Procedures Used to Review and Revoke Obsolete Public Land Withdrawals in Idaho and Nevada

CED-77-93: Published: Jul 7, 1977. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 1977.

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Recommendations were made in a November 16, 1976 GAO report as to actions that the Secretary of the Interior should take to ensure that public lands are effectively used. In addition, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 requires the Secretary to take certain actions related to reviews and revocations of obsolete withdrawals.

Weakness in the withdrawal program previously noted in California exists in Idaho and Nevada, and, as a result, many obsolete withdrawals also exist in those States. The Bureau of Land Management has not implemented an effective program to review land withdrawals, primarily because of a lack of funds and higher priority work such as energy. The Bureau and the General Services Administration have overlapping responsibilities for reviewing certain withdrawn lands and do not adequately coordinate their efforts. The Bureau has not expeditiously processed revocations for obsolete withdrawals, which allows such withdrawals to continue. Further, significant amounts of public land not withdrawn are nevertheless under other restrictive stipulations. These de facto withdrawals encumber the land in a manner tantamount to withdrawal.

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