? As this request does not include an
attachment, I can enter this into my system today and provide you with a
tracking number; however, it will include the date of receipt as being
September 4, 2019 unless you can provide an email in which this was
submitted to the FOIA email address on August 6th. As stated, I did not
receive this request. Did you submit this request to an incorrect address?
Did it go to the HQ office instead of R4? Thanks and please let me know if
you have any questions or concerns."

I will disregard this request as this is a duplicate of the "Harrington
Hunton Panther" email and process the "Harrington Hunton Panther" request,
but use the received date of September 4, 2019. Please check your records
to ensure you sent these requests to the correct email address. Thanks and
please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

V/R

Tiffany McClurkin

Government Information Specialist

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Coordinator

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Southeast Region (Region 4)

1875 Century Blvd, Suite 214

Atlanta GA 30345

(E) foiar4@fws.gov

From: Jimmy Tobias

Hi Ms. McClurkin,

Thank you for the note. As a reporter who plans to use the public records I have requested to publish newsworthy articles of interest to the American public, I request a fee waiver for this FOIA request. Specifically, the records that I am requesting from your agency will significantly contribute to the American public's understanding of whether and how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is adequately enforcing the Endangered Species Act in Florida, particularly as it pertains to the endangered Florida panther. The records I seek will also shed light on which business interests are influencing the agency's decision making. The enforcement of the Endangered Species Act is an issue of the utmost importance, as it pertains directly to the U.S. government's commitment to mitigating the extinction crisis that threatens wildlife around the country. As such, I request all fees in this matter be waived.

I have a long track record of publishing important stories of public interests on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and intend to continue doing this work with the help of the documents your agency provides. You can find an example of my work here: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/18/trump-administration-us-endangered-species-discussions-secret

If the agency denies me a fee waiver, I am willing to pay up to $50 in fees.

If you have any further questions, please contact me at 248-763-0088.

Sincerely,

Jimmy Tobias

From: U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, Region 4

Good Morning Mr. Tobias,

This is the request that I indicated was a duplicate of the request titled
"Harrington Hunton Panther" with a FOIA tracking number of FWS-2019-01089.
Moving forward, please refer to the FOIA tracking number. It would be
easier if you could respond from the traffic of that request as well. On
September 4, 2019 I sent an acknowledgment and fee clarification letter to
you. It looks like you have responded from the duplicate request email.
This time I will use the language you sent me regarding fees, but in the
future please respond from the original email in which I sent the
acknowledgment. Thanks so much! I will assign this request to the
appropriate office for processing and will let you know if there are any
questions or concerns.

V/R

Tiffany McClurkin

Government Information Specialist

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Coordinator

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Southeast Region (Region 4)

1875 Century Blvd, Suite 214

Atlanta GA 30345

(E) foiar4@fws.gov

From: U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, Region 4

Hi Mr. Tobias,

I am researching the status of your request. Thanks for your continued
patience!

V/R

Tiffany McClurkin

Government Information Specialist

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Coordinator

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Southeast Region (Region 4)

1875 Century Blvd, Suite 214

Atlanta GA 30345

(E) foiar4@fws.gov

From: U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, Region 4

Good Morning Mr. Tobias,

I am going to re-forward the email in which we had responded to your request as a 1st Partial response and we will continue the processing of the remaining information responsive to this request. Thanks!

Respectfully,

Tiffany McClurkin
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Headquarters Information Resources & Technology Management
Atlanta Regional Office
FOIA Coordinator

From: Jimmy Tobias

Hi Ms. McClurkin,

One more note: What is the status of this request?

Hope you are doing well.

Jimmy

From: U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, Region 4

Morning Mr. Tobias,

I am checking on the status of this now. I hope to have a second partial response to you soon. As always, thanks for your continued patience!

Respectfully,

Tiffany McClurkin
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Headquarters Information Resources & Technology Management
Atlanta Regional Office
FOIA Coordinator

From: Jimmy Tobias

Hi Tiffany,

This is the near duplicate that I mentioned in our call.

Jimmy

From: U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, Region 4

Good Afternoon Mr. Tobias,

The is the request we just spoke about during our 2:00 p.m. call that will need to be entered into our system and processed. I apologize for the confusion of thinking this was a duplicate request. Is there anyway you can resubmit this request with an updated timeframe and I will get this in the system right away? I tried giving you a call, but was unable to reach you and your voicemail box is full. Your help with this will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Respectfully,

Tiffany McClurkin
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Headquarters Information Resources & Technology Management
Atlanta Regional Office
FOIA Coordinator

From: Jimmy Tobias

Hi TIffany,

Thanks for the note and sorry I missed your call -- I have spotty cell phone service at the moment. When you say an updated timeframe what exactly do you mean? My only hesitation with resubmitting is that sometimes MuckRock resubmits via email, rather than the portal, which can cause a headache. Is there any way to move forward with it as is?

Let me know and thanks!

Jimmy

From: U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, Region 4

Hi Mr. Tobias,

I will move forward with it as is ;-) Thanks!

Respectfully,

Tiffany McClurkin
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Headquarters Information Resources & Technology Management
Atlanta Regional Office
FOIA Coordinator

From: Jimmy Tobias

Thanks so much Tiffany!

JT

From: U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, Region 4

You're welcome!

Respectfully,

Tiffany McClurkin
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Headquarters Information Resources & Technology Management
Atlanta Regional Office
FOIA Coordinator

From: U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, Region 4

Dear Jimmy Tobias:

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) office received your request dated September 4, 2019 and assigned it tracking number FWS-2020-00638. Please cite this number in any future communications with our office regarding your request.

