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FOIL Appeal Determination for 04-09-0A (Julie Broyles)

May 3, 2004

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Office of Hearings and Mediation Services
625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-1550
Phone: (518) 402-9003 FAX: (518) 402-9037

May 3, 2004

Julie Broyles
4408 Milestrip Road, Box 151
Blasdell, New York 14219

Re: Freedom of Information Law Appeal No. 04-09-0A
FOIL Request No. 04-53

Dear Ms. Broyles:

We have completed our review of the documents to which the Department's Records Access Officer denied you access on March 4, 2004, as described in your appeal dated April 3, 2004. Your March 1, 2004 request sought a copy of the current working draft of the Unit Management Plan being prepared for the Zoar Valley Multiple Use Area. The request was made pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL, New York State Public Officers Law (POL) sections 84 through 90).

The denial of access was based on the document being an intra-agency record which is not statistical or factual tabulations or data, instructions to staff that affect the public, or a final agency policy or determination (POL section 87(2)(g)).

We obtained a copy of the document as it existed on March 4, 2004. The document is an intra-agency document that is not a final agency policy or determination, and it is still undergoing review and revision within the Department. The draft is also not instructions to staff that affect the public or an external audit. Two appendices contained in the draft are, however, factual tabulations or data. These appendices are available for public inspection and copying.

The appendices that are available under FOIL are Appendices C and D of the draft. Appendix C consists of lists of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, information explaining the terms used in the checklist and databases of species in New York State, and a list of fisheries information. Appendix D is a list of ecological communities identified for the Zoar Valley and Cattaraugus 15 areas in the Biodiversity Inventory Final Report prepared by the New York Natural Heritage Program in 1993. According to the Divisions of Lands and Forests Staff, Appendix D is dated information. An updated study is available from the Nature Conservancy's office in Rochester.

The appendices to the draft that are being made available consist of 26 pages. If you wish to be provided with a copy of these pages, please send a check for $6.50 to this office within 20 days of the date of this letter, payable to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to cover copying costs (26 pages at $0.25 per page). If you wish to review these documents at our office, please contact Deborah Vachon at 518-402-9003 within this same time frame. In any further communication with this office, please reference the above FOIL appeal number.

This is the final determination of the Department of Environmental Conservation regarding your April 3, 2004 FOIL appeal. You have the right to seek judicial review of this determination pursuant to Article 78 of the New York State Civil Practice Law and Rules.

Sincerely yours,

Louis A. Alexander
Assistant Commissioner for Hearings and Mediation Services

By: Susan J. DuBois
Administrative Law Judge

cc: Robert Freeman, Executive Director
Committee on Open Government

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