Public lands (21 - 30 of 352 items)
Oil and Gas Leasing: Past Work Identifies Numerous Challenges with Interior's Oversight
GAO-11-487T: Published: Mar 17, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 2011.
The Department of the Interior oversees oil and gas activities on leased federal lands and waters. Revenue generated from federal oil and gas production is one of the largest nontax sources of federal government funds, accounting for about $9 billion in fiscal year 2009. For onshore leases, Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has oversight responsibilities. For offshore leases, the newly cr...
Forest Service: Continued Work Needed to Address Persistent Management Challenges
GAO-11-423T: Published: Mar 10, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 10, 2011.
The Forest Service, within the Department of Agriculture, manages over 190 million acres of national forest and grasslands. The agency is responsible for managing its lands for various purposes--including recreation, grazing, timber harvesting, and others--while ensuring that such activities do not impair the lands' long-term productivity. Numerous GAO reports examining different aspects of Forest...
Environmental Protection Agency: Major Management Challenges
GAO-11-422T: Published: Mar 2, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 2011.
The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) overarching mission is to protect human health and the environment by implementing and enforcing the laws intended to improve the quality of the nation's air, water, and lands. EPA's policies and programs affect virtually all segments of the economy, society, and government. As such, it operates in a highly complex and controversial regulatory arena. In...
Department of the Interior: Major Management Challenges
GAO-11-424T: Published: Mar 1, 2011. Publicly Released: Mar 1, 2011.
The Department of the Interior (Interior) is responsible for managing much of the nation's vast natural resources. Its agencies implement an array of programs intended to protect these resources for future generations while also allowing certain uses of them, such as recreation and oil and gas development. In some cases, Interior is authorized to collect royalties and fees for these uses. Over the...
Oil and Gas Bonds: BLM Needs a Comprehensive Strategy to Better Manage Potential Oil and Gas Well Liability
GAO-11-292: Published: Feb 25, 2011. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 2011.
The number of oil and gas wells on leased federal land has increased dramatically. To help manage the environmental impacts of these wells, the Department of the Interior's (Interior) Bureau of Land Management (BLM) requires oil and gas operators to reclaim disturbed land in a manner it prescribes. To help ensure operators reclaim leased land, BLM requires them to provide a bond before beginning d...
Federal Lands: Adopting a Formal, Risk-Based Approach Could Help Land Management Agencies Better Manage Their Law Enforcement Resources
GAO-11-144: Published: Dec 17, 2010. Publicly Released: Dec 17, 2010.
Four federal agencies--the Forest Service in the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service in the Department of the Interior--are responsible for managing federal lands, enforcing federal laws governing the lands and their resources, and ensuring visitor safety. Illegal activities occurring on these lands have raised concerns...
Border Security: Additional Actions Needed to Better Ensure a Coordinated Federal Response to Illegal Activity on Federal Lands
GAO-11-177: Published: Nov 18, 2010. Publicly Released: Dec 8, 2010.
Federal and tribal lands on the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico are vulnerable to illegal cross-border activity. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)--through its U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Office of Border Patrol (Border Patrol)--is responsible for securing these lands, while the Departments of the Interior (DOI) and Agriculture (USDA) manage natural resources and protect the p...
Energy-Water Nexus: A Better and Coordinated Understanding of Water Resources Could Help Mitigate the Impacts of Potential Oil Shale Development
GAO-11-35: Published: Oct 29, 2010. Publicly Released: Nov 29, 2010.
Oil shale deposits in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming are estimated to contain up to 3 trillion barrels of oil--or an amount equal to the world's proven oil reserves. About 72 percent of this oil shale is located beneath federal lands, making the federal government a key player in its potential development. Extracting this oil is expected to require substantial amounts of water and could impact ground...
Southwest Border: More Timely Border Patrol Access and Training Could Improve Security Operations and Natural Resource Protection on Federal Lands
GAO-11-38: Published: Oct 19, 2010. Publicly Released: Oct 19, 2010.
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. In so doing, the agency has had to comply with federal land management laws, and some have expressed concern that th...
Onshore Oil and Gas: BLM's Management of Public Protests to Its Lease Sales Needs Improvement
GAO-10-670: Published: Jul 30, 2010. Publicly Released: Aug 30, 2010.
The development of oil and natural gas resources on federal lands contributes to domestic energy production but also results in concerns over potential impacts on those lands. Numerous public protests about oil and gas lease sales have been filed with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages these federal resources. GAO was asked to examine (1) the extent to which BLM maintains and makes...