oversight

Forest Service: Information on Appeals and Litigation Involving Fuels Reduction Activities

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-10-24.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

               United States General Accounting Office

GAO            Report to Congressional Requesters




October 2003
               FOREST SERVICE
               Information on
               Appeals and Litigation
               Involving Fuels
               Reduction Activities




04-52

               a

                                                 October 2003


                                                 FOREST SERVICE

                                                 Information on Appeals and Litigation
Highlights of GAO-04-52, a report to             Involving Fuels Reduction Activities
congressional requesters




The federal fire community’s                     In a GAO survey of all national forests, forest managers reported the
decades old policy of suppressing                following:
wildland fires as soon as possible
has caused a dangerous increase in               • 	 In fiscal years 2001 and 2002, 818 decisions involved fuels reduction
vegetation density in our nation’s
                                                       activities covering 4.8 million acres.
forests. This density increase
combined with severe drought over
much of the United States has                    • 	 Of the 818 decisions involving fuels reduction activities, about 24
created a significant threat of                        percent were appealed—affecting 954,000 acres. However, of the 818
catastrophic wildfires. In response                    decisions, more than half, 486 decisions, could not be appealed because
to this threat, the Forest Service                     they involved activities with little or no environmental impact. Of the
performs activities to reduce the                      332 appealable decisions, 194 (about 58 percent) were appealed. There
buildup of brush, small trees, and                     can be multiple appeals per decision. In addition, 25 decisions (3
other vegetation on national forest                    percent) affecting about 111,000 acres were litigated.
land. With the increased threat of
catastrophic wildland fires, there               • 	 For 73 percent of the appealed decisions, the Forest Service allowed the
have been concerns about delays in
                                                       fuels reduction activities to be implemented without changes; 8 percent
implementing activities to reduce
these “forest fuels.” Essentially,                     required some changes before being implemented; and about 19 percent
these concerns focus on the extent                     could not be implemented. Of the 25 litigated decisions, 19 have been
to which public appeals and                            resolved.
litigation of Forest Service
decisions to implement forest fuels              • 	 About 79 percent of appeals were processed within the prescribed 90-
reduction activities unnecessarily                     day time frame. Of the remaining 21 percent, the processing times
delay efforts to reduce fuels.                         ranged from 91 days to 240 days.
The Forest Service does not keep a               The Forest Service, in commenting on a draft of this report, generally agreed
national database on the number of               with the report’s contents. Their specific comments and our evaluation of
forest fuels reduction activities that
                                                 them are provided in the report.
are appealed or litigated.
Accordingly, GAO was asked to
develop this information for fiscal              Summary of Forest Service Decisions and Appeals Information for Fiscal Years 2001 and
years 2001 and 2002. Among other                 2002
things, GAO was asked to                                                                               Impacts initially
                                                                                       Little or no        uncertain or
determine (1) the number of
                                                                                       impact/Not           significant/       Total for all
decisions involving fuels reduction              Decisions/Appeals                     appealable           Appealable          decisions
activities and the number of acres
                                                 Number of decisions                             486                  332               818
affected, (2) the number of
                                                 Number of appealed decisions                      3                  194               197
decisions that were appealed
                                                 Percentage of decisions
and/or litigated and the number of               appealed                                         <1                   58                24
acres affected, (3) the outcomes of              Acreage (in thousands)                        2,989                 1,804            4,793
appealed and/or litigated decisions,             Acreage appealed (in
and (4) the number of appeals that               thousands)                                        4                  950               954
were processed within prescribed                 Percentage of acreage 

time frames.                                     appealed                                         <1                   53                20
                                                 Source: GAO data and analysis.
www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-04-52.

To view the full product, including the scope
and methodology, click on the link above.
For more information, contact Barry T. Hill at
(202) 512-9775 or hillbt@gao.gov.
Contents




Letter
                                                                                                      1
                             Results in Brief 
                                                              4
                             Background                                                                      5

                             The Number of Decisions Involving Forest Fuels Reduction

                               Activities and the Number of Acres Affected 
                                10
                             The Number of Decisions Involving Forest Fuels Reduction

                               Activities Appealed and Litigated and the Amount of Acreage 

                               Affected
                                                                    13
                             Outcomes of Appealed and Litigated Decisions and the Identities of 

