Rangeland Management:

Forest Service Not Performing Needed Monitoring of Grazing Allotments

RCED-91-148: Published: May 16, 1991. Publicly Released: Jun 17, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Forest Service efforts to implement recommendations to: (1) ensure that range managers identify all grazing allotments thought to be overstocked or in declining condition; and (2) concentrate monitoring and other range management activities on those lands.

GAO found that: (1) of the 9,217 grazing allotments in the Service's 6 western regions, range managers identified 2,183 allotments as in declining condition or overstocked; (2) the Service made little progress in conducting the follow-up monitoring necessary to identify improper grazing practices and devise corrective action; (3) the Service attributed its limited monitoring to staff constraints and limited resources; (4) although the Service gave priority attention to monitoring allotments classified as declining or overstocked, five regional offices monitored only 13 percent of such allotments; and (5) the number of Service range managers decreased from over 1,000 to under 700 between fiscal years 1979 and 1990.

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