Forest Service: Better Reporting Needed on Reforestation and Timber Stand Improvement - GAO Report
|Date:||March 15, 1991|
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO analyzed the reliability of the Forest Service reporting on national forest land: (1) needing reforestation or timber stand improvement; and (2) where reforestation or timber stand improvement activities have been successful.
GAO found that: (1) Service reports understated reforestation needs and did not always identify all needs resulting from forest fires and other natural disasters; (2) from fiscal years 1985 to 1990, reported reforestation needs rose from about 822,000 acres to over 1.2 million acres, while reported timber stand improvement needs decreased from 1.5 million to 1.2 million acres; (3) the nine Service regions used several different methods to identify and report reforestation needs resulting from forest fires or other natural disasters; (4) each Service region followed its own criteria for defining timber stand improvement needs; and (5) none of the regions certified and reported all reforestation and timber stand improvement achievements, making it difficult for Congress to accurately assess the reforestation and timber stand improvement achievements.