                               Appellants and Plaintiffs 
                                                  17
                             The Number of Decisions That Were Processed Within Prescribed

                               Time Frames
                                                                 21
                             The Types of Fuels Reduction Treatment Methods Identified in the 

                               Decisions, the Acreage Affected, and How Frequently These 

                               Decisions Were Appealed 
                                                    24
                             Types of Contracts Used in Decisions with Fuels Reduction 

                               Activities and How Frequently Decisions Involving the Contract 

                               Types Were Appealed 
                                                        32
                             Number of Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities in the 

                               Wildland-Urban Interface and Inventoried Roadless Areas and 

                               How Frequently the Decisions Were Appealed 
                                 35
                             Agency Comments and Our Evaluation
                                            39


Appendixes
               Appendix I:
 Scope and Methodology                                                           42
              Appendix II:
 Decisions and Acres, by Forest Service Region                                   46
             Appendix III:
 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation of Decisions with 

                            Fuels Reduction Activities, by Forest Service Region                            48

              Appendix IV:   Appeal Outcomes for Decisions with Fuels Reduction 

                             Activities, by Forest Service Region                                           50

              Appendix V:    Litigation Outcomes for Decisions with Fuels Reduction 

                             Activities, by Forest Service Region                                           52

             Appendix VI:    List of Appellants and Litigants for Each Forest Service 

                             Region                                                                         53

                             Appellants, by Region                                                          53

                             Litigants, by Region                                                           56

             Appendix VII:   Appeal Processing Time Frames for Decisions with Fuels 

                             Reduction Activities, by Region                                                58



                             Page i                             GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                          Contents




          Appendix VIII:	 Fuels Reduction Methods and Appeals, by Forest Service
                          Region                                                                         60
           Appendix IX:	 Types of Contracts Used in Decisions with Fuels Reduction
                         Activities and How Frequently They Were Appealed, by
                         Region                                                                          64
            Appendix X:	 Decisions in Wildland-Urban Interface and Inventoried
                         Roadless Areas                                                                  68
           Appendix XI:   Survey Questions to National Forests                                           72
          Appendix XII:   Comments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture                               94


Tables	                   Table 1: Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities and Acreage 

                                    Affected, by Decision Type, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002
              12
                          Table 2: Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities That Were 

                                    Appealed and Acreage Affected, by Decision Type, Fiscal 

                                    Years 2001 and 2002
                                                 14
                          Table 3: Litigated Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities and 

                                    Acreage Affected, by Decision Type, Fiscal Years 2001 and 

                                    2002
                                                                16
                          Table 4: Summary of Possible Decision Outcomes and Factors That 

                                    Can Lead to the Outcomes 
                                           18
                          Table 5: Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities and the Acreage 

                                    Affected, by Treatment Methods, Fiscal Years 2001 and 

                                    2002
                                                                30
                          Table 6: Analysis of Appeal Rates, by Type of Fuels Reduction 

                                    Treatment Method, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002
                        31
                          Table 7: Analysis of Acreage Affected by Appeals for Each Type of

                                    Fuels Reduction Treatment Method, Fiscal Years 2001 and 

                                    2002
                                                                32
                          Table 8: Analysis of Appeal Rates by Each Type of Contracting 

                                    Mechanism, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002
                               35
                          Table 9: Litigation Outcomes, by Forest Service Region, Fiscal 

                                    Years 2001 and 2002
                                                 52
                          Table 10: List of Appellants, by Forest Service Region, Fiscal Years
                                    2001 and 2002                                                        53
                          Table 11: Interest Groups and Private Individuals Appearing as
                                    Litigants, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002                                56


Figures                   Figure 1: Lands Managed by the Forest Service, by Region                        7
                          Figure 2: National Environmental Policy Act Process                             8
                          Figure 3: Frequency of Appeal Outcomes and Dispositions                        19



                          Page ii                            GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Contents




