Land management (451 - 500 of 538 items)
The Nation's Unused Wood Resources
090894: Jul 30, 1981
In congressional testimony, GAO summarized its report on unused wood resources and presented agency responses to the report's recommendations. The report illustrated that large quantities of wood are wasted each year and that Federal policies are contributing to the lost potential of the wood's use as fuel or products. The recommendations addressed the need for the Federal Government to: (1) resol...
Status Report: "National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research and Development Act of 1980"
EMD-81-124: Published: Jul 27, 1981. Publicly Released: Jul 27, 1981.
GAO has been monitoring implementation of the National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research and Development Act.The executive branch implementation is evolving fairly rapidly and is, therefore, subject to change with respect to both substantive responses being developed and processes being followed. The Executive Office of the President is developing responses required by the Act primarily thro...
Health and Safety Deficiencies Found at Water Recreation Areas
CED-81-88: Published: Jun 15, 1981. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 1981.
GAO was requested to review the health and safety conditions of nonfederally managed water recreation areas of the Corps of Engineers' and the Water and Power Resources Service's (WPRS) reservoirs.GAO found several types of health and safety deficiencies at the Corps and WPRS areas. These included: (1) poorly designed, overused, or malfunctioning sanitation systems; (2) structurally unsafe picnic...
Public Land Acquisition and Alternatives Regarding Adjacent Lands and Intermingled Ownership Problems
115777: Jul 9, 1981
Problems with intermingled land ownership result if a private landowner in a national area attempts to use his land to conduct certain activities which are incompatible with Federal agency land management objectives. GAO believes that the existing problems result from Federal agency land acquisition practices, rather than from private landowners' activities which are incompatible with Federal mana...
Minerals Management at the Department of the Interior Needs Coordination and Organization
EMD-81-53: Published: Jun 5, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 5, 1981.
Growing national awareness of the strategic importance and uncertain sources of some minerals is leading to development of a strategic minerals policy. In 1980, Congress enacted the National Materials and Minerals Policy Research and Development Act. The Act establishes the Executive Office of the President as the focus of policymaking in this area. Any national policy for assuring availability of...
Are Agencies Doing Enough or Too Much for Archeological Preservation? Guidance Needed
CED-81-61: Published: Apr 22, 1981. Publicly Released: May 4, 1981.
Congress has passed the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments to provide additional guidance and clarification to the National Preservation Program. The amendments give the Secretary of the Interior the authority to waive the 1-percent limitation on the use of project funds to defray the costs of data recovery, increase the role of state historic preservation programs, and clarify federal...
Better Data Needed To Determine the Extent to Which Herbicides Should Be Used on Forest Lands
CED-81-46: Published: Apr 17, 1981. Publicly Released: Apr 27, 1981.
Vegetation management programs and practices on forest lands managed by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) were reviewed. The main areas of discussion were the use of herbicides, the controversy over herbicides, the controversy's effect on forest land managers, and the need for both agencies to take actions that would provide better information for making vegetation managem...
Need To Reexamine the Federal Role in Planning, Selecting, and Funding State and Local Parks
CED-81-32: Published: Apr 22, 1981. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 1981.
GAO assessed how well the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service (HCRS) has administered the share of a fund established under the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 which was spent for State and local outdoor recreation to evaluate the basis for making grants from the fund and to provide recommendations to help guide future public funding of park and recreational land facilities.U...
Cost Estimate for the Currituck Outer Banks National Wildlife Refuge Needs Revision
CED-81-48: Published: Apr 21, 1981. Publicly Released: Apr 21, 1981.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed establishing a national wildlife refuge in the Currituck Outer Banks off the North Carolina coast. The Service has estimated that the cost of acquiring the 16,000 acres of land and wetlands for the refuge will be about $94 million over a 5-year acquisition period. GAO was asked to determine whether the Service followed its regulations and policies in...
Environmental and Other Problems Along the Alaska Pipeline Corridor
EMD-81-69: Published: Apr 8, 1981. Publicly Released: Apr 8, 1981.
GAO reviewed the environmental impacts of federal lands which contain the State of Alaska's haul road, parts of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), and a portion of the proposed route of the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System. The objective of the review was to determine what negative environmental impacts, if any, have occurred on federal lands traversed by the State of Alaska's haul r...
