Federal Land Management: Challenges to Implementing the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act
The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service manage about 628 million acres of public land, mostly in 11 western states and Alaska. Under the Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA) of 2000, revenue raised from selling BLM lands is available to the agencies, primarily to acquire nonfederal land within the boundaries of land they already own--known as inholdings. These inholdings can create significant land management problems. To acquire land, the agencies can nominate parcels under state-level interagency agreements or the Secretaries can use their discretion to initiate acquisitions. FLTFA expires in July 2010. This testimony discusses GAO's 2008 report: Federal Land Management: Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act Restrictions and Management Weaknesses Limit Future Sales and Acquisitions (GAO-08-196). Specifically, the testimony discusses (1) FLTFA revenue generated, (2) challenges to future sales, (3) FLTFA expenditures, (4) challenges to future acquisitions, and (5) agencies' implementation of GAO's recommendations. Among other things, GAO examined the act, agency guidance, and FLTFA sale and acquisition data, interviewed agency officials, and obtained some updated information.