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United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669

November 20, 2008

1278/4100 (934.DD/923.FT) P
Information Bulletin No. MT-2009-011
To:             Field Managers
                  Attn: Rangeland Management Staff
From:         Deputy State Director, Division of Resources
Subject:     Public Grazing Records
Over the past couple of years, there has been significant focus on the grazing records associated with the Privacy Act. This has caused confusion as to what grazing records are “public” versus what are “non-public.” The intent of this Information Bulletin is to provide to the rangeland management staff clarification on the information/records that may be released to the public without a Privacy Act request, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, or a waiver submitted by the grazing permittee/lessee.
The following information may be released to the public without a FOIA or Privacy Act request and a waiver is not required from the grazing permittee/lessee. These records should be located in the Allotment/Management Unit Files and should not contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII)[1]. However, if the record contains the permittee/lessee name or other PII, the request must be processed under the FOIA or Privacy Act or a waiver from the permittee/lessee is required.
·         Allotment numbers, acreages, animal unit months (AUMs)
·         Allotment maps
·         Allotment activity plans, which may include the following: allotment management
plans, allotment development plans, coordinated resource management plans, operation plans, habitat management plans, etc.
·         Range improvement cross reference list
·         Historical and background information – only information that may be helpful
·         Monitoring information (e.g., actual-use tally sheets, utilization, trend, climate, etc.)
·         Field visit reports, photographs, and evaluation documents 
·         Environmental assessments or other planning documentation
·         Monitoring plans
·         Vegetation, ecological site inventory, or Soil Vegetation Inventory Method (SVIM) data, records, or maps
·         Photographs
·         Rangeland health assessments or casual determination documents
·         Range improvement project planning or engineering records
Other information normally kept in the permittee/lessee case file may require a written FOIA or Privacy Act request or a waiver from the grazing permittee/lessee and is subject to the guidance found in Washington Office Instruction Memorandums 2006-068, 2007-189, and 2007-193.
Questions regarding this IB should be directed to Floyd Thompson, State Rangeland Management Specialist, (406) 896-5025, or Debbie DeBock, State FOIA/PA Coordinator, at (406) 896-5157.
Signed by: Cindy Staszak, for Theresa M. Hanley
Authenticated by: Jennifer C. McKinley (MT-934)
Assistant Field Manager, Glasgow Field Station
Assistant Field Manager, Havre Field Station

[1] The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memorandum M-06-19 states that :  “. . . the term Personally Identifiable Information means any information about an individual maintained by an agency, including, but not limited to, education, financial transactions, medical history, and criminal or employment history and information which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, such as their name, social security number, date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name, biometric records, etc., including any other personal information which is linked or linkable to an individual.”

Last updated: 02-28-2013