Natural Resources and Environment:

Survey of Certain Aspects of Outdoor Recreation Programs

Published: Nov 15, 1976. Publicly Released: Dec 30, 1983.


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In 1963, the Secretary of the Interior was authorized to prepare and maintain a comprehensive nationwide outdoor recreation plan and a continuing inventory of the Nation's outdoor recreation needs and resources. The plan was to identify problems and present solutions, and submit a report every 5 years.

The initial plan was 10 years late and met with disfavor. The 1978 plan will provide a description of the Federal Government's role in providing outdoor recreation opportunities to the people. No continuing inventory has been prepared. The Bureau of Outdoor Recreation (BOR) established a program to obtain uniform data from the States, but no procedures were established for inventory maintenance. In 1972, the National Park Service (NPS) initiated a program to provide alternate transportation systems. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) advised NPS that no new studies or systems could be initiated in fiscal year 1975 and that future studies should be reviewed by OMB prior to request for funds. The director of NPS indicated that an additional $45 to $50 million would be required annually to operate the parks at an "acceptable standard." NPS has established a "Management by Objective" system to identify and describe the mission, administrative policies, long range objectives, and standards for each operating level of the Park Service. Several weaknesses were noted which raise questions as to the reliability of the system and the validity and accuracy of the data being reported.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendation for Executive Action

    Recommendation: Completed alternative transportation systems program development and budget studies should be reviewed and processed promptly. Consideration should be given to initiating additional studies in other parks as is appropriate. BOR should prepare the 1978 plan in sufficient detail to help ensure that the States and local governments will be provided with appropriate data to assist and guide them in carrying out their own plans and programs. Procedures should be established for maintenance and periodic updating of outdoor recreation resources inventory. NPS should ensure that the Management by Objective system is properly implemented and measures should be established to review and monitor the results attained under the system.

    Agency Affected:

    Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

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