Federal Lands:

Land Acquisitions Involving Nonprofit Conservation Organizations

RCED-94-149: Published: Jun 15, 1994. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 1994.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed federal land acquisitions from nonprofit conservation organizations, focusing on the: (1) extent that federal land management agencies purchase land from or with the assistance of nonprofit organizations; (2) adequacy of controls for protecting the government's interest in such acquisitions; and (3) extent that nonprofit organizations realize financial gains in such transactions.

GAO found that: (1) from fiscal year (FY) 1988 through FY 1992, 18 nonprofit organizations were involved in 246 Forest Service acquisitions for $138.8 million and 3 Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) acquisitions for $10.7 million; (2) the Forest Service relied heavily on nonprofit organizations for its land acquisitions; (3) acquisitions from nonprofits tended to involve significantly larger properties; (4) the Forest Service and BPA had adequate controls to safeguard the government's interest in the acquisitions; (5) the agencies generally offered fair market prices for the properties, and the prices were established by qualified appraisers and adequately reviewed; (6) all the acquired properties were designated by Congress or the agencies as priority acquisitions to help achieve the agencies' missions and goals; (7) although 4 of the nonprofit organizations reviewed made substantial financial gains on some properties, they had net losses on their total transactions when their acquisition, direct, and indirect costs were factored in; (8) the 4 nonprofit organizations accounted for about 49 percent of the acres acquired and about 37 percent of the dollar value of the agencies' acquisitions; and (9) agency officials believed that nonprofit gains or losses were irrelevant to their acquisitions, since they based their purchase offers on the properties' fair market value.

Jun 25, 2020

May 29, 2020

May 5, 2020

Apr 22, 2020

Mar 31, 2020

Mar 11, 2020

Mar 6, 2020

Mar 2, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here