Midwest Environmental Advocates is a nonprofit environmental law center that works for healthy water, air, land and government for this generation and the next. We believe that every citizen has the potential to make a difference.

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Department of Natural Resources Open Records Complaint

— Complaint demonstrates how the state agency violated state open records laws by unreasonably delaying DNR responses to MEA open records requests and brings to light an emerging pattern of delayed open records response to interested citizens, non-profit groups, and the media.

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Midwest Environmental Advocates reached a settlement agreement on March 29, 2016 with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to resolve our open records law complaint.

For more on how this settlement will add transparency to the DNR’s open records processes and give much-needed guidance to members of the public who frequently contact us with open records questions read our reaction to the settlement.

Our action brought MEA, DNR and Department of Justice attorneys to the table for an overdue and effective discussion about how DNR responds to public records requests. Most importantly, discussions helped to speed up the finalizing and publicizing of the new DNR public records policy. There is measurable progress, but also room for improvement as we watch these policies implemented in the coming months.

In July of 2017, the Wisconsin Department of Justice announced that it would begin publishing requests for records online. Pending requests are available online.