Land management (1 - 10 of 538 items)
Financial Assurances for Reclamation: Federal Regulations and Policies for Selected Mining and Energy Development Activities
GAO-17-207R: Published: Dec 16, 2016. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2017.
Federal requirements for financial assurances, such as cash or bonds that companies may be required to provide to cover the cost of reclaiming lands affected by development, are broadly similar for surface coal mining, hardrock mining, onshore oil and gas extraction, and wind and solar energy development, but some differences exist. Federal laws, regulations, and policies govern various aspects of...
Unauthorized Grazing: Actions Needed to Improve Tracking and Deterrence Efforts
GAO-16-559: Published: Jul 7, 2016. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2016.
The frequency and extent of unauthorized grazing on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service lands are largely unknown because according to agency officials, the agencies prefer to handle most incidents informally (e.g., with a telephone call) and do not record them. The agencies' databases contained information on nearly 1,500 incidents of unauthorized grazing where formal action w...
Indian Energy Development: Interior Could Do More to Improve Its Process for Approving Revenue-Sharing Agreements
GAO-16-553: Published: Jun 13, 2016. Publicly Released: Jun 14, 2016.
The Department of the Interior (Interior) recently issued guidance intended to streamline the review process and reduce the approval times of oil and gas revenue-sharing agreements—called a communitization agreement (CA)—that include Indian resources. Under the revised guidance, for example, oil and gas operators are to provide simplified, less detailed information in their CA applications. In...
Hardrock Mining: BLM and Forest Service Have Taken Some Actions to Expedite the Mine Plan Review Process but Could Do More
GAO-16-165: Published: Jan 21, 2016. Publicly Released: Feb 22, 2016.
From fiscal years 2010 through 2014, the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service approved 68 mine plans of operation. The length of time it took the agencies to approve the mine plans ranged from about 1 month to over 11 years, and averaged approximately 2 years. Of the 68 approved mine plans, 13 had not begun operations as of...
National Park Service: Revenues from Fees and Donations Increased, but Some Enhancements Are Needed to Continue This Trend
GAO-16-166: Published: Dec 15, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 2016.
The National Park Service's (Park Service) total funding did not keep pace with inflation for fiscal years 2005 through 2014, even as fees and donations increased. Total funding increased in nominal dollars from $2.7 billion to $3.1 billion (15 percent) during this period, but declined by 3 percent after adjusting for inflation. Annual appropriations, which comprised about 88 percent of total fund...
Indian Energy Development: Actions Needed to Address BIA Management Challenges
GAO-16-171T: Published: Oct 21, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 21, 2015.
In its June 2015 report, GAO found that Bureau of Indian Affairs' (BIA) management shortcomings and other factors—such as a complex regulatory framework, limited capital and infrastructure, and varied tribal capacity—have hindered Indian energy development. Specifically, BIA's management has the following shortcomings:BIA does not have the data it needs to verify ownership of some Indian oil a...
Wildland Fire Management: Agencies Have Made Several Key Changes but Could Benefit from More Information about Effectiveness
GAO-15-772: Published: Sep 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 2015.
Since 2009, the five federal agencies responsible for wildland fire management—the Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service in the Department of the Interior—have made several key changes in their approach to wildland fire management. One key change was the issuance of a...
Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Numbers of Contaminated Federal Sites, Estimated Costs, and EPA's Oversight Role
GAO-15-830T: Published: Sep 11, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 11, 2015.
The Departments of Agriculture (USDA), the Interior, Defense (DOD), and Energy (DOE) have identified thousands of contaminated and potentially contaminated sites on land they manage but do not have a complete inventory of sites, in particular, for abandoned mines. GAO reported in January 2015 that USDA had identified 1,491 contaminated sites and many potentially contaminated sites. However, USDA d...
Bureau of Land Management: Improvements Needed in Internal Controls over Mining Law Administration Program Funds
GAO-15-562: Published: Jul 23, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2015.
The Department of the Interior's (Interior) Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Mining Law Administration Program (mining law program) was appropriated and expended almost $40 million annually from fiscal years 2011 through 2013. Funds are to be used for mining law program activities such as administering mining claims and processing notices for mineral exploration. The mining law program's largest...
Helium Stewardship Act of 2013: Bureau of Land Management Needs More Information to Fully Implement the Act
GAO-15-734T: Published: Jul 8, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 8, 2015.
In April 2015, GAO found that refiners purchased all the helium offered in the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) first-ever competitive helium auction, held in July 2014, at higher than expected prices. Two refiners purchased all 93 million cubic feet of helium that was auctioned at an average price of $161 per thousand cubic feet--significantly above the prices offere...