Forest Service:

Appeals and Litigation of Fuel Reduction Projects

GAO-01-1114R: Published: Aug 31, 2001. Publicly Released: Aug 31, 2001.

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The nation's forests have undergone significant changes during the last century and a half. Human activities, especially the federal government's decades-old practice of suppressing all wildland fires, have resulted in the dangerous accumulation of hazardous fuel on federal lands. To help address this problem, Congress provided the Forest Service with more than $205 million in fiscal year 2001 to reduce these accumulated fuels. To put as much of this money on-the-ground as quickly as possible, the Forest Service identified and funded those hazardous fuel reduction projects for which it had completed the necessary environmental analysis. As of July 2001, the Forest Service had completed the necessary environmental analyses and had decided to implement 1,671 hazardous fuel reduction projects in fiscal year 2001. Of these projects, 20 had been appealed and none had been litigated. Applicants included environmental groups, recreation groups, private industry interests, and individuals.

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