Forestry Functions:

Unresolved Issues Affect Forest Service and BLM Organizations in Western Oregon

RCED-94-124: Published: May 17, 1994. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the possibility of consolidating the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) and the Forest Service's forestry functions, focusing on: (1) BLM and the Forest Service's prior and ongoing reorganization efforts; and (2) the potential legal constraints affecting consolidation.

GAO found that: (1) declining timber sales and tightening budgetary constraints have led land management agencies such as BLM and the Forest Service to rethink their organizational structures and relationships with one another; (2) BLM and the Forest Service are attempting to refocus their existing programs and activities to meet the current challenges they face as well as to prepare for initiatives they may undertake in the future; (3) many unresolved issues in the Pacific Northwest affect the future structure and organization of BLM and the Forest Service in western Oregon; (4) uncertainties about the future levels of timber harvests and the effects of reinventing government make it extremely difficult to determine how best to reorganize forestry functions; and (5) an agency-by-agency approach to downsizing and restructuring may not have the potential to achieve the efficiencies that could be derived through a collaborative federal approach to land management.

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