The air tanker report that the U.S. Forest Service commissioned but refuses to release even after a Freedom of Information Act Request, was not released in May by the RAND Corporation as promised. RAND told Wildfire Today in March that they had no problem releasing the report to the public even though the USFS said “…the report is proprietary and confidential RAND business information and must be withheld in entirety under FOIA Exemption 4″. The USFS refusal letter went on to say: “The data, analysis, and conclusion in this report are not accurate or complete.” The USFS said they wanted “to protect against public confusion that might result from premature disclosure.”
Lisa Sodders of RAND told Wildfire Today on Monday that the report is still undergoing peer review “both internally and externally”, and explained that some of the reviews are taking longer than anticipated. RAND expects to release the report “in the coming weeks”, Ms. Sodders said.
The external reviews are probably the ones that are holding up the process, I’m thinking.
The USFS Forest Service paid RAND $840,000 for the study. This was the fifth study on air tankers since 1996. A sixth one is underway now, commissioned, again, by the U.S. Forest Service, but paid for, again, by the U.S. taxpayers.
More information about: