Public submission

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Federal agencies don’t keep most of their records forever. At some point, they’re legally allowed to destroy the majority of them.

But when? And which records? That’s up to the agency and the National Archives (with some input from the public, at least in theory).

In an overlooked process that’s been going on for decades, agencies create a “Request for Records Disposition Authority” that gives details about the documents, then proposes when they can be destroyed (e.g., three years after the end of the fiscal year, 50 years after they’re no longer needed, etc.). Occasionally, agencies propose keeping some documents permanently, which means eventually transferring them to the National Archives.

The National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) then “appraises” the agency’s Request for Records Disposition Authority, almost always giving the greenlight.

Around this point, the agency’s request and NARA’s appraisal are announced in the Federal Register. They are not published in the Register, nor are they posted to the Register website (including Regulations.gov). Their existence is simply noted.

Dept. of the Interior is asking for permission to destroy records about oil and gas leases, mining, dams, wells, timber sales, marine conservation, fishing, endangered species, non-endangered species, critical habitats, land acquisition, wild horses & burros and lots more. It’s also wanting to permanently retain a smaller subset of documents in each category, which will be transferred to the National Archives, where they will become harder to access via FOIA.

This is crucial stuff. In the months, years, and decades ahead, if you get “records destroyed” responses, or a vague “no records” response, from NPS, BLM, FWS, BIA, etc., this could be the root cause.

Comment period has been extended to Nov. 23, 2018   READ MORE HERE↓

To publicly comment on any proposal/appraisal, send your comment to: request.schedule@nara.gov /// fax: 301-837-3698 /// NARA (ACRA), 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park MD 20740-6001.  

From https://altgov2.org/doi-records-destruction/

The Department of the Interior has sent National Archives Records Administration a massive Request for Records Disposition Authority.

Interior’s request involves documents about oil and gas leases, mining, dams, wells, timber sales, marine conservation, fishing, endangered species, non-endangered species, critical habitats, land acquisition, and lots more.

The request covers these categories of documents from every agency within the Interior Department, including the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and others.

The request covers already-existing documents going back more than 50 years. Thousands of cubic feet of paper documents. Gigabytes of digital documents. Besides existing documents, as usual the proposed schedule will also apply to all future documents created in these categories (whether on paper or born digital).

FOR MORE INFORMATION, YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONTACT:

1) RUSS KICK

https://twitter.com/thememoryhole2

Has filed hundreds of FOIA requests, then posted the documents. Also reposts things the govt pulls offline. Work featured on Maddow, NY Times, Politico, Time, etc.

2) Samantha Feinstein
Senior Legal and International Analyst
Government Accountability Project
1612 K St., NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: 202-457-0034 x 162
E-mail: SamanthaF@whistleblower.org
Website: http://www.whistleblower.org

3) Patrice McDermott

Government Information Watch

pmcdermott@govinfowatch.net

NARA confirmed a 3-week extension (until 23 Nov) on comments.

 

I want to specifically highlight a massive request from the Department of the Interior to schedule records destruction across all of its agencies.

 

It’s asking for permission to destroy records about oil and gas leases, mining, dams, wells, timber sales, marine conservation, fishing, endangered species, non-endangered species, critical habitats, land acquisition, and lots more. It’s also wanting to permanently retain a smaller subset of documents in each category, which will be transferred to the National Archives, where they will become harder to access via FOIA.

 

This is crucial stuff. In the months, years, and decades ahead, if you get “records destroyed” responses, or a vague “no records” response, from NPS, BLM, FWS, BIA, etc., this could be the root cause.

 

Here’s all the info, including a streamlined, easy-to-read HTML version of Interior’s extensive request:

 

https://altgov2.org/doi-records-destruction/

 

 

NARA has confirmed a 3-week extension (until 23 Nov) on comments (just late yesterday). So, Emily Manna/Samantha Feinstein will be pulling something together for the openness and transparency folks.

 

The current relevant docs are here https://altgov2.org/doi-records-destruction/

 

Read NARA’s appraisal memo  https://altgov2.org/wp-content/uploads/DAA-0048-2015-0003_Appraisal_Memo.pdf 

 

And, this web page from the National Archives is a useful reference as well:

https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/resources/unauthorizeddispositionclosedcases

 

From https://altgov2.org/doi-records-destruction/

The Department of the Interior has sent NARA a massive Request for Records Disposition Authority.

