Joshua Winchell - Elephants & Lions

Alexander Rony filed this request with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking #

FWS-2018-00518

Status
Completed

Communications

From: Alexander Rony

To Whom It May Concern:

I. Requested Records

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act for emails between November 7, 2017 and March 7, 2018 mentioning "elephant" or "lion" that were sent to or from joshua_winchell@fws.gov or iwcc@fws.gov.

II. Record Delivery

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

Please produce the records on a rolling basis; at no point should the search for – or deliberation concerning – certain records delay the production of others that the agency has already retrieved and elected to produce.

Should you decide to invoke a FOIA exemption with regard to any of the requested records, please include in your response letter sufficient information for an appeal, including:

1. Basic factual material about each withheld item, including the originator, date, length, general subject matter, and location of each item.
2. Explanations and justifications for denial, including the identification of the category within the governing statutory provision under which the document (or portion thereof) was withheld and a full explanation of how each exemption fits the withheld material.

If you determine that portions of a requested record are exempt from disclosure, please redact the exempt portions and provide the remainder of the record.

III. Request for a Fee Waiver

I respectfully request that you waive all fees in connection with this request as provided by 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii). The Sierra Club is a national environmental nonprofit with no commercial interest in obtaining the requested information. Our organization intends to analyze and disseminate the requested information free of charge so that the public can be better informed about safeguarding endangered species around the globe.

The subject matter of the requested records is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government by disclosing to what extent the International Wildlife Conservation Council ("Council") has influenced U.S. policies regarding hunting trophy imports of African elephants and lions (Joshua Winchell is the designated federal officer for the Council, and the alternate email address was set up to support the Council). This issue has received widespread attention in the media and from the president himself. Some members of the Council represent groups that have sought to loosen import restrictions.

The Sierra Club and its supporters have demonstrated interest and expertise in the subject area, as the organization has a well-established program to protect wild lands and wildlife. Our staff and volunteers regularly interact with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding endangered species, and hundreds of thousands of our supporters have written letters and submitted public comments on international endangered species protections, including on African elephants, African lions, and the Council itself.

IV. Media Requester Status

In addition to the public interest fee waiver, I ask to be properly categorized as a representative of the news media. The bulk of my professional duties at the Sierra Club entails planning and writing content about public policy, including composing mass communications to our followers, analyzing FOIA responses, and coordinating press outreach. Here are some examples that resulted from my work:

https://sierraclub.org/planet/2017/04/hiring-freeze-prevented-epa-filling-hundreds-jobs
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/05/19/nearly-700-vacancies-at-cdc-because-of-trump-administration-hiring-freeze/
http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/4480/over-700000-people-tell-government-to-block-seed-mergers

The Sierra Club has the ability and intention to disseminate the information it receives through this request. The information may be shared through emails to an audience reaching into the millions, Facebook and Twitter posts reaching tens of thousands of followers, articles on our frequently-visited website, and analysis provided to the media.

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,

Alexander Rony
Sierra Club

From: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Dear Alexander Rony,

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Headquarters FOIA Office
received your FOIA request dated March 8, 2018. We have forwarded your
request to our National Wildlife Refuge System office for processing.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this request; please
contact Jeffery Donahoe (jeffery_donahoe@fws.gov <kenneth_perry@fws.gov>)
at 703-358-2401.

Respectfully,

United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Headquarters Freedom of Information Act Office
MS: IRTM
5275 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <requests@muckrock.com>
Date: Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 1:28 AM
Subject: Freedom of Information Request: Joshua Winchell - Elephants & Lions
To: fwhq_foia@fws.gov

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
FOIA Office
MS:IRTM
5275 Leesburg Pike
<https://maps.google.com/?q=5275+Leesburg+Pike+Falls+Church,+VA+22041&entry=gmail&source=g>
Falls Church, VA 22041
<https://maps.google.com/?q=5275+Leesburg+Pike+Falls+Church,+VA+22041&entry=gmail&source=g>

March 8, 2018

To Whom It May Concern:

I. Requested Records

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act for emails between
November 7, 2017 and March 7, 2018 mentioning "elephant" or "lion" that
were sent to or from joshua_winchell@fws.gov or iwcc@fws.gov.

II. Record Delivery

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

Please produce the records on a rolling basis; at no point should the
search for – or deliberation concerning – certain records delay the
production of others that the agency has already retrieved and elected to
produce.

Should you decide to invoke a FOIA exemption with regard to any of the
requested records, please include in your response letter sufficient
information for an appeal, including:

1. Basic factual material about each withheld item, including the
originator, date, length, general subject matter, and location of each item.
2. Explanations and justifications for denial, including the identification
of the category within the governing statutory provision under which the
document (or portion thereof) was withheld and a full explanation of how
each exemption fits the withheld material.

If you determine that portions of a requested record are exempt from
disclosure, please redact the exempt portions and provide the remainder of
the record.

III. Request for a Fee Waiver

I respectfully request that you waive all fees in connection with this
request as provided by 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii). The Sierra Club is a
national environmental nonprofit with no commercial interest in obtaining
the requested information. Our organization intends to analyze and
disseminate the requested information free of charge so that the public can
be better informed about safeguarding endangered species around the globe.

The subject matter of the requested records is likely to contribute
significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of
the government by disclosing to what extent the International Wildlife
Conservation Council ("Council") has influenced U.S. policies regarding
hunting trophy imports of African elephants and lions (Joshua Winchell is
the designated federal officer for the Council, and the alternate email
address was set up to support the Council). This issue has received
widespread attention in the media and from the president himself. Some
members of the Council represent groups that have sought to loosen import
restrictions.

