Mark Zuckerberg trip to Glacier (USGS)

Alexander Rony filed this request with the U.S. Geological Survey of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking # USGS-2017-00175
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 to USGS research ecologist Daniel Fagre about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's July 2017 trip to Glacier National Park. At least one was sent on July 12, and there should be others involving the same individual (source: http://wapo.st/2vzsJjd). Please limit your search to June and July 2017.

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 climate change and the stewardship of our national parks.

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 the extent to which agency resources were used to keep discussions of climate change away from Mr. Zuckerberg during his noteworthy trip. This has been an issue of debate in the press (see http://wapo.st/2tjXdFp for an example of one highly-read article).

The Sierra Club and its supporters have demonstrated interest and expertise in the subject area, as the organization has well-established programs to reduce climate change and protect wild lands, including our national parks. Our staff and volunteers regularly interact with the department regarding these issues.

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.

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,

Alexander Rony
Sierra Club

From: Freedom of Information Act, GS-D-EI_

Dear Mr. Rony:

On July 27, 2017, the USGS Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) office
received your FOIA request, dated July 27, 2017, and assigned it tracking
number *USGS-2017-00175*. Please cite this number in any future
communications with our office regarding your request. You request the
following information:

*emails to USGS research ecologist Daniel Fagre about Facebook CEO Mark
Zuckerberg's July 2017 trip to Glacier National Park. At least one was sent
on July 12, and there should be others involving the same individual
(source: **http://wapo.st/2vzsJjd* <http://wapo.st/2vzsJjd>*). Please limit
your search to June and July 2017.*

Before proceeding with your request, I want to inform you that this request
presents *unusual circumstances* for the following reason: the need to
search for or collect records from a field facility or establishment
separate from the office processing the request. Therefore, we are taking
a 10-workday extension under *43 C.F.R. § 2.19(b)*
<http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=0fc3ab3499768eebc2e3691c8cf88dec&rgn=div5&view=text&node=43:1.1.1.1.2&idno=43#43:1.1.1.1.2.4.5.6>
*.*

As a result of the unusual circumstances, your request meets the exceptions
to Section 2 of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 rule against assessing
FOIA processing fees. We will notify you if we need to take an additional
extension.

We have classified you as a representative of the “news media” requester.
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
<http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=0fc3ab3499768eebc2e3691c8cf88dec&rgn=div5&view=text&node=43:1.1.1.1.2&idno=43#43:1.1.1.1.2.4.5.6>*.
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.
§ 2.49(a)(1)
<http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=0fc3ab3499768eebc2e3691c8cf88dec&rgn=div5&view=text&node=43:1.1.1.1.2&idno=43#43:1.1.1.1.2.4.5.6>*.
You can expect to hear from us promptly regarding the outcome of this
search.

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*
<http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=0fc3ab3499768eebc2e3691c8cf88dec&rgn=div5&view=text&node=43:1.1.1.1.2&idno=43#43:1.1.1.1.2.7.5.9>*43
C.F.R. § 2.45(a)*
<http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=0fc3ab3499768eebc2e3691c8cf88dec&rgn=div5&view=text&node=43:1.1.1.1.2&idno=43#43:1.1.1.1.2.7.5.9>.
Our FOIA regulations also provide four specific criteria that are used to
determine whether these two requirements are met. *See*
<http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=0fc3ab3499768eebc2e3691c8cf88dec&rgn=div5&view=text&node=43:1.1.1.1.2&idno=43#43:1.1.1.1.2.7.5.12>*43
C.F.R. § 2.48(a)*
<http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=0fc3ab3499768eebc2e3691c8cf88dec&rgn=div5&view=text&node=43:1.1.1.1.2&idno=43#43:1.1.1.1.2.7.5.12>
*.* Your request meets the criteria and supports your requested fee
waiver; therefore, I approve your request and waive the FOIA processing
fees.

We use Multitrack Processing to process FOIA requests. The Simple track is
for requests that can be processed in one to five workdays. The Normal
track is for requests that can be processed in six to twenty workdays. The
Complex track is for requests that can be processed in twenty-one to sixty
workdays. The Exceptional/Voluminous track is for requests requiring more
than sixty workdays for processing. The Expedited track is for requests
that have been granted expedited processing. Within each track, requests
are usually processed on a first-in, first-out basis.

Your request falls into the *Complex* processing track. We therefore
anticipate that we will complete a final response to you by *October 20,
2017**.* During the interim, we will attempt to provide records to you in
batches.

You may limit the scope of your request, which may enable us to process it
more quickly, or agree to an alternative time period for processing by
communicating with us or our USGS FOIA Public Liaison, Mr. Brian May, email
at foia@usgs.gov; telephone (443) 498-5521; fax (443) 498-5510; or by mail,
USGS, 5522 Research Park Drive, Baltimore, MD 21228. Additionally, you
may contact the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) at the
National Archives and Records Administration to inquire about the FOIA
mediation services they offer. The contact information for OGIS is as
follows:

Office of Government Information Services

National Archives and Records Administration

8601 Adelphi Road-OGIS

College Park, Maryland 20740-6001

E-mail: ogis@nara.gov;

Web: https://ogis.archives.gov

Telephone: (202) 741-5770

Toll free: 1-877-684-6448

Fax: (202) 741-5769

If you have any questions concerning your request, please contact me by
email at foia@usgs.gov or by phone at (703) 648-7179.