Interior’s request involves documents about oil and gas leases, mining, dams, wells, timber sales, marine conservation, fishing, endangered species, non-endangered species, critical habitats, land acquisition, and lots more.

The request covers these categories of documents from every agency within the Interior Department, including the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and others.

The request covers already-existing documents going back more than 50 years. Thousands of cubic feet of paper documents. Gigabytes of digital documents. Besides existing documents, as usual the proposed schedule will also apply to all future documents created in these categories (whether on paper or born digital).

Above, I’ve posted PDFs of the Interior Department’s request and NARA’s appraisal.

These types of documents – especially the requests – are often formatted in a way that makes them difficult to follow. I’ve put them in a much more digestible format below.

Please note that this isn’t a total substitute for reading the PDF – I’ve left out some details, such as the exact length of time that temporary documents will be kept. For the full picture, read the above PDFs after you’ve gone through the reader-friendly version of Interior’s request below.

Request for Records Disposition Authority

Records Schedule Number: DAA-0048-2015-0003

Agency or Establishment: Department of the Interior

Schedule Subject: Department Records Schedule 2.2 – Natural Resources Planning and Development

 

Background Information

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Record Group 048, protects and manages the Nation’s natural resources and cultural heritage; provides scientific and other information about those resources; and honors its trust responsibilities and special commitments to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and affiliated island communities.

In accomplishing this mission, DOI records these activities, maintaining adequate and proper documentation of DOI policies and transactions, through its comprehensive records management program.

DOI serves its customers in the four broad areas of recreational uses, commercial uses, community services, and science for decision making. …

 

Department Organization: DOI is guided by the Office of the Secretary and includes the following Bureaus and Offices:

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST)
  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
  • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
  • Bureau of Reclamation (BOR)
  • Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)
  • Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
  • National Park Services (NPS)
  • Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE)
  • US Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Office of the Secretary (OS) — This includes:
  • Office of the Solicitor (SOL)
  • Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
  • Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA)
  • Interior Business Center (IBC)
  • And all other offices under the Office of the Secretary

….

 

1) Biological Resources and Marine Conservation

Records of all DOI activities devoted to sustain and improve biological communities and the health of watersheds, landscapes, and marine resources that are DOI managed and influenced in a manner consistent with obligations regarding the allocation and use of lands.

 

1.1) Endangered Species Recovery Plan Files and Fish & Wildlife Data — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0001

These internal agency planning efforts include but are not necessarily limited to draft and development proposal documents for corrective measures, restoration activities, and recommendations for land acquisition, management actions, and other cooperative efforts designed to enhance the status of a particular species under the Endangered Species Act.

Also, there is wildlife species conservation data collected on many programs managed by DOI. This includes data on fish, birds and various animals across the United States. The programs were designed to provide cooperative funding for both research and management activities from DOI. The data from these programs are used to study the population dynamics of various fish and birds and are included in a number of publications and reports to Federal & state agencies and to the public.

Specific records identified under this item include:

  • Technical or Scientific Documentation Used in the Development and Implementation of Recovery Plans for the Restoration of Endangered Native Species
  • Scientific Research Permits for use on a National Wildlife Refuge
  • Recovery Plan Permit Applications
  • Commercial and Sport Fishing Data
  • Sea Lamprey Control Data
  • Game Bird Population and Harvest Statistics
  • Wildlife Capture, Banding, and Marking Statistics

 

1.2) Critical Habitat (No Designation) Case Files — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0002

Case files or packages supporting decisions to designate a critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act that document the consideration process for a critical habitat designation where there was no designation of a critical habitat.

Specific records identified under this item include:

  • Maps
  • Legal Descriptions of Land
  • Public Notification Information
  • Public Comments
  • Proposed or Final Listing Package

 

1.3) Fish & Wildlife Coordination Act Reports and State Tagger Program Files — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0003

Assessments and reports prepared for, and funded by, state or other Federal agencies used to protect, rear, stock, and increase the supply of game and furbearing animals, as well as to study the effects of domestic sewage, trade wastes, and other polluting substances on wildlife.

Also, documents communication and agreements with state fur and tagger programs to identify individual animals listed as endangered species.

