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Wildland fires burned over 8 million acres during the 2000 wildfire season, making it one of the worst in the past 50 years. As a result, a National Fire Plan was implemented beginning in 2001 to better prevent, prepare for, respond to, and repair damage caused by wildland fires.
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.
Each year, fires on federal lands burn millions of acres and federal land management agencies spend hundreds of millions of dollars to fight them. Wildland fires also threaten communities adjacent to federal lands.
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Rural Utilities Service's (RUS) generation and transmission (G&T) borrowers and assessed the likelihood of the federal government incurring losses in the future on loans to G&T borrowers.