National forests (1 - 10 of 83 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...
Arizona Border Region: Federal Agencies Could Better Utilize Law Enforcement Resources in Support of Wildland Fire Management Activities
GAO-12-73: Published: Nov 8, 2011. Publicly Released: Nov 22, 2011.
Wildland fires can result from both natural and human causes. Human-caused wildland fires are of particular concern in Arizona--especially within 100 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border because this is a primary area of entry for illegal border crossers and GAO has previously reported that illegal border crossers have been suspected of igniting wildland fires. Over half of the land in the Arizona bord...
Federal Land Management: Availability and Potential Reliability of Selected Data Elements at Five Agencies
GAO-11-377: Published: Apr 20, 2011. Publicly Released: May 20, 2011.
The federal government manages about 650 million acres, or 29 percent, of the 2.27 billion acres of U.S. land. Four land management agencies--the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the National Park Service (NPS) in the Department of the Interior (Interior) and the Forest Service, in the Department of Agriculture--manage about 95 percent of these federal acres. I...
Forest Service: Continued Work Needed to Address Persistent Management Challenges
GAO-11-423T: Published: Mar 10, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 10, 2011.
The Forest Service, within the Department of Agriculture, manages over 190 million acres of national forest and grasslands. The agency is responsible for managing its lands for various purposes--including recreation, grazing, timber harvesting, and others--while ensuring that such activities do not impair the lands' long-term productivity. Numerous GAO reports examining different aspects of Forest...
Federal Lands: Adopting a Formal, Risk-Based Approach Could Help Land Management Agencies Better Manage Their Law Enforcement Resources
GAO-11-144: Published: Dec 17, 2010. Publicly Released: Dec 17, 2010.
Four federal agencies--the Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service in the Department of the Interior--are responsible for managing federal lands, enforcing federal laws governing the lands and their resources, and ensuring visitor safety. Illegal activities occurring on these lands have raised concerns...
Forest Service: Information on Appeals, Objections, and Litigation Involving Fuel Reduction Activities, Fiscal Years 2006 through 2008
GAO-10-337: Published: Mar 4, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2010.
Increases in the number and intensity of wildland fires have led the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service to place greater emphasis on thinning forests and rangelands to reduce the buildup of potentially hazardous vegetation that can fuel wildland fires. The public generally has an opportunity to challenge agency hazardous fuel reduction decisions with which it disagrees. Depending on the ty...
Update on the Status of the Merchantable Timber Contracting Pilot Program
GAO-10-379R: Published: Mar 4, 2010. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 2010.
Counties containing federal lands have historically received a percentage of the receipts generated by the sale or use of natural resources on the federal lands. A steep decline in federal timber sales during the 1990s, however, resulted in a significant decrease in federal payments to counties that previously depended on timber receipts. The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination A...
Wildland Fire Management: Federal Agencies Have Taken Important Steps Forward, but Additional, Strategic Action is Needed to Capitalize on Those Steps
GAO-09-877: Published: Sep 9, 2009. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 2009.
The nation's wildland fire problems have worsened dramatically over the past decade, with more than a doubling of average annual acreage burned and federal appropriations for wildland fire management. The deteriorating fire situation has led the agencies responsible for managing wildland fires on federal lands--the Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture and four agencies in the Department...
Federal Lands: Enhanced Planning Could Assist Agencies in Managing Increased Use of Off-Highway Vehicles
GAO-09-509: Published: Jun 30, 2009. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 2009.
Off-highway vehicle (OHV) use on lands managed by the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Park Service (Park Service) has become popular over the past few decades. Some critics have asserted that OHV use causes adverse environmental, social, and safety impacts, while proponents have voiced concerns about retai...