The Department of the Interior is responsible for managing much of the nation's vast natural resources. Its agencies implement an array of programs intended to protect these precious resources for future generations while also allowing certain uses of them, such as oil and gas development and recreation. In some cases, Interior is authorized to collect royalties and fees for these uses. Over the years, GAO has reported on challenges facing Interior as it implements its programs. In addition to basic program management issues, the department faces difficult choices in balancing its many responsibilities, and in improving the condition of the nation's natural resources and the department's infrastructure, in light of the federal deficit and long-term fiscal challenges facing the nation. This testimony highlights some of the major management challenges facing Interior today.
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