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Department of the Interior, Executive (1 - 10 of 51 items)
Endangered Species Act: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Has Incomplete Information about Effects on Listed Species from Section 7 Consultations
GAO-09-550: Published: May 21, 2009. Publicly Released: May 21, 2009.
The western United States, including vast stretches of federal land, is home to more than a third of the 1,317 species listed under the Endangered Species Act. Under section 7 of the act, federal agencies must ensure that any actions they authorize, fund, or carry out, whether on federal or private lands, do not jeopardize listed species. To fulfill this responsibility, the agencies often must for...
Department of the Interior: Major Management Challenges
GAO-09-425T: Published: Mar 3, 2009. Publicly Released: Mar 3, 2009.
The Department of the Interior is responsible for managing much of the nation's vast natural resources. Its agencies implement an array of programs intended to protect these precious resources for future generations while also allowing certain uses of them, such as oil and gas development and recreation. In some cases, Interior is authorized to collect royalties and fees for these uses. Over the y...
Wildlife Refuges: Trends in Funding, Staffing, Habitat Management, and Visitor Services for Fiscal Years 2002 through 2007
GAO-08-1179T: Published: Sep 24, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 2008.
The National Wildlife Refuge System, which is administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service in the Department of the Interior, comprises 585 refuges on more than 96 million acres of land and water that preserve habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, and other wildlife. Refuges also provide wildlife-related activities such as hunting and fishing to about...
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Endangered Species Act Decision Making
GAO-08-688T: Published: May 21, 2008. Publicly Released: May 21, 2008.
The Department of the Interior's (Interior) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is generally required to use the best available scientific information when making key decisions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Controversy has surrounded whether former Deputy Assistant Secretary Julie MacDonald may have inappropriately influenced ESA decisions by basing decisions on political factors ra...
Natural Resource Management: Opportunities Exist to Enhance Federal Participation in Collaborative Efforts to Reduce Conflicts and Improve Natural Resource Conditions
GAO-08-262: Published: Feb 12, 2008. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 2008.
Conflict over the use of our nation's natural resources, along with increased ecological problems, has led land managers to seek cooperative means to resolve natural resource conflicts and problems. Collaborative resource management is one such approach that communities began using in the 1980s and 1990s. A 2004 Executive Order on Cooperative Conservation encourages such efforts. GAO was asked to...
Prairie Pothole Region: At the Current Pace of Acquisitions, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Is Unlikely to Achieve Its Habitat Protection Goals for Migratory Birds
GAO-07-1093: Published: Sep 27, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 27, 2007.
The 64-million-acre Prairie Pothole Region in the north-central United States provides breeding grounds for over 60 percent of key migratory bird species in the United States. During much of the 20th century, the draining of wetlands and the conversion of prairie to cropland has reduced bird habitat. Under the Small Wetlands Acquisition Program, the Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildl...
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Additional Flexibility Needed to Deal with Farmlands Received from the Department of Agriculture
GAO-07-1092: Published: Sep 18, 2007. Publicly Released: Sep 18, 2007.
Over the past two decades, provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985, among others, have allowed the Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency in partnership with the Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to add farmlands found to have important resources to the National Wildlife Refuge System. The Farm Service Agency transferred such farmlands to the Servic...
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Opportunities Remain to Improve Oversight and Management of Oil and Gas Activities on National Wildlife Refuges
GAO-07-829R: Published: Jun 29, 2007. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2007.
The mission of the Department of the Interior's (DOI) Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) includes administering a national network of refuges for the conservation, management, and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife, and plant resources and their habitats within the United States for the benefit of present and future generations. The refuges are unique in that they are the only federal...
Interior's Land Appraisal Services: Actions Needed to Improve Compliance with Appraisal Standards, Increase Efficiency, and Broaden Oversight
GAO-06-1050: Published: Sep 28, 2006. Publicly Released: Sep 28, 2006.
To remedy decades of problems with its land appraisals, the Department of the Interior (Interior) in 2003 removed the land appraisal function from its land management agencies and consolidated them into the Appraisal Services Directorate (ASD). However, Congress and ASD's clients have expressed concern that ASD's appraisal services have become less efficient and effective than what previously exis...
Recreation Fees: Agencies Can Better Implement the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act and Account for Fee Revenues
GAO-06-1016: Published: Sep 22, 2006. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 2006.
In recent years, Congress has expressed concerns about the federal land management agencies' ability to provide quality recreational opportunities and reduce visitor confusion over the variety of user fees. In December 2004, Congress passed the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA) to standardize recreation fee collection and use at federal lands and waters. GAO was asked to determine (1)...