A second round of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records have been obtained regarding the partnership between the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Salmon Valley Stewardship (SVS). There is quite a bit of financial information contained in these records, once again a very large document. A link to those records can be found here. Again, because of the document size, disorganization and duplicates of these records, they will be broken down into monthly quarters
Below is the financial records starting December, 2016 through March, 2017. Even though requested, the documents leading up to this agreement prior to December, 2016, who participated in the discussions for the partnership, were not provided. The initial agreement was for $200,000, however by the end of the partnership in 2018, the amount SVS obtained far exceeded that. At the top of each document is the page where the information can be found in the link to the full FOIA document. The initial agreement states it was to develop and execute several projects towards Forest Plan Revision "Across Region 4", but was actually executed across multiple forests outside of Region 4. By the end of March this amount had increased to $396,678, most of which went to salaries. The March 2017 Modification raised the amount by $197,670.
Below is the April 11, 2017 invoice submitted by SVS from 1/1/17 to 3/31/17. A second invoice was submitted two days later for the same amount.
The period for the document below is from July through September, 2017. An additional amount of $50,000 was provided to SVS by the forest service Washington Office (WO) "for...media materials to solicit public input on Wild and Scenic Rivers comprehensive river management plans (CRMPs)." An invoice was submitted by SVS on July 27 for $163,915. SVS made another Modification request on August 10, 2017 for $128,040 more in funding. Part of this funding was for attending trade shows, maintaining the YFYF website, and recording podcasts. Another $50,000 was provided by the WO for wild and scenic river work. On page 15 of the document below, by August the "overall amount" of committed funds is now at $842,964.00!
Below the is October, 2017 invoice submitted by SVS for $119,338.00.
Below is the January through February, 2018 finances, including a January SVS invoice for $71,470.00 and another Modification request for an additional $65,257.50 in funding for work on Wild $ Scenic rivers projects. There is also some discussion by SVS about a new partnership, a partnership that was never identified in these FOIA records.... even though the FOIA request specifically asked for information about two additional known media partners.
The April through May, 2018 financial document is below. An invoice was submitted by SVS for $161,528. There is also a forest service document showing payment to SVS in the amount of $597,797.00 from April, 2017 through April, 2018. SVS again requested a Modification for $238,081.80 in additional funding, but the forest service began questioning these requests. A "partner" is also again referenced.
The July through September, 2018 financial document is below. And additional $41,500.00 was requested but later decommitted after being flagged by the forest service. It appears more scrutiny of SVS funding was starting. A July invoice submitted by SVS was for $230,531.00 which was paid by the forest service. There is also acknowledgement of a partnership with More Than Just Parks (MTJP) and discussion about more partnerships. By August, $170,519.00 in funding was decommitted ... by Region 4 ... because the the "agreement" had "gone national". "
The last FOIA information is from October through November, 2018. An Advisory Council was now being formed without any citizen involvement and getting involved in river management plans "that have nothing to do with forest revision".
The amount of taxpayer money SVS collected on this partnership with the forest service is obscene. Much of that money went to their media partner salaries, traveling around promoting their project that had nothing to do with forest revision plans, and clearly promoted objectives that align with large conservation groups such as Yellowstone to Yukon and the High Divide Collaborative in which SVS staff are members.
Many questions remain about this partnership. These type of partnerships by the forest service must end, taxpayer money should be used in more responsible ways.
The first FOIA request information can be found here.