The release of the RAND air tanker report is delayed

analysis paralysisThe 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.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “The release of the RAND air tanker report is delayed”

  1. Interesting that L Paul Bremer III the Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority – IRAQ read a RAND report that he used to somewhat guide his decision in Iraq during the year he was assigned duties in 2003 with the State Department.

    Here is the paraphrashing >….RAND did not deal in rosy scenarios, they applied cold logic. He also indicated the reports dealing with troop strengths and establishing an orderly Gov were impartial and unflinching.

    How about that??? What Is the USFS hiding??

    For all you bright bulbs out ther in the LMA’s…I invite you to read ” My Year in Iraq” by L Paul Bremer III

    Might give an indication to things…..and some how I believe this man, as a forester and pilot, before I would believe abunch of “leaders” in the USFS hiding under the FOIA Exemptions and the going to ANOTHER think tank.

    If AVID LLC says the same thing as RAND….who in hell do you suppose is right then, HUH??

    Somehow I believe Bremer and you folks might want to think about what this guy has to say about RAND reports.

    The USFS is a CA / CS outfit when it comes to people taking them to task……

  2. While I believe Ms Sodders about the peer review, the onus is on the USFS to PROVE the FOIA Exemption 4 to the public.

    Public confusion??? There is no confusion!!

    Six airtanker studies, two RAND contracts to confuse the public about, quite possibly, justifications for a larger budget so they can get their dream machines from Marietta, GA!!

    Pony up the dinero USFS for the C130J’s…it is “gonna” be ALOT of cookie and bake sales!!!


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