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.
Harmful overgrowths of algae—called algal blooms—are a problem in all 50 states. These blooms can hurt aquatic plants and animals by producing toxins, consuming oxygen, and limiting light penetration in the water.
In recent years, Congress has expressed concerns about the federal land management agencies' ability to provide quality recreational opportunities and reduce visitor confusion over the variety of user fees.
In 1996, the Congress authorized an experimental initiative called the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program that provides funds to increase the quality of visitor experience and enhance resource protection.
Over the past decade, a series of devastating and deadly wildland fires has burned millions of acres of federal forests, grasslands, and deserts each year, requiring federal and management agencies to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to fight them.
Before 1850, an estimated 16 million salmon and steelhead returned to the Columbia River Basin annually to spawn. Over the past 25 years, the number of salmon and steelhead returning to the Columbia River Basin has averaged only 660,000 per year although annual population levels have varied widely.
The National Interagency Canada Lynx Survey (Protocol) was designed to determine the presence of Canada lynx through deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis of hair samples recovered from scratch pads in forests in the northern United States.
Birdwatching, hunting, and wildlife photography provide important recreational, aesthetic, and income-generating benefits to the American public. In addition, wildlife help maintain ecosystems, and the mere knowledge that wildlife exist is viewed as beneficial by many people.