Forest Service Management:

Issues To Be Considered in Developing a New Stewardship Strategy

T-RCED-94-116: Published: Feb 1, 1994. Publicly Released: Feb 1, 1994.

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GAO discussed issues that need to be considered in developing a strategy to reform the Forest Service, focusing on the need to: (1) stem the deterioration of the nation's natural resources and the related infrastructure on federal lands; (2) obtain a better return for the sale or use of natural resources on federal lands; (3) refocus certain agency missions, programs, and activities to increase efficiency; and (4) preserve natural resources and sustain their long-term economic productivity by coordinating and managing activities across existing jurisdictional boundaries. GAO noted that: (1) inadequate funding has compromised the Forest Service's maintenance and reconstruction standards; (2) the Forest Service has not recovered at least $35.6 million in administrative expenses due to below-cost timber sales; (3) the Forest Service does not receive fees for the use of federal land based on fair market value; (4) the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have not taken action to merge field offices, restructure boundaries, and eliminate some managerial positions; and (5) the Forest Service and the other three primary federal land management agencies are planning to implement an ecosystem management approach that will help integrate federal land management programs and agencies.

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