Figure 4: Forest Service Appeals Process, Fiscal Years 2001 and
           2002                                                                        22
Figure 5: Members of Fire Crew Igniting a Prescribed Burn with
           Drip Torches                                                                25
Figure 6: Prescribed Fire Being Used for Fuels Reduction                               26
Figure 7: Bulldozer Piling Thinned Trees (Machine Piling)                              27
Figure 8: Use of Chain Saw to Mechanically Thin Trees                                  28
Figure 9: Frequency of Service, Timber Sale, and Stewardship
           Contracts Used in Decisions with Fuels Reduction
           Activities, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002                                      34
Figure 10: Wildland-Urban Interface Area                                               36
Figure 11: Inventoried Roadless Area                                                   38
Figure 12: Total Decisions and Acres, by Forest Service Region,
           Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002                                                  46
Figure 13: Appeal Rates and Litigation, by Forest Service Region,
           Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002                                                  48
Figure 14: Outcomes of Appeals of Decisions with Fuels Reduction
           Activities, by Forest Service Region, Fiscal Years 2001
           and 2002                                                                    50
Figure 15: Appeal Processing Time Frames for Decisions with Fuels
           Reduction Activities, by Region                                             58
Figure 16: Treatment Methods and Appeals, by Region, Fiscal Years
           2001 and 2002                                                               61
Figure 17: Types of Contracts Used in Decisions with Fuels
           Reduction Activities and How Frequently Decisions
           Involving the Contract Types Were Appealed, by Region,
           Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002                                                  65
Figure 18: Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities in the
           Wildland-Urban Interface and Frequency of Appeals, by
           Region, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002                                          68
Figure 19: Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities in Inventoried
           Roadless Areas and Frequency of Appeals, by Region,
           Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002                                                  70




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Page iii                                  GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
A

United States General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548



                                    October 24, 2003

                                    Congressional Requesters

                                    Human activities—especially the federal government’s decades-old policy
                                    of suppressing all wildland fires—have resulted in dangerous
                                    accumulations of brush, small trees, and other vegetation on federal lands.
                                    This vegetation has increasingly provided fuel for large, intense wildland
                                    fires, particularly in the dry, interior western United States.

                                    The scale and intensity of the fires in the 2000 wildland fire season made it
                                    one of the worst in 50 years. That season capped a decade characterized by
                                    dramatic increases in the number of wildland fires and the costs of
                                    suppressing them. These fires have also posed special risks to
                                    communities in the wildland-urban interface—where human development
                                    meets or intermingles with undeveloped wildland—as well as to
                                    watersheds and other resources, such as threatened and endangered
                                    species, clean water, and clean air.

                                    The centerpiece of the federal response to the growing threat of wildland
                                    fires has been the development of the National Fire Plan. This plan, jointly
                                    developed by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the
                                    Interior, advocates a new approach to wildland fires by shifting emphasis
                                    from the reactive to the proactive—from attempting to suppress wildland
                                    fires to reducing the buildup of hazardous vegetation that fuels fires. The
                                    plan recognizes that unless these fuels are reduced, the number of severe
                                    wildland fires and the costs associated with suppressing them will continue
                                    to increase. Implementation of the National Fire Plan began in fiscal year
                                    2001; full implementation of the plan is expected to be a long-term,
                                    multibillion-dollar effort.

                                    Reducing the buildup of hazardous forest fuels is typically accomplished
                                    through a number of treatment methods. Most often, federal land
                                    managers use controlled fires (prescribed burns) or mechanical treatments
                                    such as chainsaws, chippers, mulchers, and bulldozers. Other means of
                                    reducing fuels buildup include using livestock grazing and herbicides. On
                                    federal lands, these activities are managed by five agencies—the National
                                    Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land
                                    Management, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs—all within Interior, and the
                                    Forest Service within Agriculture.




                                    Page 1                              GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
The first year that the National Fire Plan was in effect, the Congress
substantially increased funding for hazardous forest fuels reduction for
both the Forest Service and Interior agencies—from $117 million in fiscal
year 2000 to $400 million in fiscal year 2001. The Congress continued this
increased funding level for 2002 and 2003. Since the National Fire Plan
began emphasizing the need to reduce forest fuels buildup and the
Congress began to support this initiative with substantially increased
funding, questions have been raised about whether the agencies’ ability to
implement forest fuels reduction activities is being unnecessarily delayed
by administrative appeals and litigation of its land management decisions.
Concerns have focused on the Forest Service, which, among the federal
agencies involved in implementing the National Fire Plan, receives, by far,
the largest portion of the funding—over 50 percent in fiscal years 2001 and
2002. Further, the scope of the Forest Service fuels reduction needs is
much broader than those of the other federal agencies. Under current
rules, members of the public are permitted to appeal and/or litigate the
implementation of Forest Service decisions within certain prescribed time
frames and under certain circumstances.

