Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

State Records Committee Appeal 02-04

BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH

HAROLD SERSLAND, Appellant, vs.

DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - DIVISION OF WILDLIFE RESOURCES, Appellee.

DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 02-04

By this appeal, Harold Sersland seeks data on "guzzler" locations in the Dugway and Thomas mountain ranges of Tooele and Juab counties.

The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on February 6, 2002, now issues the following Decision and Order.

STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION

1. The Government Records Access and Management Act ("GRAMA") specifies that "all records are public unless otherwise expressly provided by statute." Utah Code Ann. 63-2-201(2). Records that are not public are designated as either "private," "protected," or "controlled." See Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302, -303 and -304. The Department denied Mr. Sersland the records he seeks on the grounds that the requested guzzler locations are biological resources and therefore protected under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(26). This provision states that "records that reveal the location of historic, prehistoric, paleontological, or biological resources that if known would jeopardize the security of those resources or of valuable historic, scientific, educational, or cultural information" are protected if properly classified by a government entity. Id.

2. The Committee is persuaded that disclosure of the information requested would "reveal the location of ... biological resources that if known would jeopardize the security of those resources." Id.

3. The Utah Department of Natural Resources has therefore properly classified the records in question as "protected" under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(26).

ORDER

THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Mr. Sersland is denied. The Department's determination regarding the classification of these records is affirmed.

RIGHT TO APPEAL

Either party may appeal this Decision and Order to the District Court. The petition for review must be filed no later than thirty (30) days after the date of this order. The petition for judicial review must be a complaint. The complaint and the appeals process are governed by the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure and Utah Code Ann. 63-2-404. The court is required to make its decision de novo. In order to protect its rights on appeal, a party may wish to seek advice from an attorney.

Entered this 11th day of February, 2002.

BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE

Cherie Willis, Chairperson
State Records Committee