Skip to Highlights
Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on whether the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) established any refuge with migratory bird funds after Congress denied appropriations from land and water funds for a proposed refuge, focusing on: (1) which funds--land and water funds or migratory bird funds--FWS used to establish and expand refuges during this period; (2) how FWS set priorities for acquiring land with these funds; (3) whether FWS followed these priorities in requesting funding for this period; and (4) FWS' use of the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, which provides grants for nonfederal entities to acquire land associated with habitat conservation plans.

Skip to Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Interior 1. To facilitate congressional oversight and enhance budget deliberations, the Secretary of the Interior should have the Director, FWS, annually provide legislative and appropriations committees with a list of all approved and proposed refuges and refuge boundary expansions--including those for which Congress declined to provide land and water funding. The list should identify, for each refuge: (1) estimated future requests for land and water funds; and (2) estimated future operations and maintenance costs.
Closed - Implemented
The Fish and Wildlife Service included the requested information as part of the FY2001 budget submission and plans to continue to provide the information to the Congress in future years.
Department of the Interior 2. To facilitate congressional oversight and enhance budget deliberations, the Secretary of the Interior should have the Director, FWS, expeditiously implement the revised automated priority-setting system for land and water funds, ensuring that the revisions correct the problems identified in the system and that they meet the needs of FWS and congressional appropriators.
Closed - Implemented
FWS finalized the revised system and used it to develop its FY 2003 budget request for land and water funds.

Full Report