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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) efforts to detect and deter unauthorized livestock grazing on public rangelands.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Interior 1. To improve the effectiveness of BLM grazing trespass detection and deterrence efforts, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the Director, BLM, to develop a grazing trespass detection strategy that will: (1) establish detection as a work-load measure and a reportable accomplishment for which managers are held accountable; (2) use visits to randomly selected allotments to provide systematic compliance coverage; and (3) target additional follow-up visits for those livestock operators who have a history of repeated violations.
Closed - Implemented
BLM Instruction Memo 91-324 establishes work-load measures for compliance inspections and trespass cases settled. It also instructs managers to target allotments with unauthorized use histories and to randomly select other allotments for compliance inspections.
Department of the Interior 2. To improve the effectiveness of BLM grazing trespass detection and deterrence efforts, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the Director, BLM, to either: (1) ensure that penalties are assessed for all nonwillful trespass violations as provided for in BLM regulations; or (2) amend BLM regulations to establish a procedure for the informal resolution of nonwillful trespass violations at the local level.
Closed - Not Implemented
On April 21, 1997, BLM officially withdrew its proposed law enforcement regulations which would have modified its regulations for more reasonable and cost-effective resolution of nonwillful trespass.
Department of the Interior 3. To improve the effectiveness of BLM grazing trespass detection and deterrence efforts, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the Director, BLM, to require that all trespass incidents including those now handled informally be documented and made part of the permanent trespass file.
Closed - Not Implemented
On April 21, 1997, BLM officially withdrew its proposed law enforcement regulation which would have modified its "Unauthorized Grazing Use Handbook" (H-4150-1) and Instruction memo 91-324 for handling and documenting all trespasses, both willful and nonwillful.
Department of the Interior 4. To improve the effectiveness of BLM grazing trespass detection and deterrence efforts, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the Director, BLM, to ensure that field staff impose the penalties required under BLM regulations for willful and repeated willful grazing trespass.
Closed - Not Implemented
On April 21, 1997, BLM officially withdrew its proposed law enforcement regulations which would have modified its "Unauthorized Grazing Use Handbook" (H-4150-1) and Instruction memo 91-324 to ensure that field staff impose the penalties that are required.
Department of the Interior 5. To improve the effectiveness of BLM grazing trespass detection and deterrence efforts, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the Director, BLM, to develop a management information system to provide timely, reliable, and adequate information on such things as: (1) the number of compliance visits conducted; (2) the number and level of violations identified; and (3) how each violation is resolved, including those resolved informally.
Closed - Not Implemented
On April 21, 1997, BLM officially withdrew its proposed law enforcement regulations which would have modified its "Unauthorized Grazing Use Handbook" (H-4150-1) and Instruction memo 91-324.

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