Western Governors invite the Department of the Interior to discuss issues surrounding state and federal data-sharing, including disclosure concerns and potential solutions.
The Jan. 29, 2019 letter to Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt highlights how state data can improve federal decision-making and reduce duplications. It also notes that “in some cases, states may elect not to share certain data due to concerns regarding federal disclosure of information that is sensitive or protected under state law.”
The Governors assert, however, that those issues should not preclude collaboration and that there is an “opportunity to formalize these procedures is presented by Section 2.13 of DOI’s recently proposed FOIA regulations.”
“Information-sharing between states and the U.S. Department of the Interior is essential to the effective management of public lands,” states the letter signed by WGA Chair Hawaii Gov. David Ige and WGA Vice Chair North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. “Accordingly, states encourage the appropriate use of state information and expertise by their federal partners.”