In this context, you asked us to develop national data on Forest Service
fuels reduction activities. Specifically, for fiscal years 2001 and 2002, you
asked us to determine (1) the number of decisions involving fuels reduction
activities and the number of acres affected; (2) the number of decisions
that were appealed and/or litigated and the number of acres affected; (3)
the outcomes of the appealed and/or litigated decisions and the identities
of the appellants and plaintiffs; (4) the number of appeals that were
processed within the prescribed time frames; (5) the types of fuels
reduction treatment methods identified in the decisions, the acreage
affected, and how frequently these decisions were appealed; (6) the types
of contracts used for implementing fuels reduction activities and how
frequently decisions, including each type of contract, were appealed; and
(7) the number of decisions involving fuels reduction activities in the
wildland-urban interface and inventoried roadless areas1 and how
frequently these decisions were appealed. In addition to providing the
national data in response to each objective, you also asked us to provide



1
 The definition of an “inventoried roadless area” was provided in rulemaking on January 12,
2001. Litigants are currently challenging the rule’s validity in court. The rule defines
inventoried roadless areas as those areas identified in a set of inventoried roadless area
maps contained in the Forest Service Roadless Area Conservation, Final Environmental
Impact Statement, Volume 2, dated November 2000.




Page 2                                     GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
regional data. This letter provides the national data. The regional
breakdown for the seven objectives is shown in appendixes II through X.

In conducting our review, we used a Web-based survey of all 155 national
forests2. The survey focused on all Forest Service decisions with fuels
reduction activities that were issued in fiscal years 2001 and 2002. We
obtained a 100 percent response rate from the national forests. We also
tested the accuracy and reliability of the information provided in the
responses and found that the information was generally reliable. Appendix
I provides details on the scope and methodology of our review.

When we provided you with preliminary information on the results of our
survey on May 14, 2003, we had not yet completed our data reliability
checks.3 Accordingly, we noted in that interim report that some of the
information could change in our final report. In fact, now that our
reliability checks have been completed, some of the information provided
in our interim report has changed slightly. However, the relationships
among the numbers have not materially changed. In our interim report, we
also noted certain other limitations that still apply. Specifically, the survey
information is self-reported. Accordingly, we were not able to
independently ensure that all decisions were reported. In addition, the
Forest Service does not have a common definition of “fuels reduction
activities.” As a result, if the Forest Service documentation explicitly
stated that the purpose of an activity was fuels reduction, we included it; if
the documentation did not include an explicit discussion of fuels reduction
activities, we did not include the decision in our analysis. Finally, the
Forest Service does not have a uniformly applied definition of the
“wildland-urban interface.” Consequently, individual forests may have their
own definition or no definition at all, which could result in inconsistent
data.




2
 Our work focused only on national forests; we did not include national grasslands in our
survey and analysis.
3
U.S. General Accounting Office, Forest Service: Information on Decisions Involving Fuels
Reduction Activities, GAO-03-689R (Washington, D.C.: May 14, 2003).




Page 3                                     GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Results in Brief   In brief, the national forest managers reported the following:

                   •	 In fiscal years 2001 and 2002, 818 Forest Service land management
                      decisions involved fuels reduction activities. These decisions covered
                      4.8 million acres. Most decisions involved routine activities that had
                      little or no environmental impact.

                   •	 Of the 818 decisions involving fuels reduction activities, about 24
                      percent were appealed—affecting over 954,000 acres of fuels
                      treatments. However, of the 818 decisions, more than half (486
                      decisions) are excluded from the appeals process because they involved
                      activities with little or no environmental impact. Of the 332 appealable
                      decisions, 194 were appealed—about 58 percent of the appealable
                      decisions. A decision can be appealed multiple times. In addition, 25
                      decisions (about 3 percent) affecting about 111,000 acres were litigated.

                   •	 For 73 percent of the appealed decisions, the Forest Service allowed the
                      activities to be implemented without changes; 8 percent were allowed to
                      be implemented with some changes; and about 19 percent were not
                      allowed to be implemented. Of the 25 decisions that were litigated, 19
                      have been resolved and 6 are ongoing. The parties settled 5 decisions, 9
                      were decided in favor of the plaintiffs, and 5 were decided in favor of the
                      Forest Service. Most of the appellants and plaintiffs were interest
                      groups.

