The following is a press release from the Office of Governor Matt Mead. The release is in regards to a request that former Governor Dave Freudenthal made last October to the U.S. Department of Interior. Governor Mead is now reminding the agency that it is overdue in responding.

After months of silence from the U.S. Department of Interior, Governor Matt Mead is reminding the agency that it is overdue in responding to a Freedom of Information Request from the state of Wyoming.

Former Governor Dave Freudenthal made the request last October. The request asks for documents relating to how Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Ned Farquhar has made decisions and policies concerning mineral leases on public lands. The request seeks to determine the extent to which special interests have influenced those decisions and policies.

The Department of Interior acknowledged receipt of the request in November, but no further response has been received. As Governor Mead wrote in the letter, “The U.S. Department of Interior has been dilatory with regards to this request and that concerns me greatly. I intend to pursue this request to the full extent provided by law and ask for your expeditious response to it now.”

Governor Mead feels it is important to let the Department of Interior know that just because there has been a change in administrations the agency should not assume it can dodge this request. “We will release these documents to the public and the entire state deserves to know how the Department of Interior is dealing with mineral leases on Wyoming’s public lands and the extent to which special interests have influenced those decisions and policies,” Governor Mead says.