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the MX Missile System
114587: Mar 12, 1981
The Air Force prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the MX Missile System to aid in making the major decisions related to selecting the MX deployment area or areas and the approximate locations of the operating bases. GAO offered its observations concerning the draft EIS in the context that a draft EIS is issued to gain information to be considered in preparing the final EIS. S...
The Nation's Unused Wood Offers Vast Potential Energy and Product Benefits
EMD-81-6: Published: Mar 3, 1981. Publicly Released: Mar 3, 1981.
Immense quantities of wood residues are wasted in the United States in the form of decaying logging residues and dead trees, unused wood processing residues, and large, untapped acreages of small, defective, and other lower value trees. Wood residues could be an important energy source. A study was made of federal policies that are contributing to this lost potential.GAO identified numerous factor...
Lands in the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area Should Be Returned to Private Ownership
CED-81-10: Published: Jan 22, 1981. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 1981.
GAO was requested to examine the land acquisition and management practices of the National Park Service (NPS) at Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. Through the law which established this area, it was congressional intent that land acquisition costs be minimal, that a private community in the recreation area continue to exist, that commercial development not be eliminated, and that additional co...
Actions Needed To Increase Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Exploration and Development
EMD-81-40: Published: Feb 11, 1981. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 1981.
The use of federal lands for fossil fuels exploration has become an important issue. Managing these lands involves difficult trade-offs between the often conflicting issues of development, conservation, and environmental protection. An examination was performed on how the exploration and development of oil and gas from federal lands could be accelerated.GAO found that the use of federal lands for...
Mapping Problems May Undermine Plans for New Federal Coal Leasing
EMD-81-30: Published: Dec 12, 1980. Publicly Released: Dec 12, 1980.
Problems associated with the Department of the Interior's coal mapping program as it would effect the future leasing of coal from Federal lands are reviewed, recent actions to correct mapping problems are analyzed, and alternatives to better link coal mapping and land use planning are discussed.Federal coal resource planning and management decisions rely on maps that are often inaccurate, unreliab...
Hazardous Waste Disposal Methods: Major Problems With Their Use
CED-81-21: Published: Nov 19, 1980. Publicly Released: Nov 19, 1980.
GAO was asked to study alternative methods of disposal and cleanup of hazardous wastes. Specifically, the study looked into the: (1) environmental and cost effectiveness of hazardous waste disposal on the land, deep well injection, and high temperature incineration and the need for additional research and development in these areas; (2) establishment of facilities on a regional or areawide basis a...
Congressional Guidance Needed on Federal Cost Share of Water Resource Projects When Project Benefits Are Not Widespread
CED-81-12: Published: Nov 13, 1980. Publicly Released: Nov 13, 1980.
Many water resource projects provide benefits to large segments of the country; however, the Corps of Engineers (CE) and the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) have built some projects that primarily benefit only a few landowners or businesses.GAO found that for CE and SCS projects, the non-Federal entity was seldom required to share a larger portion of project cost to compensate for the special bene...
Facilities in Many National Parks and Forests Do Not Meet Health and Safety Standards
CED-80-115: Published: Oct 10, 1980. Publicly Released: Nov 10, 1980.
The National Park and Forest Services have not protected the health and safety of their visitors and employees. Substandard water and sewer systems and hazardous lodges, dormitories, bridges, and tunnels need to be repaired, upgraded, or limited in their use.Health and safety inspectors found some facilities to be so hazardous that they recommended immediate closure until the facilities could be r...
Allegations That Congressman Seiberling Received Preferential Treatment Regarding Land Transactions in the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area
CED-80-135: Published: Aug 27, 1980. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 1980.
Allegations were made that Congressman Seiberling received preferential treatment from the National Park Service (NPS) regarding land he owned and previously owned in the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area (CVNRA). Specifically, it was alleged that he was allowed to keep his home in the recreation area subject to certain restrictions (a scenic easement) while others were required to sell the...
Improvements Are Needed in USDA's Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act Reports
CED-80-132: Published: Sep 3, 1980. Publicly Released: Sep 3, 1980.
GAO reviewed the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) efforts to promote better water management and conservation, focusing on whether USDA reports required by the Soil and Water Conservation Act of 1977 will contain useful and accurate information for making future water program decisions.The reports do not fully comply with the act's intent. Initial evaluations by USDA included fewer than half of...
