Natural Resources Management:

Issues to Be Considered by the Congress and Administration

T-RCED-93-5: Published: Feb 2, 1993. Publicly Released: Feb 2, 1993.

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GAO discussed its December 1992 transition series report on natural resources management issues, focusing on the proposal to obtain a better return for the sale or use of federally managed natural resources. GAO noted that: (1) the existing infrastructure increasingly needs repair, and the land's condition is deteriorating while natural resources management staff face increasing responsibilities and duties without adequate funding and staffing; (2) resources managers have already cut some services and standards; (3) because the deficit is causing budget constraints, Congress and the administration must find new funding sources or make further cutbacks in services and maintenance; (4) a better return for the sale or use of the nation's natural resources could generate an additional $4.5 billion between fiscal years 1993 through 1997; (5) most proposed legislation to increase user's fees and timber prices failed to be enacted; (6) failure to pass the legislation was due partly to the lack of adequate aggregate information on agencies' unmet needs; and (7) market-based incentives, such as those proposed for grazing fees and water rates, could encourage sustainable use of natural resources on federal lands.

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