                   •	 About 79 percent of all appeals were processed within the prescribed
                      90-day time frame. Of the remaining 21 percent, the processing times
                      ranged from 91 days to 240 days.

                   •	 Of the 4.8 million acres that were treated or planned to be treated,
                      prescribed burning was used on 3.2 million acres, and mechanical
                      treatments were to be used on 0.8 million acres. The forest managers
                      also reported using other methods, mostly firewood removal, on 1
                      million acres. Because the same acreage can be treated by more than
                      one method, the sum is greater than the total acreage treated or planned
                      for treatment. Decisions involving prescribed burning and mechanical
                      treatment activities were appealed at about the same rate.

                   •	 The Forest Service generally used three types of contracts to carry out
                      fuels reduction activities—service contracts, timber sale contracts, and
                      stewardship contracts. Service contracts are awarded to contractors by



                   Page 4                              GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                 the Forest Service to perform specific tasks to reduce forest fuels, such
                 as thinning trees or clearing underbrush. The Forest Service awards
                 timber sale contracts to individuals or companies to harvest and remove
                 trees from federal lands under its jurisdiction. Stewardship contracts
                 are essentially a combination of service and timber sale contracts aimed
                 at conducting on-the-ground restoration and enhancement of
                 landscapes with public and private entities. Service contracts are the
                 most frequent contracting mechanisms used—356 of the 818 decisions.
                 Decisions using timber sale contracts and stewardship contracts are the
                 most frequently appealed.

              •	 There were 462 decisions involving fuels reduction activities in the
                 wildland-urban interface. Of these, 169 decisions were appealable and
                 89 decisions were appealed—53 percent of the appealable decisions and
                 19 percent of all decisions. Seventy-six decisions involved fuels
                 reduction activities in inventoried roadless areas. Of these 76 decisions,
                 41 were appealable and 26 were appealed—63 percent of the appealable
                 decisions and 34 percent of all decisions.

              We received comments from the Forest Service on a draft of this report.
              The Forest Service generally agreed with the report’s contents. The agency
              provided us with clarifying and technical comments that we incorporated
              into the report as appropriate. Comments from the Forest Service are
              reproduced in appendix XII.



Background	   The 2000 and 2002 wildland fire seasons proved to be two of the worst in
              over 50 years. During the 2000 fire season, almost 123,000 fires burned
              more than 8.4 million acres and cost the federal government over $1.3
              billion. In 2002, almost 89,000 fires burned about 7 million acres, an area
              larger than the states of Maryland and Rhode Island combined. For
              decades, the federal wildland fire community pursued a policy of
              suppressing all fires as soon as possible. Over the years, suppressing fire in
              areas where it naturally occurred has caused an increase in the volume of
              brush, small trees, and other vegetation. The increase in such “forest
              fuels,” combined with a severe drought in much of the nation over the past
              few years, has increased the severity of wildland fires. The result in some
              instances has been catastrophic. In 2002, the Rodeo-Chediski fire in
              Arizona, the Hayman fire in Colorado, and the Biscuit fire in Oregon and
              California became the largest fires in those states in more than a century.




              Page 5                              GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
To deal with this threat, the administration asked the Forest Service and
Interior to recommend how best to respond and how to reduce the impacts
of such fires in the future. The resulting report and the associated
implementation documents became known as the National Fire Plan. This
blueprint recommended that the Congress substantially increase funding
for several key activities, such as suppressing wildland fires and reducing
the buildup of unwanted hazardous forest fuels. Of the federal agencies
involved with helping to reduce the threat posed by wildland fires, the
Forest Service is by far the most significant in terms of the broad range of
forest activities that it is responsible for and the public attention it receives.
Compared with the other federal land management agencies in fiscal years
2001 and 2002, the Forest Service received more than half of all funding
provided for forest fuels reduction activities. For these fiscal years, the
Congress provided the Forest Service with $414 million for reducing
hazardous fuels—the other land management agencies received $381
million combined.

The Forest Service is responsible for managing over 192 million acres of
public lands—nearly 9 percent of the nation’s total surface area and about
30 percent of all federal lands in the United States. In carrying out its
responsibilities, the Forest Service traditionally has administered its
programs through nine regional offices, 155 national forests, 20 grasslands,
and over 600 ranger districts (each forest has several districts). Figure 1
shows a map of the national forests and Forest Service regions.




