Forest Service Needs to Improve Efforts to Reduce Below-Cost Timber Sales

T-RCED-91-43: Published: Apr 25, 1991. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 1991.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO discussed the Forest Service's below-cost timber sales, focusing on: (1) timber sales that did not recover their associated costs; and (2) Service efforts to reduce below-cost timber sales. GAO noted that: (1) fiscal year 1990 below-cost timber sales resulted in unrecovered timber-sale preparation and administration expenses of at least $35.6 million; (2) unrecovered costs ranged from $14.9 million for large sales and $20.7 million for small sales when only preparation and administration costs were considered, to $68.4 million for large sales and $43.8 million for small sales when all operating costs plus payments to states were calculated; (3) sale preparation and administration costs at the 122 national forests ranged from $15 per thousand board feet of harvested timber to $348 per thousand board feet; and (4) the Service issued a draft policy to reduce losses from below-cost timber sales. In addition, GAO noted that the Service needed to take such additional actions to reduce below-cost timber sales as: (1) extending consideration of below-cost sales to the individual sales level; (2) considering its costs when setting minimum rates for a timber sale; and (3) evaluating whether the benefits of a below-cost sale justify the unrecovered costs prior to incurring most preparation costs.

Sep 26, 2018

Sep 21, 2018

Sep 14, 2018

Sep 5, 2018

Aug 24, 2018

Aug 16, 2018

Jul 19, 2018

Jul 17, 2018

Jul 12, 2018

Jun 19, 2018

Looking for more? Browse all our products here