Alleged Unauthorized Use of Appropriated Moneys by Interior Employees
CED-80-128: Published: Aug 13, 1980. Publicly Released: Aug 21, 1980.
GAO investigated the possible unauthorized use of appropriated funds by the Department of the Interior's Office of Surface Mining (OSM). Also investigated were allegations that OSM misused appropriated moneys by conducting illegal lobbying activities to defeat pending legislation in the House of Representatives. The proposed legislation would: (1) postpone for 12 months the date for submitting sta...
Better Management of National Park Concessions Can Improve Services Provided to the Public
CED-80-102: Published: Jul 31, 1980. Publicly Released: Aug 15, 1980.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the management of concession operations by the National Park Service (NPS).GAO found that concessioner performance evaluation would be more effective if visitors' opinions and comments were used in appraising concessioner performance. Existing concessioners already have a competitive advantage over others who want to operate in the parks, they do...
Problems in Collecting and Setting Aside Adequate Knutson-Vandenburg Funds To Do Planned Work
113155: Aug 13, 1980
GAO undertook a review of the problems in collecting and setting aside adequate funds authorized by the Knutson-Vandenburg (K-V) Act. In a previous report, GAO found that the Forest Service was having difficulty in collecting and setting aside enough money under the K-V act to finance reforestation and timber stand improvement work needed in harvest areas. GAO limited its review to an analysis of...
Federal Leasing Policy
112916: Jul 24, 1980
Comments were presented on the proposed expansion of the competitive onshore oil and gas leasing system and the impacts which access to Federal lands and delays in the permitting process have on the onshore leasing system. Over the years, the Federal leasing system for onshore oil and gas has been criticized. The controversy has generally centered around the merits of a competitive leasing system...
Changes in Public Land Management Required To Achieve Congressional Expectations
CED-80-82: Published: Jul 16, 1980. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 1980.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) does not have, nor is it legislatively required to have, long-range programs and quantified production goals for renewable resources such as timber, grazing forage, minerals, and energy. As a result, it has no realistic basis for determining the production levels necessary to meet its share of the nation's needs. The Forest Service is required to assess renewabl...
Changes in Public Land Management Required To Achieve Congressional Expectations
CED-80-82A: Published: Jul 16, 1980. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 1980.
GAO reviewed the methods by which the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service manage public lands and associated resources. Fundamental public land management policies and procedures have been prescribed by three comprehensive statutes. These policies require balancing three competing and usually conflicting basic objectives: using and developing resources, protecting and conserving...
GAO Studies on Federal Land Use Policies and Alternatives
112376: May 22, 1980
Comments were provided on some of the studies GAO has completed and plans to complete on Federal land use policies. During the past few years, GAO has issued a number of reports on Federal land use policies and programs. Among these are: (1) a report on Alaska tourism; (2) a surface mining and reclamation report; (3) a report on the rivers added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System; and (...
Federal Land Acquisitions by Condemnation--Opportunities To Reduce Delays and Costs
CED-80-54: Published: May 14, 1980. Publicly Released: May 14, 1980.
The Federal Government has a backlog of over 20,000 court cases in which it seeks to acquire by condemnation private land for public use. At the close of fiscal year 1978, the land in question was appraised at $481 million. However, actual acquisition costs will be much higher because of administrative costs, awards or settlements in excess of government appraisals, and long delays in court. The l...
Review of a Land and Water Conservation Fund Commitment for a Public Park on Neville Island, Pennsylvania
CED-80-85: Published: Mar 18, 1980. Publicly Released: Mar 25, 1980.
GAO was requested to examine the commitment of funds for a public park on Neville Island, Pennsylvania. Specifically, it was asked to determine if a basis existed for the allegations that the firm which donated the land to the county or county officials knew that toxic chemicals were buried on the proposed park site and whether the firm or the county misrepresented the condition of the site when a...
Impact of Making the Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing System More Competitive
EMD-80-60: Published: Mar 14, 1980. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 1980.
Legislation has been introduced in the Senate by the administration to expand competitive leasing of Federal onshore oil and gas resources.While the bill, S. 1637, has several commendable features, it is nonetheless based on insufficient data and analyses and poses such great uncertainties that it should not be enacted in its present form. While S. 1637 does have features directed at improving dil...
