Public Records Requests to Ravalli County Commissioners
On August 31, 2018, CfA requested access to communications to, from, or between any Ravalli County Commissioner(s) regarding Wilderness Study Areas, the Our Land Our Legacy (OLOL) coalition, and commissioners’ efforts to cajole state officials into investigating Montana conservation organizations.
Among the documents CfA received from Ravalli County, CfA obtained an email from Keith Kubista, a board member of the “Montana Outdoor Coalition”. Notably, Mr. Kubista sent a spreadsheet to the Ravalli County Commission itemizing some contributions to the Montana Wildlife Federation from several American foundations and nonprofit organizations. A metadata analysis of that spreadsheet shows it was created by Will Coggin of Berman and Company, a D.C. for-profit PR firm. Coggin is listed as the author and as the last person to modify the document. Mr. Coggin had previously disclosed his support for the Ravalli County Commissioners’ efforts, and Berman and Company has already produced the ‘Green Decoys’ project to target conservation groups, but this metadata analysis suggests Berman and Company is also behind the Montana Outdoor Coalition.
The Coggin spreadsheet was included as an attachment to an email in the .pst file.