May 28, 2019

Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation Praises Interior Department Action’s to Increase Transparency in Litigation

Earlier this month, the Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a Memorandum, “Promoting Transparency and Accountability in Attorney’s Fees and Costs,” to increase transparency and accountability in attorney’s fees and costs that are associated with potentially frivolous lawsuits.

In September 2018, DOI issued Secretarial Order (S.O.) 3368, Promoting Transparency and Accountability in Consent Decrees and Settlement Agreements, which served as the basis for the recently issued memorandum. The Memorandum directs DOI’s Office of Communications to create a public webpage within 30 days that includes the following:

The recently signed law John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act (S. 47), included the Open Book on Equal Access to Justice (Section 4201). This provision reinstates the collection and publication of basic data describing litigation against federal agencies so that lawsuits can be more easily understood and guided to ensure effective and proper decision-making. Section 4201 of S. 47, as well as the recently issued memorandum and S.O., are extremely important to sportsmen and women as baseless litigation regularly delays decisions on public lands that impact hunting, fishing, trapping, and recreational shooting opportunities. 

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation applauds DOI for taking steps to reduce overly burdensome litigation and increase federal transparency.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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