Federal Lands:

Information on the Acreage, Management, and Use of Federal and Other Lands

T-RCED-96-104: Published: Mar 21, 1996. Publicly Released: Mar 21, 1996.

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(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO provided information on the acreage, management, and use of federal and nonfederal lands by the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service. GAO found that: (1) the four federal agencies managed close to 623 million acres in September 1994, which is 78 million acres less than in June 1964; (2) the decline in the total acreage was due to significant transfers to Alaska and Native Americans; (3) in 1994, 272 million acres consisted of national parks and wildlife refuges, wilderness and wilderness study areas, wild and scenic rivers, and areas of environmental concern; (4) the agencies obtained rights-of-use for over 3 million acres of nonfederal land through leases, agreements, permits, and easements; (5) the federal government held around 52.3 million acres in trust for Native Americans in 1994; (6) 13 western states collectively own 142 million acres of federal land; and (7) from July 1964 to September 1994, land transactions by three non-profit organizations led to the transfer of 3.2 million acres to other public and private entities.

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