Changes Needed in the Forest Service's Recreation Program

T-RCED-91-10: Published: Feb 26, 1991. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1991.

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GAO discussed the Forest Service's recreation program and the condition of its developed recreational sites. GAO noted that the Service: (1) could not maintain funding and staffing to develop and maintain its recreational sites and areas in accordance with its established standards; (2) had not yet developed a reliable system to gather uniform and consistent national data on the maintenance and reconstruction needs of its recreational sites and areas; and (3) deferred needed maintenance and reconstruction work, resulting in health and safety hazards that could result in the loss of recreational sites and areas. GAO believes that the Service: (1) needed at least $644 million to eliminate the maintenance and reconstruction backlog; (2) needed additional millions to develop and maintain special recreation and wilderness areas at current standards; (3) will be in a better position with uniform and consistent national data to develop a strategy to guide its recreation program; and (4) needed to consider funding levels, the number of sites for development and maintenance, and the revision of maintenance standards to develop its strategy.

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