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.
The nation has experienced vast losses from natural hazards. The potential for future events, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, demonstrates the importance of hazard mitigation--actions that reduce the long-term risks to life and property from natural hazard events.
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.
In their efforts to reduce hazardous fuels and the risk of wildfire on the nation's public lands, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) expect that stewardship contracting will play a major role.
In 2003, wildfires burned roughly 4 million acres, destroyed over 5,000 structures, took the lives of 30 firefighters, and cost over $1 billion to suppress. The substantial expense of fighting wildfires has exceeded the funds appropriated for wildfire suppression nearly every year since 1990.
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 land management agencies to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to fight them.
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.
In its 2001 performance and accountability report on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), GAO identified important security, modernization, food safety, food assistance, and other issues facing the department.