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.
For years, GAO has raised concerns about the ability of the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service (Service) to track the amounts it obligates for and spends on timber sales and to use this information in managing the sales.
Since 2001, Congress and federal agencies, including the Forest Service and Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM), have recognized the importance of rehabilitating and restoring lands unlikely to recover on their own after wildland fires.
Wildland fires are increasingly threatening communities and ecosystems. In recent years, these fires have become more intense due to excess vegetation that has accumulated, partly as a result of past management practices.
Decades of fire suppression, as well as changing land management practices, have caused vegetation to accumulate and become altered on federal lands. Concerns about the effects of wildland fires have increased efforts to reduce fuels on federal lands. These efforts also have environmental effects.