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.
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.
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 GAO reviewed the customer service standards at Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Forest Service, Federal Student Aid (FSA), the National Park Service (NPS), and two services in the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)—disability compensation and Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI)....
What GAO FoundThe Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and the Department of the Interior have undertaken nine major efforts since 1995 to identify the number and type of firefighting aircraft they need, but those efforts--consisting of major studies and strategy documents--have been hampered by...
Over the last 5 years, Border Patrol has nearly doubled the number of its agents on patrol, constructed hundreds of miles of border fence, and installed surveillance equipment on and near lands managed by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture along the southwestern border.