Restoring Degraded Riparian Areas on Western Rangelands

T-RCED-88-20: Published: Mar 1, 1988. Publicly Released: Mar 1, 1988.

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GAO discussed the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) efforts to improve western rangeland riparian areas. GAO noted that most BLM-managed riparian areas, covering over 17,000 miles, have: (1) little vegetation; (2) badly eroded streambanks; and (3) little intermittent water flow. GAO also noted that BLM: (1) improved some areas by changing livestock management techniques; and (2) could apply such restoration techniques to other riparian areas. In addition, GAO noted that BLM: (1) substantially reduced the level of skilled staff necessary for riparian area improvement; and (2) field staff believe that BLM is not committed to riparian area improvement and will not support improvement projects if ranchers oppose them.

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