Specific records identified under this item include:

  • Biological Assessments
  • Habitat Assessments
  • Consultative Reports
  • Correspondence Site Plans
  • Monitoring Documentation
  • Project Funding Records
  • Progress Reports
  • Environmental Impact Statements
  • Internal Compliance Documents
  • Package Applications
  • Cooperative Agreements
  • Financial Information
  • Landowner Agreements
  • Environmental Compliance
  • Quarterly Reports
  • Photo Documentation
  • Tagging Reports
  • Statistics

 

1.4) Fish & Wildlife Surveys, Critical Habitat Designation, and Revocation Case Files — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0004

Marine conservation survey information, data, and summary reports of fish and wildlife numbers and locations that are used to produce publications and reports that track long-term trends. Case files or package supporting decisions to designate a critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act. The case files can also document the decision and action to revoke the critical habitat designation for a species or specific geographical areas.

Specific records identified under this item include:

  • Fish Counts Data
  • Weir Monitoring Statistics
  • Commercial Harvest Data
  • Stream Surveys
  • Fish Flow Data
  • Habitat Data
  • Animal Counts
  • Herd Statistics
  • Tagging and Transponder Data
  • Aerial Count Information
  • Maps
  • Legal Descriptions of Land
  • Public Notification Information
  • Public Comments

 

1.5) Species Management Files — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0005

Case files documenting DOI involvement with species the Department has an interest in, or an authority for, other than the Endangered Species Act, such as the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and Wild Bird Conservation Act of 1992.

Specific records identified under this item include:

  • Briefing Statements
  • Reviews of Legal Statements
  • Legislative Development Case Files
  • Federal Register Notification Files
  • Conservation Efforts
  • Meeting Notes on Unusual Mortality for Marine Animals
  • Meeting Notes on Marine Mammal Stranding Panels

 

1.6) Endangered Species Act Management and Plan Files, and Fish & Wildlife Management — permanent

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0006

The management of records relating to habitat management, preservation, and the Endangered Species Act. Fish and wildlife management documents DOI’s management of fish and wildlife resources through the preservation of ecosystem and natural habitat through conservation. The records contain final or summarized reports of habitat preservation and species management that are historically significant.

Specific records identified under this item include:

  • Studies Related to DOI’s Environmental Management Activities
  • Reports regarding DOI’s Environmental Management, Compliance, and Program Planning Activities
  • Consultation Documentation
  • Documented Activities With Other Government Agencies
  • Fish and Wildlife Resource Investigations
  • Fish and Wildlife Resource Surveys
  • Documentation of Habitat Management • Records on Wetlands Creation, Preservation, and Management
  • Plant and Animal Census
  • Analyses of Raw Data
  • Program Reviews
  • Conservation Management and Plans

 

2) Energy & Minerals

Records of all DOI activities devoted to ensuring the availability of energy for the United States and its citizens including fossil fuels, minerals, non-minerals, helium, geothermal, wind, solar and hydropower for exploration and production. Once produced, the energy is also transmitted as power for consumer use.

DOI is responsible for the development of mineral and non-mineral (including alternative energy) resources under the principles of multiple-use management of Federal lands.

DOI is also responsible for the decision to lease; issuance of the lease; lease management on administered lands; evaluation of social and economic factors; safety and risk management factors; record title management; and coordination with other land management agencies and should be documented in the case files.

DOI performs the financial management of all resources on Federal lands including the collection and disbursement of monies from the sale of natural resources….

The following list is a broad overview of the records covered by this item, with specific details included where possible, but it should not be considered a complete and exclusive listing of all pertinent documents.

Energy and Mineral files cover:

  • Fossil Fuels (Oil & Gas)
  • Minerals
  • Non-Minerals (primarily Sand, Gravel, and Timber)
  • Natural Gas
  • Helium
  • Geothermal
  • Wind
  • Solar
  • Hydropower

 

2.1) Accounting, Compliance, and Administration Records

The Financial Management business function performs the collection, accounting, and disbursement mineral lease revenues to the appropriate recipients consistent with all applicable laws, regulations, and lease terms.

Compliance Management functions include assuring proper royalties have been paid; assuring consistent compliance with lease terms, regulations, and laws; conducting mineral revenue audits and reviews in compliance with applicable standards; and applying fiduciary trust principles on public trust leases.

Compliance Management documents address the financial auditing of leases and the managing of the oil, gas and solid minerals that are extracted from the leased lands. Compliance Management will also address the financial auditing of leases and the managing of renewable energies like wind and solar that are captured from leased Federal lands.

Asset Sales and Asset Valuation Programs are responsible for addressing the feasibility to manage the Nation’s Royalty assets and product valuation of the minerals produced on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and on Federal lands.

Program components include the small refiner program, Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) fill, commercial natural gas and crude oil sales, and cooperative energy commodity sales with states.

