Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, has posted online 383 previously unreleased pages from the Department of Interior regarding ongoing plans to declare millions of acres as National Monuments. Using email and social media, he asked Montanans to review the materials and report anything of interest that they found.
“Transparency in government is the first principle of rule by the people,” said Rehberg, a member of the Congressional Western Caucus. “While some have gone to great lengths to keep these documents secret, and others have suggested there was no reason to see them, I think we ought to let Montanans see for themselves what their government is doing. It’s not going to be easy to sneak this one past almost a million Montanans.”
Although Rehberg posted the new pages – mostly emails – on his website, the DOI continues to withhold at least 2,016 pages, including the missing pages of the internal memo that was discovered earlier this year. Rehberg has cosponsored a resolution that would compel all of these missing pages to be released. He has also sponsored legislation that would require congressional approval of new National Monument designations in Montana.
“These documents clearly reveal that other DOI agencies including the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Reclamation have been involved,” said Rehberg in his email to Montanans. “Powerful environmental interest groups have also been invited to the table. The more we learn, the more urgent it becomes to pass legislation preventing a repeat of the gross abuse of power we saw in the waning days of the Clinton Administration. I will do everything in my power to prevent the federalization of Montana land.”
The documents can be downloaded online from here: https://rehberg.house.gov/uploads/DeptofInterior.zip
Posted by Haylie Shipp