CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Nov. 21 in a lawsuit that attempts to obtain Gov. Matt Mead’s documents regarding delisting the grizzly bear as an endangered species.

Robert H. Aland, an Illinois resident who has lived part-time in Wilson in Teton County since 1998, filed the lawsuit against Mead and Wyoming Game and Fish Department Director Scott Talbott.

Aland is an activist interested in the protection of the grizzly in the greater Yellowstone area, according to court documents. He was one of several activists to protest the November 2012 killing of a grizzly bear by elk hunters within Grand Teton National Park, the first killing tied to the park’s elk reduction effort.

Aland attempted to obtain copies of a letter issued May 24, 2012, from Mead to former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. The letter, which was posted on the governor’s website, asked Salazar to work with Mead to expedite the analysis of continued listing of the grizzly as an endangered species.

Aland also sought documents that supported Mead’s statement that Wyoming spent $35 million in recovery efforts during the past 28 years and was spending $2 million a year on grizzly management.

The Wyoming Attorney General’s Office released some related documents, but Aland’s lawsuit seeks 45 documents the state has withheld on grounds they are protected by the deliberative process privilege.

Aland argues that the Wyoming Supreme Court made clear in an earlier lawsuit that the deliberative process privilege hasn’t been adopted in Wyoming but could be if the state Legislature were to act.

The Supreme Court decision was made in the lawsuit filed by the Wyoming Tribune Eagle newspaper against former Gov. Dave Freudenthal to require him to make public the documents used in preparing his budget. The Legislature in the 2012 session rejected an amendment to the Wyoming Public Records Act that would have added deliberative process privilege to the law, court documents show.

Anand’s position is that the public has a right to know the deliberations and influences that go into a government decision. The state’s position is that such exposure chills open exchange of information and opinion.

Contact Joan Barron at 307-632-1244 or joan.barron@trib.com.

(4) comments

thehousemouse

Ok we give up come kill our live stock, poach what you ant. beat your wife, kill yur kids, but hey were ok as long as it dont effect us personally... kill our antilope, moose, grizzles, all of it. after all you killed yours already. and no body willl make you account for your misdeeds... but now that wyoming is up for sale to the highest bidders.. progresssives, tea party, or what ever...move your poodles in , then have the balls to cry wolf when its eaten or inconvienant and then claim a loss for being in the wilderness when FE-FEE gets eaten. come on down your the nest constensant on GEE i guess its not wyoming anymore.
growth is good but when di d they become the majority, the leaders the ones who love this land? . get involved...

jc45

mouse, those are bold words from an illiterate transplant. What does your rant have to do with the content of the article?

Cody Coyote

I have a feeling that aland may win this case against Mead.

Guv Matt is like this. When it comes to Grizzlies and Grey Wolves, he is no fiend to wildlife and will always take the side of the Stockgrowers and other anti-carnivore special interest groups , even when they a re wrong - and they are.

After Mead was Governor-Elect in late 2010, he went to work on the Wolves. By the time he took office he and his shotgun sidekick Steve Ferrell had already hammered out a one-side anti-carnivore anti-conservation anti-Wolf management plan for getting control of Wyoming's wolves so the state could start kiling them in the name of " conservation " , towards which Mead uses a much different definition than what is accepted in the science and ecology world.

MEad does a surprising amount of work behind closed doors, out of sight, off the record. Especially when the policy topic is environmental or at least not in the interests of balls to the wall industries.

The citizens of Wyoming demand more accountability from their Governor. I'm glad this part-time resident got his Grizzly disclosure case as far as he did. Now we'll see if the black robes recognize the merits of it...

-by the way , Housemouse, your response comment here is embarrassingly naive and full of anger. Somewhat lacking in factuality.

TC Mayo
TC Mayo

Government operating behind closed doors and making decisions without public scrutiny (exceipting national security) is not what a free nation does.

Welcome to the discussion.

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