This includes establishing the fair market value of commodities, issuing royalty valuation determinations, and authorizing adjustments to the valuation base used for royalty calculations.

Specific records identified under this item include, but are not limited to:

  • Mineral Revenue Distribution and Disbursement Files
  • Payor Account Reconciliation
  • Debt Collection
  • Reference Data – Leases, Agreements, Mines & Facility Measurement Points
  • Billing and Invoices
  • Refunds and Other Documentation
  • Check and Money Order Images
  • Reporter Training & Guidance
  • Royalty Reporting
  • Investment Files
  • Compliance Reviews – States
  • Oil & Gas and Mineral Audits – States
  • Asset Compliance Assurance
  • Revenue Enforcements
  • Appeals Files (DOI, ONRR, and IBLA)
  • Royalty Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Data Mining
  • Mineral Economic Analysis and Market Research
  • Requests for Valuation Guidance
  • Requests to Exceed Regulatory Limits for Transportation and Processing Allowances
  • Draft Valuation Regulations
  • Royalty Valuation Unbundling Program Files – Unbundling Cost Allocation (UCA) Files
  • New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) Calendar Month Average (CMA) Oil Price Files
  • Market Analysis and Royalty Summary (MARS) Report
  • Price/Map Requests
  • Mineral Economic Analysis and Market Research
  • Asset Management Sales or Exchanges
  • Production Reporting, Errors, Exceptions, and Well Actions

2.1.1) Federal Files — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0007

Records that document the planning, conducting, determining the extent of the analysis, and reporting of exploration and production activities on onshore and offshore DOI administered land.

In addition to the records listed above, also included are State Outreach, Audit & Compliance Information Collect from Companies, Production Accountability Compliance Monitoring, Compliance Inspection Planning and Inspections, Production Measurement Inspections and Enforcements, Asset Management Sales or Exchanges, Credit Assurance, Asset Management Service Agreements, and Asset Accounting and Verification.

Note: Excludes records that are related to Indian Fiduciary Trust. See DRS Mission Schedule 2.3, Indian Trust, Tribal Government, and Insular Affairs.

2.1.2) Financial Reports/Summaries — permanent

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0008

Reports and/or summaries related to reconciling subsidiary and control accounts, monitoring and analyzing daily accounting journal entries to subsidiary ledgers and the balance sheet and other financial management reports. Includes summaries of data from the Financial Sub-System documenting daily revenue management activities.

Covers both Native American-related and Federal, and includes but not limited to:

  • Program Management Summaries
    • Fiscal Accounting Summaries
    • Production Accounting Summaries
    • Exception Identification Summaries
    • Statistical Reporting Summaries
    • System Assurance Summaries

 

2.2) Energy Application Case Files — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0009

Case files documenting various types of approved lease applications for energy and mineral resources. Also includes related bonds and legal instruments. Specific records identified under this item cover onshore lands and include:

  • Oil & Gas Lease Application Case Files
  • Oil Shale Lease Application Case Files
  • Geothermal Lease Application Case Files
  • Natural Gas Lease Application Sales Case Files
  • Solid Mineral Lease Application Case Files
  • Communitization or Unitization Agreement Application Case Files
  • Adjudicated Alternative Energy Lease Applications
  • Personal or Surety Bonds
  • Alternative Energy Financial Instruments and Bonds
  • Riders
  • Powers-of-Attorney
  • Security Instruments

 

2.3) Resource Lease Case Files and Power Management Agreements — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0010

Records for case files on leases issued by DOI including exploration and production activities on onshore and offshore DOI administered land as allowed to existing subsurface rights holders.

Files document DOI involvement in ensuring that leases are valid, that activities are conducted under any stipulated conditions, and the leases are financially managed, valuated and audited.

The power generation and transmission records contain documentation pertaining to hydropower generation and power contracts and agreements between the Department and irrigation districts, or industrial and municipal customers regarding the sale of power, transmission, or payment for such services.