Thank you for your interest in the U.S. Geological Survey.

Sincerely,

Litsa Marinos
Government Information Specialist
U.S. Geological Survey
Department of the Interior
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Mail Stop 159
Reston, VA 20192
(703) 648-7179 (office)
(703) 648-7199 (fax)
f <bmay@usgs.gov>oia@usgs.gov

From: Freedom of Information Act, GS-D-EI_

Dear Mr. Rony:

This email is our first interim response to your Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA) request dated July 27, 2017, for the following information:

*emails to USGS research ecologist Daniel Fagre about Facebook CEO Mark
Zuckerberg's July 2017 trip to Glacier National Park. At least one was sent
on July 12, and there should be others involving the same individual
(source: http://wapo.st/2vzsJjd <http://wapo.st/2vzsJjd>). Please limit
your search to June and July 2017.*

We are continuing to review records associated with your request. We are
releasing *58 pages* of records that we previously released to MuckRock
associated with their request, assigned tracking number 2017-00166.
MuckRock requested the following records:

*Any/all records, documents, correspondence** (including, but not limited
to, inter and/or intra-agency correspondence as well as correspondence with
entities or individuals outside the federal government, emails, letters,
notes, Slack chat logs, Gchat and/or Google Hangouts chat logs, telephone
records, telephone notes, text messages, minutes, memoranda, comments,
files, presentations, consultations, assessments, evaluations, schedules,
telephone logs, reports, photographs and other images, data (including raw
data, GPS or GIS data, UTM, LiDAR, etc., maps, and/or all other responsive
records, in draft or final form.) generated in connection to the scheduled
meeting between Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Daniel Fagre, a research
ecologist at the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center.*

​All records that can be released​ will be made available at the earliest
possible date. Please let us know if you prefer to receive records
responsive to your request only.

Sincerely,

Litsa Marinos
Government Information Specialist
U.S. Geological Survey
Department of the Interior
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Mail Stop 159
Reston, VA 20192
(703) 648-7179 (office)
(703) 648-7199 (fax)
f <bmay@usgs.gov>oia@usgs.gov

From: Alexander Rony

Hello Litsa, thank you for the update. Are there additional records that are responsive to my request that were not contained in the interim release, or are you still conducting additional searches that may or may not turn up documents?

Regards,
Alexander

From: Freedom of Information Act, GS-D-EI_

Dear Mr. Rony:

On August 25, 2017, we provided you with our first interim response to your
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated July 27, 2017. This is our
second interim response to your FOIA request, assigned tracking number
2017-00175.

At this time we are releasing, to you, 328 pages of records in their
entirety. These records were previously released to another FOIA requester.

We are continuing to review records associated with your request. All
records that can be released will be made available at the earliest
possible date.

If you have any questions concerning your request, please contact me by
e-mail at foia@usgs.gov, or by phone at (703) 648-7179.

Sincerely,

Litsa Marinos
Government Information Specialist
U.S. Geological Survey
Department of the Interior
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Mail Stop 159
Reston, VA 20192
(703) 648-7179 (office)
(703) 648-7199 (fax)
f <bmay@usgs.gov>oia@usgs.gov

From: Freedom of Information Act, GS-D-EI_

Dear Mr. Rony:

This is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated
July 27, 2017, assigned tracking number 2017-00175.

On August 25, 2017, and September 12, 2017, our office provided you with
two interim responses. We are releasing, to you, one hundred and
forty-nine (149) pages that were previously released to another FOIA
requester.

We classified you as a "news media" requester. On July 27, 2017, we
granted your request for a fee waiver. As such, you are not being charged
for the processing of your request.

Because the records were previously released initially to another FOIA
requester (MuckRock) we are not providing appeal rights.

The 2007 FOIA amendments created the Office of Government Information
Services (OGIS) to offer mediation services to resolve disputes between
FOIA requesters and Federal agencies as a non-exclusive alternative to
litigation. Using OGIS services does not affect your right to pursue
litigation. You may contact OGIS in any of the following ways:

Office of Government Information Services

National Archives and Records Administration

8601 Adelphi Road – OGIS

College Park, MD 20740-6001

Telephone: (202) 741-5770

Fax: (202) 741-5769

Toll-free: 1-877-684-6448

E-mail: ogis@nara.gov

Web: https://ogis.archives.gov

Please note that using OGIS services does not affect the timing of filing an
appeal with the Department’s FOIA & Privacy Act Appeals Officer. If you hav
e any questions about our response to your request, you may contact
​ Litsa Marinos at (703) 648-7179,​ by email at foia@usgs.gov, or by mail
at 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, MS 159, Room 4B105, Reston, Virginia
20192-0002.

​ ​
You may also seek dispute re​solution services from our FOIA Public Liaison
and FOIA Officer Mr. Brian May, by phone at (443) 498-5521
​ ​
or at foia@usgs.gov.

Sincerely,

Litsa Marinos
Government Information Specialist
U.S. Geological Survey
Department of the Interior
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Mail Stop 159
Reston, VA 20192
(703) 648-7179 (office)
(703) 648-7199 (fax)
f <bmay@usgs.gov>oia@usgs.gov

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