Forest Service:

Distribution of Timber Sales Receipts Fiscal Years 1992-94

RCED-95-237FS: Published: Sep 8, 1995. Publicly Released: Sep 8, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the distribution of timber sales receipts to Forest Service and other accounts, focusing on: (1) fiscal years 1992 through 1994 timber sales receipts and the amounts of these receipts the Forest Service distributed for specific purposes; and (2) the receipts deposited in the Treasury's General Fund as compared to the Forest Service's outlays for the preparation and administration of timber sales for that period.

GAO found that: (1) timber sales receipts for fiscal years 1992 through 1994 totalled nearly $3 billion; (2) the Forest Service distributed about 90 percent of those receipts to various Forest Service accounts for specific purposes; (3) specific distribution percentages for the Roads and Trails Fund and payments to states are mandated by law; (4) other accounts include those for reforestation, timber salvage, brush removal and erosion control, purchaser-built road credits, and interest and penalties; (5) although at the national level more monies were collected than distributed, some regions and forests distributed more monies than they collected; (6) the Forest Service deposited about $302.7 million in the Treasury's General Fund, which was about 10 percent of total timber sales receipts collected over the 3-year period; (7) timber sale preparation and administration costs totalled about $1.3 billion; and (8) there is no requirement that timber sales receipts cover the total amount of distributions and timber sale preparation and administrative costs.

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