Specific records identified under this item include:

  • Period energy consumption/conservation reports
  • Long-term statistics
  • Trend data compilations and summaries
  • Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Resources
  • Well Production Rates
  • Plugging Records
  • Production Records
  • Exploratory Studies
  • Fair Market Value Determinations Documentation
  • Lease Buy Backs
  • Post-Sale Data Analysis
  • Contractual Timber Sales
  • What-if Analysis Documentation
  • Federal or State Agency Projects or Initiatives
  • Individual Lease Sale Areas of Interest List
  • Indicated Hydrocarbon List
  • Coastal Zone Management Act Certifications
  • Lease Sale Planning Records
  • Supporting Documentation to Prepare and Execute New Leases including Sand & Gravel and Non-Energy
  • MOUs and MOAs Pertaining to Renewable Energy Leasing on the OCS
  • Renewable Energy State Task Force Documentation
  • Renewable Energy Technical Studies for Programmatic and Regulatory Decisions
  • Renewable Energy Lease Administrative Records
  • Renewable Energy Company Qualification Submittals
  • Non-Energy Task Force Documentation
  • Power Service Contracts, agreements, Memorandum of Agreement’s
  • Transmission service agreements
  • Sale of power documentation
  • Payment schedules
  • Power generation studies and requirements
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner (FERC) issued permits
  • Technical correspondence
  • Pumped storage generation
  • Statistical studies of existing and potential power development
  • 4-E terms and conditions
  • Exploration and Prospecting Permit Approved

 

2.4) Resource Analysis and Evaluation — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0011

Provides complete analysis and evaluation of resource activities to support program decisions. Analyses and evaluation are conducted to assess the validity of potential quantities of undiscovered oil and gas resources, natural gas, and other leasable minerals, to estimate mineral reserves, to ensure the public receives fair market value for mineral development, and the planning and processing of leases under the various energy and mineral programs.

Specific records identified under this item include:

  • Geologic, Engineering, and Economic Assessments and Reports
  • Program and Resource Evaluation Assessments
  • Cartographic Materials Associated with Pre-Lease Analysis
  • Seismic and Well Data
  • Open Hole Data Management Documentation (Well Logs, Directional Surveys and Core Analysis)
  • Geologic and Geophysical Contracts • Well Completion and Recompletion Logs
  • 2D and 3D Seismic Trace Volumes and Data Sets
  • Magnetic and Gravimetric Survey Records and Maps
  • Geochemical Prospecting Survey Maps
  • Tectonic & Stratigraphic Investigation and Mapping Project Files
  • Shallow Seismic Data Geo Hazards Analysis
  • Fair Market Value Determinations
  • Tract Evaluations for Fair Market Value
  • Cartographic Work in Support of Fair Market Value Phase II and Post-Sale Work
  • Geological Interpretative Tools Documentation
  • Production Forecasts, In-Place Resource Estimates, and Economic Resource Estimates Documentation
  • Process Bid and Field Determination Appeals
  • Well Evaluations and New Producible Lease Determinations
  • Environmental Studies for Oil & Gas and Non-Energy Lease Sales
  • Communitization or Unitization Agreement Operations Lease and Well Files
  • Oil & Gas, Oil Shale, Geothermal, Natural Gas, Helium, and Solid Mineral Operations Lease and Well Files – Federal Agreements
  • Outer Continental Shelf Block and Composite Block Diagrams
  • Corps of Engineer Permits
  • Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning Documentation
  • 5-Year Program Development Documentation
  • Lease Presale Process Documentation
  • Adjudicated Leases
  • Lessee or Operator Bankruptcy Reviews
  • Lease Status Reviews
  • Fishermen’s Contingency Fund Claims
  • Designation of Operator Forms
  • Lease Rights-of Way
  • Operator Rights Assignments
  • Lease Relinquishment Documentation
  • Applicants for Qualification Requests
  • Company Merger and Name Change Applications
  • Lessee/Operator Bankruptcy Documentation
  • Oil Spill Financial Responsibility Forms and Financial Data
  • Royalty Relief Program Documentation
  • Production Payments
  • Net Profit Reports
  • 3rd Party Notice Documentation
  • Alternative Energy Development Plans
  • Non-Environmental Reviews
  • Deep Water Operation Plans
  • Alternate Use Project Documentation
  • Alternative Energy Technical Studies for Programmatic and Regulatory Decisions
  • Alternative Energy Field Monitoring, Safety Inspections and Engineering Inspections
  • Alternative Energy Leases, Rights of Way and Right of Use and Easements
  • Non- Energy Mineral Leases
  • Non-Energy Environmental Studies
  • Non-Energy Permit Decisions
  • Mining Claim Recordation Files
  • Unpatented Mining Claim Records
  • Mining Claim Validity Examination Case Files
  • Mining Claim Surface Management Case Files

 

2.5) Lease Case History Files — permanent

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0012

The records document the foundational aspects of planning, conduct, and evaluation of competitive mineral lease sales and provides a history of each sale from tract selection through bid acceptance and issuance to relinquishment.

