Land management (21 - 30 of 538 items)
Forest Service Trails: Long- and Short-Term Improvements Could Reduce Maintenance Backlog and Enhance System Sustainability
GAO-13-618: Published: Jun 27, 2013. Publicly Released: Jun 27, 2013.
The Forest Service has more miles of trail than it has been able to maintain, resulting in a persistent maintenance backlog with a range of negative effects. In fiscal year 2012, the agency reported that it accomplished at least some maintenance on about 37 percent of its 158,000 trail miles and that about one-quarter of its trail miles met the agency's standards. The Forest Service estimated the...
Climate Change: Various Adaptation Efforts Are Under Way at Key Natural Resource Management Agencies
GAO-13-253: Published: May 31, 2013. Publicly Released: Jun 20, 2013.
Since 2007, the Forest Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service have taken steps to establish strategic directions for addressing climate change adaptation. For example, the Forest Service developed a strategic framework document that established climate change adaptation as a central agency priority and anoth...
Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Observations on States' Role, Liabilities at DOD and Hardrock Mining Sites, and Litigation Issues
GAO-13-633T: Published: May 22, 2013. Publicly Released: May 22, 2013.
States, in consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), participate in the cleanup of hazardous waste sites in several ways. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, sites that meet certain risk thresholds are eligible for placement on the National Priorities List (NPL)--a list that includes some of the nation's most contamin...
Payments to Counties: Shortcomings in Oversight and Implementation of Key Parts of the Secure Rural Schools Act May Be Addressed by Recent Agency Guidance
GAO-13-475T: Published: Mar 19, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 19, 2013.
In July 2012 GAO reported that the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had taken few actions to oversee county spending under Title III of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, and that the guidance they provided was limited and in some cases did not appear consistent with the act. GAO also reported that some expenditures by selected counties may have been i...
Renewable Energy: Agencies Have Taken Steps Aimed at Improving the Permitting Process for Development on Federal Lands
GAO-13-189: Published: Jan 18, 2013. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 2013.
Since passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), federal land management agencies--primarily the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM)--have received hundreds of applications for utilityscale renewable energy projects and authorized 25 projects: 7 wind, 10 solar, and 8 geothermal projects. Applications for the majority of projects were withdrawn by the applicants...
Helium Program: Urgent Issues Facing BLM's Storage and Sale of Helium Reserves
GAO-13-351T: Published: Feb 14, 2013. Publicly Released: Feb 14, 2013.
Since GAO's reports in the early 1990s, the Helium Privatization Act of 1996 has caused considerable changes to the helium program and addressed or altered GAO's prior concerns. In 1992, GAO reported on various aspects of the federal helium program including the helium debt, pricing, and alternatives for meeting federal helium needs.Helium debt. In 1992, GAO recommended that Congress cancel the he...
Recovery Act: Most DOE Cleanup Projects Are Complete, but Project Management Guidance Could Be Strengthened
GAO-13-23: Published: Oct 15, 2012. Publicly Released: Oct 15, 2012.
From October 2009 through March 2012, the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) and working on Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) cleanup projects peaked at about 11,000 FTEs in the quarter ending September 2010, according to data on the federal government's Recovery Act website....
Payment to Counties: More Clarity Could Help Ensure County Expenditures Are Consistent with Key Parts of the Secure Rural Schools Act
GAO-12-775: Published: Jul 16, 2012. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 2012.
Both the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have provided limited oversight of county spending under Title III of the Secure Rural Schools Act. Neither agency has issued regulations, and guidance available from these agencies is limited and sometimes unclear about which types of expenditures are allowable under the act. In addition, their guidance appears to be inconsistent wit...
Federal Land Management: Availability and Potential Reliability of Selected Data Elements at Five Agencies
GAO-12-691T: Published: May 3, 2012. Publicly Released: May 3, 2012.
The five agencies varied in the extent to which they collected the over 100 land and resources, revenue, and federal land use designation data elements that GAO asked them about. Specifically, all five agencies collected data on four basic data elements, which related to total surface acres managed, total acres managed within each state, the number of special use permits generated for filming acti...
Hardrock Mining: BLM Needs to Revise Its Systems for Assessing the Adequacy of Financial Assurances
GAO-12-189R: Published: Dec 12, 2011. Publicly Released: Dec 22, 2011.
: Based on data reviewed from BLM's Bond Review Report, mine operators had provided financial assurances valued at approximately $1.5 billion to guarantee reclamation costs for 1,365 hardrock operations on federal land managed by BLM. We determined that 57 hardrock operations had inadequate financial assurances--amounting to about $24 million less than needed to fully cover estimated reclamation c...