You requested the following:

“Any and all email communications, including attachments, between any email address ending in @huntonAK.com and one or more of the following FWS officials: Leo Miranda, Larry Williams, Erin Gawera, Jay Harrington, Robert Tawes, Connie Cassler and/or David Dell. This request seeks records produced since January 20, 2017.”

As per our conversation on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, you brought to my attention that I had deemed this request as a duplicate request of another submitted the same day. After discussion of this request and a comparison of another request, this request was slightly different and therefore is not a duplicate. Although the requests were asking for essentially the same information from the same individuals, the email extension reads differently (@huntonAK.com). I apologize for this overlook – this was an honest mistake. To rectify this mistake, I have entered your request into the system and will proceed with your request after fees are addressed (please see below).

We have classified you as a representative of the news media. As such, we may charge you for some of our duplication costs, but we will not charge you for our search or review costs; you also are entitled to up to 100 pages of photocopies (or an equivalent volume) for free. See 43 C.F.R. § 2.39. If, after taking into consideration your fee category entitlements, our processing costs are less than $50.00, we will not bill you because the cost of collection would be greater than the fee collected. See 43 C.F.R. § 2.37(g).

Our regulations require that your request must explicitly state that you will pay all fees associated with processing the request, that you will pay fees up to a specified amount, and/or that you are seeking a fee waiver. Your request does not fulfill this requirement and is unclear on whether or not you are willing to pay fees or you are requesting a fee waiver. Therefore, we are unable to process your request at this time. If you wish to pursue your request, please provide additional information regarding fees.

According to our regulations, if we do not receive your written response clarifying the fee issue within 20 workdays from the date of this communication, we will presume that you are no longer interested in pursuing your request. In such circumstances, we will not be able to comply with your request and will close our file on it. See 43 C.F.R. § 2.6(c)and § 2.51(c).

If you have any questions about our response to your request, you may contact Tiffany McClurkin by email at foiar4@fws.gov<mailto:foiar4@fws.gov> or by phone at (404) 679-4104.

Respectfully,

Tiffany McClurkin
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Headquarters Information Resources & Technology Management
Atlanta Regional Office
FOIA Coordinator

From: Jimmy Tobias

Hi Ms. McClurkin,

Thank you for the note. As a reporter who plans to use the public records I have requested to publish newsworthy articles of interest to the American public, I request a fee waiver for this FOIA request. Specifically, the records that I am requesting from your agency will significantly contribute to the American public's understanding of whether and how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is protecting the endangered Florida panther's habitat in southern Florida. It will also shed light on which business interests and lobbyists are influencing the agency's decision making. The Florida panther's survival, and the general implementation of the ESA, is an issue of the utmost importance, as it pertains directly to the U.S. government's commitment to mitigating the extinction crisis that threatens wildlife around the country. As such, I request all fees in this matter be waived.

I have a long track record of publishing important stories of public interests on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and intend to continue doing this work with the help of the documents your agency provides. You can find an example of my work here: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/18/trump-administration-us-endangered-species-discussions-secret

If the agency denies me a fee waiver, I am willing to pay up to $50 in fees.

If you have any further questions, please contact me at 248-763-0088.

Sincerely,

Jimmy Tobias

From: U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, Region 4

Good Afternoon Mr. Tobias,

I appreciate your prompt response!

You have asked us to waive the fees for processing your request. Our FOIA regulations state that bureaus will waive, or partially waive, fees if disclosure of all or part of the information is (1) In the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of government operations or activities, and (2) Not primarily in your commercial interest. See 43 C.F.R. § 2.45(a). Our FOIA regulations also provide four specific criteria that are used to determine whether these two requirements are met. See 43 C.F.R. § 2.48(a). Your request meets the requirements and your fee waiver has been granted.

We use Multitrack Processing to process FOIA requests. The Simple track is for requests that would generally take one to five workdays to process. The Normal track is for requests that would generally take six to twenty workdays to process. The Complex track is for requests that would generally take twenty-one to sixty workdays to process. The Extraordinary track is for requests that would generally take more than sixty workdays to process. The Expedited track is for requests that have been granted expedited processing, which are processed as soon as practicable. Within each track, requests are usually processed on a first-in, first-out basis.

Your request falls into the Complex processing track. Presuming that our current FOIA capacity and burden remain constant, we expect that we will dispatch a determination to you by June 1, 2020.

If you have any questions about our response to your request, you may contact Tiffany McClurkin by email at foiar4@fws.gov<mailto:foiar4@fws.gov> or by phone at (404) 679-4104.

Respectfully,

Tiffany McClurkin
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Headquarters Information Resources & Technology Management
Atlanta Regional Office
FOIA Coordinator

From: Jimmy Tobias

Thank you so much Tiffany. I appreciate it!

Jimmy

From: U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service, Region 4

Good Afternoon Mr. Tobias,
Please see the attached Final Response letter and reference Freedom of Information Act FWS-2020-00638. Although your request will not reflect closed in the system due to an issue being resolved with the FOIAonline helpdesk, please consider this matter closed. Once the issue is resolved with the FOIAonline helpdesk, the request will reflect closed in the system. Thank you.
For additional information please feel free to contact me.
Respectfully,
Tiffany McClurkin

From: Jimmy Tobias

Hi,

Thanks so much for your help with this request! I really appreciate it.

Sincerely,
Jimmy Tobias

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