The records pertain to the development, conservation, and the exploitation of energy and mineral resources.

Specific records identified under this item include:

  • Oil and Gas Historical Development Map Masters
  • High Resolution Geophysical Interpretive Maps
  • Regional and Detailed Seismic Interpretive Maps
  • Subsurface Geologic Interpretations
  • Archeology Analysis
  • Water Bottom of Sea Floor Interface Analysis
  • Engineering, Economic and Reserve Analysis and Estimates
  • Annual Reserve Reports Containing Reserve Estimates and Statistics
  • Field and Reservoir Estimate Study Final Reports and Maps
  • Cadastral and Mapping Aspects and Boundary Records
  • Spatial Information and Metadata to Coastal States, Federal Agencies, Private Industry, and Foreign Governments
  • Official Marine Cadastre Description
  • Protraction Diagrams
  • Leasing Maps
  • Oil Shale Lease Operations Final Maps
  • Solid Mineral Lease Operations Files (Coal and Oil Shale) – Indian Files
  • Solid Mineral and Oil Shale Lease Operations Case Files – Indian Files
  • Mineral Lease Sale and Tract Evaluation Final Report and Map Masters
  • Renewable Energy Program Development • Renewable Energy Technical Studies

These records are associated with properties of DOI activities deemed to have long lasting interest to the Nation, and are therefore considered appropriate for permanent preservation at NARA after the point where they are no longer needed by the Department.

 

3) Land Use and Planning

Records of all DOI functions devoted to planning, study, observation, preservation, management, and maintenance of natural resources.

These records are associated with the use of resources including material sales, permits and leases, rights-of-ways and more. They document the acquisition and disposal of interests in lands, special designations or classifications of lands, and land status.

 

3.1 Intermediate/Reference Materials for Land Use Activities, Special Land Use Permit Case Files (denied), Wild Horse & Burro Non-Adoptions — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0013

These records consist of intermediate and reference materials pertaining to withdrawals, classifications, designations, land use applications, and water power projects.

Also included are documents pertaining to the Wild Horse & Burro Program (non- adoptions).

Specific records covered by this item include:

  • Wild Horse & Burro (WH&B) Non-Adoption Files – WH&B Applications Which Do Not Result in Adoption
  • Withdrawal, Classification and Designation Intermediate Materials. Preliminary, intermediate, and prefinal drawings and other materials that are created and reviewed in preparation of final reports and maps.
  • Materials pertaining to Application for Land Use. Applications and supporting documents received by Bureau of Land management and referred to Reclamation to determine Reclamation’s interest in the land. • Waterpower Project Reference Material and Working Files
  • Natural Gas Policy Act (NGPA) Well Determination Reference Files

 

3.2) Short Term Land Use Activities and Wild Horse & Burro (WH&B) Operation Records — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0014

These files document the preparation of horses for private maintenance by adopters, shipment of horses, and agreements with prisons or other facilities for training of horses.

Approved Special Land Use Permits issued by the USFWS. Exceptions to the permits include: Recreational, cultural, paleontological, etc.

Recreational use statistics cover number or visitors, total visitor hours, types of visitor activities, visitor impacts on facilities, etc.

Management plans of a 1 to 5 year duration including normal year fire plans, annual timber sale plans, etc.

Specific records covered by this item include:

  • WH&B Adoption Files: Animal Preparation Case Files, Animal Shipping Case Files, Animal Training Facility Files.
  • Special Land Use Permit Case Files.
  • Resource Activity Plan (RAP) Records – Short Range

 

3.3) Land Title, Operations, and Realty — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0015

These records document conservation easements, land title status, land operations and realty, acquired real property and real property appraisal services, sales of small vegetative materials and minor forest products.

Records under this item involve several areas of Land Use to include land title, operations, realty, appraisals and sales of small vegetative and minor forest products.

Also included are rejected, unapproved, or withdrawn Land Use, Classification, and Designation applications.

