Natural resources (51 - 60 of 160 items)
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...
Alaska Native Allotments: Alternatives to Address Conflicts with Utility Rights-of-way
GAO-06-1107T: Published: Sep 13, 2006. Publicly Released: Sep 13, 2006.
In 1906, the Alaska Native Allotment Act authorized the Secretary of the Interior to allot individual Alaska Natives (Native) a homestead of up to 160 acres. The validity of some of Copper Valley Electric Association's (Copper Valley) rights-of-way within Alaska Native allotments is the subject of ongoing dispute; in some cases the allottees assert that Copper Valley's electric lines trespass on t...
Indian Issues: BIA's Efforts to Impose Time Frames and Collect Better Data Should Improve the Processing of Land in Trust Applications
GAO-06-781: Published: Jul 28, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2006.
In 1980, the Department of the Interior (Interior) established regulations to provide a uniform approach for taking land in trust. Trust status means the government holds title to the land in trust for tribes and individual Indians. Trust land is exempt from state and local taxes. The Secretary of the Interior has delegated primary responsibility for processing, reviewing, and deciding on applicat...
National Park Service: Major Operations Funding Trends and How Selected Park Units Responded to Those Trends for Fiscal Years 2001 Through 2005
GAO-06-431: Published: Mar 31, 2006. Publicly Released: Apr 5, 2006.
In recent years, some reports prepared by advocacy groups have raised issues concerning the adequacy of the Park Service's financial resources needed to effectively operate the park units. GAO was asked to identify (1) funding trends for Park Service operations and visitor fees for fiscal years 2001-2005; (2) specific funding trends for 12 selected high visitation park units and how, if at all, th...
National Park Service: Opportunities Exist to Clarify and Strengthen Special Uses Permit Guidance on Setting Grazing Fees and Cost-Recovery
GAO-06-355R: Published: Feb 9, 2006. Publicly Released: Feb 9, 2006.
In our September 2005 report, Livestock Grazing: Federal Expenditures and Receipts Vary, Depending on the Agency and the Purpose of the Fee Charged, we reported that the National Park Service (Park Service) allowed livestock grazing on nearly 1.6 million acres at 31 park units. To manage grazing on their lands, the park units spent at least $410,000 in fiscal year 2004, which included activities s...
Valles Caldera: Trust Has Made Some Progress, but Needs to Do More to Meet Statutory Goals
GAO-06-98: Published: Nov 16, 2005. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 2005.
In 2000, Congress authorized the purchase of the Valles Caldera (the Caldera) in north-central New Mexico. The Valles Caldera Trust (Trust), a wholly owned government corporation, is to become financially self-sustaining and to manage the Caldera for multiple purposes while sustaining the land's valuable natural resources. GAO was mandated to assess the progress the Trust is making in meeting its...
Endangered Species Act: Successes and Challenges in Agency Collaboration and the Use of Scientific Information in the Decision Making Process
GAO-05-732T: Published: May 19, 2005. Publicly Released: May 19, 2005.
The purpose of the Endangered Species Act is to conserve endangered and threatened species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. This law currently protects more than 1,260 animal and plant species. Within the Department of the Interior, the Fish and Wildlife Service implements and enforces the act. In addition, all federal agencies, such as the Department of Defense and the Bureau of Land Ma...
Technology Assessment: Protecting Structures and Improving Communications during Wildland Fires
GAO-05-380: Published: Apr 26, 2005. Publicly Released: Apr 26, 2005.
Since 1984, wildland fires have burned an average of more than 850 homes each year in the United States and, because more people are moving into fire-prone areas bordering wildlands, the number of homes at risk is likely to grow. The primary responsibility for ensuring that preventive steps are taken to protect homes lies with homeowners and state and local governments, not the federal government...
Invasive Species: Cooperation and Coordination Are Important for Effective Management of Invasive Weeds
GAO-05-185: Published: Feb 25, 2005. Publicly Released: Mar 29, 2005.
Invasive weeds, native or nonnative plant species, cause harm to natural areas such as rangelands or wildlife habitat and economic impacts due to lost productivity of these areas. While the federal investment in combating invasive species is substantial most has been concentrated on agricultural lands, not on natural areas. In this report, GAO describes (1) the entities that address invasive weeds...
Wildland Fire Management: Important Progress Has Been Made, but Challenges Remain to Completing a Cohesive Strategy
GAO-05-147: Published: Jan 14, 2005. Publicly Released: Feb 14, 2005.
Over the past two decades, the number of acres burned by wildland fires has surged, often threatening human lives, property, and ecosystems. Past management practices, including a concerted federal policy in the 20th century of suppressing fires to protect communities and ecosystem resources, unintentionally resulted in steady accumulation of dense vegetation that fuels large, intense, wildland fi...