Federal Drive To Acquire Private Lands Should Be Reassessed
CED-80-14: Published: Dec 14, 1979. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 1980.
A request was made for an examination of the policies and practices of the three Federal agencies with major land management and acquisition programs: the Forest Service under the Department of Agriculture, and the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service under the Department of the Interior.The three agencies generally followed the practice of acquiring as much land as possible wit...
The Seattle Region--The Most Livable Corner of the Land
113810: Jan 1, 1980
The ninth in a series of GAO Review articles, which appeared in the GAO Review, Vol. 15, Issue 4, Fall 1980, on regional offices is presented. The Seattle regional office has been particularly active in planning work dealing with energy, health, education, environmental protection, American Indians, Alaska natives, and programs geared to the elderly. The office's audits have covered power marketin...
The Fish and Wildlife Service's Management of the Sachuest Point and Ninigret National Wildlife Refuges in Rhode Island
CED-80-26: Published: Nov 23, 1979. Publicly Released: Dec 10, 1979.
A Congressman questioned whether the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had the resources to manage two wildlife refuges in Rhode Island properly.At one site, the Service has implemented a management and development plan which would protect the habitat for wildlife while providing passive public recreation. Actions taken to enhance the area as a wildlife habitat included: (1) renovation of an existing...
Phosphates: A Case Study of a Valuable, Depleting Mineral in America
EMD-80-21: Published: Nov 30, 1979. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 1979.
Phosphate is a primary plant nutrient which is absolutely vital to sustaining the Nation's agricultural output, and phosphate rock is the only practical source of phosphorous on a commercial scale. In order to assess the outlook for phosphate, GAO reviewed phosphate-mining techniques, the effects of environmental regulation on the industry, and methods being used to estimate the quantity of domest...
Survey of Reported Chemical and Biological Contamination at the Fort Greely Gerstle River Test Center
LCD-80-25: Published: Nov 30, 1979. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 1979.
Biological and chemical warfare testing occurred at the Fort Greely Gerstle River Test Center in Alaska until the late 1960's. Some of the agents tested included nerve agents, mustard gas, and biological substances. The land was declared to be excess in 1972 and scheduled for return to the public domain as soon as it could be certified as free of contamination. This proved to be impossible, howeve...
Use of Other Federal Grant-In-Aid Programs To Meet the Local Matching Requirement of the Land and Water Conservation Fund
CED-80-23: Published: Nov 1, 1979. Publicly Released: Nov 1, 1979.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (LWCF) provides grants to States and local governments for planning, acquiring, and developing outdoor recreation projects. The Act restricts LWCF grants to 50 percent of the project cost, requires the State or local government to finance the remaining share, and prohibits the use of other Federal grant funds to satisfy the local matching share requ...
Navy Guam Land Use Plan Does Not Address Possible Alternatives
LCD-80-12: Published: Oct 18, 1979. Publicly Released: Oct 25, 1979.
A review was made of the accuracy of the Guam Land Use Plan which the U.S. Navy prepared. The Navy stated that the plan represents the military's required land use goals on Guam.The potential needs for the relocation of Defense operations and housing and personnel support facilities did not appear to be economically justifiable. Since the Navy failed to address all relocation alternatives, the pub...
How Should Alaska's Federal Recreational Lands Be Developed? Views of Alaska Residents and Visitors
CED-79-116: Published: Sep 27, 1979. Publicly Released: Sep 27, 1979.
In order to sample user opinions of how millions of acres of developed and undeveloped Federal recreation land in Alaska should be used, a poll of 1,081 visitors to Alaska's Federal parks and recreation areas and 279 Alaskan residents responded to a questionnaire on (1) their experiences in nine of Alaska's long-established Federal parks, wildlife refuges, forests, and public lands; (2) the types,...
Federal Coal Leasing
110420: Sep 20, 1979
The Department of the Interior has taken various steps toward implementing the new Federal Coal Management Program, the most significant step being the issuance of final regulations on coal and land use planning. Workshops are being conducted to acquaint elected officials, the coal industry, and the public with details of the new program. Studies are also being conducted to look into problems with...