Specific records covered under this item include:

  • Valuation Services. Case/ Work Files
  • Sales of Vegetative Materials and Minor Forest Products • Acquired Real Property Files
  • Land Withdrawal, Reservation, and Classification Files – Informal Proposals
  • Refuge Compatible Uses Reports
  • Texas Railroad Commission (TRRC) Base Maps
  • Conservation Easements
  • Land Title Status Records
  • Land Operations and Realty Subject Files.
  • Airborne Hunting Reports
  • Grazing and other Land-Use Applications Rejected or Withdrawn
  • Right-of-Way, Reciprocal-Use, and License Agreement Applications Rejected or Withdrawn
  • Withdrawal, Classification, and Designation Applications or Initiatives Unapproved Case Files

 

3.4) Planning and Wild Horse & Burro (WH&B) Adoptions — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0016

These records document applications that were rejected, unapproved, or withdrawn regarding grazing, right-of-way, and withdrawals. Documentation of healthy excess wild horses and Burros are also included. Records under this item relate to planning and wild horse & burro adoptions.

Specific records covered under this item include:

  • Resource Management Plan (RMP) Public Participation
  • Working Wilderness Studies
  • WH&B Approved Titled Adoption Case Files
  • Audit Reports

 

3.5) Land Use Permits, Leases, Reciprocal-Use and License Agreements — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0017

Records pertaining to Land Use Permits, Leases, and License Agreements. This item also includes compliance files for patents and land status determinations.

Specific records covered under this item include:

  • Land-Use Permits Approved Case Files
  • Land-Use Leases Approved Case Files – All Other
  • Land Status Determinations
  • Reciprocal-Use and License Agreement Case Files
  • Compliance Files for allowed Patents
  • Resources Inventory, Study, or Survey Working Files

 

3.6 Land Status — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0018

The records document the ownership and availability of public land and document sales, transfers, exchanges, and disposals of agency land.

Specific records covered under this item include:

  • Land Withdrawal, Reservation, and Classification Files – Formal Applications, Approved
  • Master Title Plat (MTP) Masters
  • Supplemental Use Plat Masters
  • Tract Book Masters
  • Historical Index (HI) Masters
  • Texas Acquired Minerals Project (TAMP) History Files
  • TAMP System Documentation Files
  • Land Acquisition
  • Sale, Transfer, Exchange, and Disposal of Reclamation
  • Reclamation Reform Act – Material pertaining to settlement and land entries.
  • Land Classification

 

3.7) Management Plans and Reports, Land Titles, and Uses of Land Requiring Agency Authorization — permanent

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0019

Records relating to resources planning, withdrawals and restoration of lands, establishment and administration of town sites, uses of land which require a permissive authority, land entries and title, irrigation management, and Conservation Case Files.

Specific records covered under this item include:

  • Resources Inventory, Study, Survey and Mapping Files
  • Grazing Operator Case Files
  • Rights-of-Way Case Files
  • Resource Management Plan (RMP) Files
  • Resource Activity Plan (RAP) Records – Long Range
  • Subsistence Hunting Permit Case Files
  • Withdrawal, Classification and Designation Reports.
  • Land Operations and Realty Reports
  • Townsites
  • Irrigation Management
  • Natural Area Files
  • Acquisition and disposal of interests in land under the various land laws, special designations or classifications that affect the availability of land for use, periodic inspection of land for compliance with the legal requirements, and indexes and plats that display historic and current land status by portraying ownership of public lands and availability of those lands for entry and use under the various public land laws.
  • Acquired real property, contracts/deeds and other supporting papers documenting the sale, transfer, exchange, and disposal of land.

 

4) Water

Records the information needed to manage and protect the Nation’s water resources, water and hydropower projects and facilities, water delivery infrastructure, and water quality. Also includes project and activities supporting the analysis of international water resources. DOI bureaus with responsibility for managing water include the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation.

 

4.1 Water Analysis and Water Use & Permitting — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0020

Records contain water use permits and disputes including materials pertaining to proof of beneficial use and extensions of time as well as records related to drinking water chemical and bacteria analyses, variances, and exceptions testing files for public, community, and non-community water systems.

Specific records covered under this item include:

  • Water Permits
  • Application and Amendments for State Permits
  • Land Water and Stream Descriptions
  • State Letters of Approval
  • Cartographic Materials
  • Public, Community, and non-Community Water Filing Systems for Bacteria Analysis, Chemical Analysis, and Violations and Measures Taken

 

4.2) Non-Historic Water and Power Projects & Facilities — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0021

Records are retained for continued management, operation and maintenance of water and power projects and facilities.

The records consist of drawings and design data of constructed and non-constructed projects, designs of long-term water structures and facilities intended to endure for many years that are critical to the mission for operational needs, but have no lasting historical importance beyond agency use. Structures and facilities can include dams, conveyance systems, hydropower plants, supporting features, bridges canals, diversion structures, drainage systems, and wells.