The Sierra Club and its supporters have demonstrated interest and expertise
in the subject area, as the organization has a well-established program to
protect wild lands and wildlife. Our staff and volunteers regularly
interact with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding endangered species,
and hundreds of thousands of our supporters have written letters and
submitted public comments on international endangered species protections,
including on African elephants, African lions, and the Council itself.

IV. Media Requester Status

In addition to the public interest fee waiver, I ask to be properly
categorized as a representative of the news media. The bulk of my
professional duties at the Sierra Club entails planning and writing content
about public policy, including composing mass communications to our
followers, analyzing FOIA responses, and coordinating press outreach. Here
are some examples that resulted from my work:

https://sierraclub.org/planet/2017/04/hiring-freeze-prevented-epa-filling-
hundreds-jobs
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/05/19/nearly-700-
vacancies-at-cdc-because-of-trump-administration-hiring-freeze/
http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/press-releases/4480/over-700000-
people-tell-government-to-block-seed-mergers

The Sierra Club has the ability and intention to disseminate the
information it receives through this request. The information may be shared
through emails to an audience reaching into the millions, Facebook and
Twitter posts reaching tens of thousands of followers, articles on our
frequently-visited website, and analysis provided to the media.

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,

Alexander Rony
Sierra Club

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Somerville, MA 02144
<https://maps.google.com/?q=411A+Highland+Ave+Somerville,+MA+02144&entry=gmail&source=g>
-2516

PLEASE NOTE: This request is not filed by a MuckRock staff member, but is
being sent through MuckRock by the above in order to better track, share,
and manage public records requests. Also note that improperly addressed
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department number) requests might be returned as undeliverable.
--
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Headquarters Freedom of Information Act Office
MS: IRTM
5275 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22041

From: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: Alexander Rony

Dear. Mr. Donahoe,

Thank you for your March 13 letter regarding my FOIA request (control number FWS-2018-00518). Has there been a decision regarding my request for a public interest fee waiver?

Respectfully,

Alexander Rony
Sierra Club

From: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Dear Mr. Rony:

I checked our files and the fee waiver was granted on March 13, 2018.
Thank you for your inquiry and if you have any additional questions, please
contact me. Thanks.

Jeff Donahoe

--
Jeffery Donahoe
703-358-2401

What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean. - Newton

From: Alexander Rony

Thank you very much for your prompt reply, Mr. Donahoe.

From: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Dear Mr. Rony: Thank you for your April 23, 2018, inquiry regarding the
status of your FOIA request, number FWS-2018-00518. We are currently
reviewing records and we plan to issue our first interim response by April
30. We plan to post our interim response to an IWCC spot on our FOIA
Reading Room. I will provide you with the reading room address in a letter
I plan to mail out to all requesters on April 30, 2018. If you have any
questions, please let me know. Thanks. Jeff Donahoe.

--
Jeffery Donahoe
703-358-2401

What we know is a drop, what we don't know is an ocean. - Newton

From: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Mr. Rony, attached is a letter notifying you of an interim release of
documents in response to your FOIA request. Thank you for your interest in
the work of the FWS and DOI and please contact me if I can be of further
assistance. Jeff Donahoe
--
Jeffery Donahoe
703-358-2401

From: Alexander Rony

Thank you, Mr. Donahoe, for your May 15 letter regarding my Freedom of Information Act request (FWS-2018-00518). I had one question about the interim response's documents.

In the fourth batch of emails (https://www.fws.gov/irm/bpim/docs/iwcc/Pages_15001-16241_from_FWS-2018-00213-Final.pdf), there is an email on Page 863. The contents indicate that Douglas S. Burdin, Esq. <dburdin@safariclub.org> wrote the email, but the header states that it was sent by Patricia Tissot <tissotp@hotmail.com>. The other headers I have checked appear to accurately reflect the contents of the message, so this one in particular confuses me. Is there any explanation for the disparity?

Regards,
Alexander Rony

From: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Dear Mr. Rony, thank you for your email regarding the documents we posted
as an interim response to your FOIA request, number FWS-2018-00518. I want
to let you know we received your communication and we have sent it to our
Information Resources and Technology Management program for analysis. We
will let you know the outcome of the analysis once they reach a
conclusion. Thank you for your interest in the work of the FWS and DOI.
Jeff Donahoe
--
Jeffery Donahoe
703-358-2401

From: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Dear Mr. Rony, attached is a PDF of the letter I am mailing to you today
regarding the same subject. A partial release of the records you requested
is posted online at the link found in the letter.

If I can be of any additional assistance, please let me know. As always,
we appreciate your interest in the work of the FWS and DOI. Thanks.

Jeff Donahoe
703-358-2401

From: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

  • IWCC_Public_Comment_All_FOIA_Globally_Responsive_Emails_part_3_Redacted.pdf

  • IWCC_Public_Comment_part_1_Redacted.pdf

  • IWCC_Public_Comment_All_FOIA_Globally_Responsive_Emails_part_2_Redacted.pdf

  • 7-10-18 MR50306 RES-C ID#FWS-2018-00518.pdf

From: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Dear Mr. Rony,

Attached is the FWS's third interim response to your subject FOIA request.
Please contact me if you have any questions. As always, we appreciate your
interest in the work of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of
the Interior. Thank you.
--
Jeffery Donahoe
703-358-2401

From: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Dear Mr. Rony:

Attached is a copy of the 4th interim release letter that I am mailing to
you today. If you have any questions, please contact me. Thank you for
your interest in the work of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the DOI.
--
Jeffery Donahoe
703-358-2401

From: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Dear Mr. Rony:

Attached is a copy of the letter I am mailing to you today regarding the
final release of records for your subject FOIA request. If you
have any questions, please let me know. Thank you for your interest in the
work of the FWS and DOI.
--
Jeffery Donahoe
703-358-2401

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