Improvements Needed in Review of Public Land Withdrawals:

Land Set Aside for Special Purposes

CED-76-159: Published: Nov 16, 1976. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 1976.

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The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management procedures for reviewing and revoking public land withdrawals are described, and, in particular, public lands withdrawn in the State of California are reviewed. The Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of General Services have responsibility for reviewing the status of certain withdrawn lands. The Secretary of the Interior delegated his authority to the Bureau of Land Management.

In California the Bureau had not established a comprehensive program to review land withdrawals primarily under its jurisdiction. In many cases a review was not made, or, if made, it was limited to identifying withdrawals, rather than determining whether any were obsolete and should be revoked. The Bureau and the General Services Administration had overlapping responsibilities for reviewing withdrawals--primarily concerning those for military purposes. The Bureau had not processed revocation applications submitted to it by other agencies in a timely manner so that the land withdrawn could be returned to the public land inventory.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Interior should establish within the Department, and with the cooperation of heads of other land holding agencies, a coordinated comprehensive program to expeditiously revoke all withdrawals which are no longer needed. The Secretary should work with the Administrator of General Services in defining each agency's withdrawal review responsibilities to avoid duplication in reviewing the need for withdrawals.

    Agency Affected:


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