GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
A large 2017 wildfire in southwest Oregon destroyed 6 homes and threatened thousands more. Its smoke also contributed to respiratory and other health problems in nearby communities and hurt businesses and workers.
Extreme weather related to climate change potentially threatens utilities that produce drinking water and treat wastewater.
We examined federal technical and financial assistance to make such infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather and asked experts about additional options.
Overgrown vegetation can fuel wildfires, which have been increasing in size and severity. Federal land management agencies reduce vegetation on high-risk public lands primarily by cutting it or intentionally burning it, often in combination.
Federal land management agencies have law enforcement divisions to help protect employees and facilities on nearly 700 million acres of land. Security incidents on federal land include the 2016 armed occupation of a wildlife refuge by individuals motivated by anti-government beliefs.
Environmental justice seeks to address the disproportionately high health and environmental risks found among low-income and minority communities by seeking their fair treatment and involvement in environmental policy.
There were 14 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events in the U.S. in 2018—with a total cost of at least $91 billion. These costs will likely rise as the climate changes, researchers say.
Conditions such as dense vegetation and drought have resulted in more severe wildland fires in recent years, and some communities are experiencing the devastating effects of these fires.
Federal agencies can collaborate with nonfederal stakeholders to reduce the risk of wildland fires.
What GAO Found As GAO found in its September 2015 report, the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and the Department of the Interior assess the effectiveness of their wildland fire management programs in several ways, including through performance measures, evaluations of particular activities,...
What GAO Found Since GAO's 2007 report on flood and crop insurance, exposure growth in hazard-prone areas has increased losses, and climate change and related increases in extreme weather events may further increase such losses in coming decades.