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Center For Biological v. United

December 2, 2010

CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY; DEFENDERS OF WILDLIFE; SIERRA CLUB, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES,
v.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, WILDLIFE SERVICES, OPINION ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Arizona John M. Roll, Chief District Judge, Presiding

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Rymer, Circuit Judge:

FOR PUBLICATION

Argued and Submitted November 1, 2010-San Francisco, California

Filed

Before: Arthur L. Alarcon and Pamela Ann Rymer,

Circuit Judges, and David G. Trager,

Senior District Judge.*

Opinion by Judge Rymer

*The Honorable David G. Trager, Senior United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York, sitting by designation.

19151

OPINION

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Center for Biological Diversity, which required the USDA, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), to disclose the GPS coordinates of wolf depredations to which it had responded. The district court held that the coordinates were not exempt from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 3 or Exemption 6. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and we reverse. Exemption 3 applies because Section 8791 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA) exempts from disclosure such geospatial data and applies to this case even though it took effect after the USDA withheld the coordinates.

I

The facts are largely not in dispute. The USDA operates the Wildlife Services program (WS) through the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The WS program reduces crop and livestock depredations caused by the Mexican wolf, along with birds, rodents, and other predators. The WS enters into agreements with individuals, ...


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