The records also document general water and hydropower management of a temporary nature relating to water project development, power management, water resource management, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing activities.

The records contain documentation of consultation with or recommendations to the FERC to prevent loss and damage to resources during FERC projects where streams or other bodies of water are impounded, diverted, or otherwise controlled or modified.

Specific records covered under this item include:

  • Routine Maintenance and Service Such as Design, Repair, Restoration, Construction, or Rehabilitation of non-permanent or non-historic Water Management Structures • Non-Historic Drawings or Design Data
  • Technical Information or Volume Logs for Wells
  • Well Inventories
  • General Files for Water Resources Management
  • Project Development, Power Management, FERC and Water Project Consultations
  • Application and Amendments for State Permits
  • Land Water and Stream Descriptions
  • State Letters of Approval
  • Cartographic Materials
  • Public, Community, and non-Community Water Filing Systems for Bacteria Analysis, Chemical Analysis, and Violations and Measures Taken

 

4.3) Water Project Contracts, Engineering, and Water Quality — temporary

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0022

Records under this item contain documentation accumulated during the lifecycle of a construction or architectural and engineering (A&E) contract providing for the construction, alteration, or repair of long-term or permanent water management structures and features.

Research data related to structural engineering and analysis for the design and construction of water management facilities, features, or structures.

Also contain documentation relating to the improvement and protection of water quality and its integrated relationship between water projects and the environment.

Specific records covered under this item include:

  • Construction and Architectural & Engineering Contract Documents
  • Daily Construction Logs • Structural and Materials Engineering
  • Materials Research
  • Soil and Rock Properties
  • Water Quality and Ecology Studies
  • Water Delivery Standards
  • Water Quality Improvement Research

 

4.4) Historic Water and Power Projects, Water Resources and Delivery — permanent

Disposition Authority Number DAA-0048-2015-0003-0023

Historically significant records documenting the management of water resources and the construction and operation of major water and power projects.

Water and power project and facilities contain records that relate to the development, design, construction, operation and maintenance, management repair and rehabilitation of water and power projects, features, facilities, appurtenant works and water resource improvement projects.

The documentation establishes a history of water projects including project authorization, scope, purpose, objectives, methodology, accounting of project construction, operation and maintenance activities and costs, safety of dam investigations and modifications, and condition assessments.

Structures and facilities can include dams, reservoirs, conveyance systems, hydropower plants, supporting features, guzzlers, water catchments, bridges, canals, diversion structures, drainage systems, wells and other structures.

For water resource management the records contain documentation of activities relating to the management, conservation, delivery, and utilization of water and water trust resources through activities such as appropriating, securing, establishing, or settlement of water rights.

The records also encompass documentation on interstate compacts and international water treaties, engineering and economic requirements of water delivery as well as water and power project costs and repayment, interagency drought management planning, determination of surface and groundwater supplies, identification of arable Native American lands and irrigable acreage assessments, ownership and priority of the water rights, water source, purpose of use, fish and wildlife water needs, flood plain management, reservoir management, irrigation management, water marketing, and water conservation.

Specific records covered under this item include:

  • Ground Water Assessment and Use Surveys
  • Water Level Inventories
  • Water Resource Inventories
  • Studies and Surveys
  • Water Rights Documentation
  • Documentation on the Sale, Delivery, and Transfer or Exchange of Water
  • Hydrographic Survey Reports
  • Water Project Cost Estimates
  • Water and Power Project Technical Reports
  • Safety of Dams Documentation

 

 

——-

Federal agencies don’t keep most of their records forever. At some point, they’re legally allowed to destroy the majority of them.

But when? And which records? That’s up to the agency and the National Archives (with some input from the public, at least in theory).

In an overlooked process that’s been going on for decades, agencies create a “Request for Records Disposition Authority” that gives details about the documents, then proposes when they can be destroyed (e.g., three years after the end of the fiscal year, 50 years after they’re no longer needed, etc.). Occasionally, agencies propose keeping some documents permanently, which means eventually transferring them to the National Archives.

The National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) then “appraises” the agency’s Request for Records Disposition Authority, almost always giving the greenlight.

Around this point, the agency’s request and NARA’s appraisal are announced in the Federal Register. They are not published in the Register, nor are they posted to the Register website (including Regulations.gov). Their existence is simply noted.

 

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