Federal Leasing Policy
109825: Jul 9, 1979
The initial coordination efforts between the Departments of the Interior and Energy in leasing Federal lands were discussed. GAO addressed the following areas of coordination: (1) Energy's development of production goals for energy resources and Interior's use of these goals in the development of lease schedules; (2) Energy's attempts to issue regulations in the areas of production rates, competit...
Endangered Species--A Controversial Issue Needing Resolution
CED-79-65: Published: Jul 2, 1979. Publicly Released: Jul 2, 1979.
GAO reviewed the endangered species program as administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Its goals are to prevent endangerment and extinction of plant and animal species caused by man's influence on existing ecosystems and to return threatened and endangered species to the point where they are no longer threatened or endangered.The listing process is the cornerstone of the endanger...
Federal Coal Leasing
109831: Jun 25, 1979
Under a new Federal coal management program, competitive leasing will begin in January 1981. The Department of the Interior estimates that there will be over 17 billion tons of coal under existing leases. GAO believes, however, that this figure may be misleading. The vast majority of leases were issued before the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act made many land areas environmentally or economical...
Issues Facing the Future of Federal Coal Leasing
EMD-79-47: Published: Jun 25, 1979. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 1979.
As the new federal coal leasing program is implemented, the following complex issues must be considered: (1) how should a tradeoff analysis be performed when coal leasing goals conflict with environmental, socioeconomic, and economic goals; (2) who should pay the cost of achieving a balance among goals; and (3) can a less regulated private sector achieve timely, orderly, and efficient coal develop...
Coal Trespass in the Eastern States--More Federal Oversight Needed
EMD-79-69: Published: May 25, 1979. Publicly Released: May 30, 1979.
The illegal mining of federal coal, particularly in Alabama, has caused recent public and congressional concern. Published estimates of potential losses to the government, based on the value of the coal, range from $135 million to over $1 billion throughout the eastern states.Despite an awareness of coal trespass in Alabama and Maryland, and the likelihood of additional cases in other Eastern Stat...
Allegations Regarding the Small Business Set-Aside Program for Federal Timber Sales
CED-79-8: Published: Apr 5, 1979. Publicly Released: Apr 19, 1979.
The small business set-aside program for sales of federal timber is administered jointly by the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Various allegations concerning the set-aside program were reviewed to determine their validity.The current timber size standard used to determine eligibility to participate in the set-aside program has no f...
Endangered Species Program
108960: Apr 3, 1979
Major management improvements are needed in the following processes used by the Department of the Interior to prevent the endangerment and extinction of plants and animals: (1) listing species as endangered or threatened; (2) consulting with other Federal agencies; and (3) recovering listed species. Suggested amendments to be made to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 are discussed. In order to pr...
Mining Law Reform and Balanced Resource Management
EMD-78-93: Published: Feb 27, 1979. Publicly Released: Feb 27, 1979.
An assessment of trends in hardrock mining in the United States is provided and recommendations are made to reform the Mining Law of 1872 so that current needs and values associated with public land mineral resources can be accommodated. This report is particularly concerned with promoting reform that will provide for social and environmental necessities while not adversely affecting mineral avail...
Land Use Issues
CED-79-15: Published: Nov 16, 1978. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 1978.
The land use planning, management, and control area is concerned with planning for the use of lands, regardless of ownership, and fostering better management of the Nation's land and related resources. It is a complex and highly controversial subject involving population and economic growth; multiple use of land and resources; controversies over tradeoffs between competing land uses; individual as...
Acquisition of Kealia Pond in Hawaii
CED-79-6: Published: Nov 1, 1978. Publicly Released: Nov 1, 1978.
Approximately $6.4 million has been appropriated for the Department of the Interior to acquire Kealia Pond on the Island of Maui, Hawaii. This is part of a Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recovery plan to protect the habitat of two endangered Hawaiian waterbirds, the coot and the stilt. The acquisition of 500 acres of land containing the pond does not meet FWS land acquisition policies. The pond's...
Interior Programs for Assessing Mineral Resources on Federal Lands Need Improvements and Acceleration
EMD-78-83: Published: Jul 27, 1978. Publicly Released: Jul 27, 1978.
Information about reserves of mineral deposits is essential for developing government policies on resources and land use. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is the main government information source on domestic mineral resources. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service, the two largest federal land managing agencies, expect to spend about $200 million preparing their land use pla...