Page 6                                GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Figure 1: Lands Managed by the Forest Service, by Region




                                         Note: The Forest Service does not have a region 7.


                                         The National Environmental Policy Act requires the Forest Service, and all
                                         other federal agencies, to assess and report on the likely environmental
                                         impacts of any land management activities they propose that significantly
                                         impact environmental quality. For example, certain proposed Forest
                                         Service activities, such as fuels reduction projects, timber sales, and
                                         grazing allotments, may require such environmental analysis and reporting.
                                         More specifically, if a proposed activity is expected to significantly impact
                                         the environment, the Forest Service is required to prepare an



                                         Page 7                                        GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
environmental impact statement. If, however, a proposed activity is
unlikely to have a significant effect on the environment, the Forest Service
is not required to prepare an environmental impact statement—such
activities are classified as categorical exclusions. When the Forest Service
is not sure whether an activity will have a significant impact on the
environment, the agency prepares an intermediate-level analysis called an
environmental assessment. If an environmental assessment determines
that the activity will significantly affect the environment, the Forest Service
prepares an environmental impact statement. (See fig. 2).



Figure 2: National Environmental Policy Act Process




Note: See U.S. General Accounting Office, Forest Service Decision-Making: A Framework for
Improving Performance, GAO/RCED-97-71 (Washington, D.C.: April 1997).




Page 8                                       GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Under certain circumstances, the public has a right to administratively
appeal Forest Service decisions.4 These appeals must be evaluated by the
Forest Service within prescribed time frames and could result in decisions
being reversed and the associated land management activities being
substantially revised or even cancelled. Generally, the public can appeal
decisions associated with environmental impact statements or
environmental assessments. Decisions associated with categorical
exclusions are generally not appealable. Further, as a general rule, once
the administrative appeals process is complete, the public can litigate any
decision, including categorical exclusions, in federal court.

Controversy has surrounded this issue for some time. On the one hand,
critics have asserted that administrative appeals and litigation are stopping
or unnecessarily slowing the decision-making processes of the Forest
Service and their efforts to reduce forest fuels on federal lands. They
expressed the view that many appeals are “frivolous” and brought for the
purpose of frustrating, rather than improving, land management actions,
and that they greatly increase the costs of managing the national forests.
Supporters of the current process, on the other hand, have responded that
appeals have not been excessive or unwarranted, that few appeals are
frivolous, and that the current process for handling appeals is adequate.
Supporters further assert that the Congress intended the federal land
management process to include administrative reviews of agency decisions
to (1) ensure public participation in the decision-making process and (2)
ensure that agency managers adequately consider the various factors and
policies impacting the environmental health of the nation’s lands.

Recent administrative rule changes and legislative proposals modify or
would modify the current appeals process and exempt certain projects
from the process. In August 2002, the administration announced the
Healthy Forest Initiative, which has been controversial as well; some
regarding it as an effort to reduce unnecessary red tape and needless delays
and others considering it a tool to increase logging activity. The initiative is
intended to help reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires and improve
the health of the national forests by, among other things, streamlining the
planning and appeals processes. In particular, recent administrative rule

4
 The Forest Service has had an administrative appeals system in place for almost all of its
nearly 100-year existence. The specific requirements of the appeals system have changed
over the years. The appeal procedures that apply to fiscal years 2001 and 2002 appeals
implement the Appeals Reform Act of 1993. Discussion of appeals procedures in this report
is based on the regulations in effect in 2001 and 2002, unless otherwise specified.




Page 9                                     GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                         changes modify the appeal procedures and establish new categorical
                         exclusions for certain fuels reduction projects. The Congress is also
                         considering legislation to, among other things, exempt certain fuels
                         reduction activities from the existing appeal requirements. The bill would
                         require the Secretary of Agriculture to issue regulations establishing a
                         separate administrative process to address disputes concerning these
                         projects.

                         The debate surrounding the Healthy Forest Initiative centers on the extent
                         and frequency of appeals and litigation of fuels reduction activities.
                         However, because the Forest Service does not have a national database to
                         track both its decisions involving forest fuels reduction activities and the
                         extent to which they were appealed or litigated, we were asked to develop
                         this information. The information in this report provides these data for
                         fiscal years 2001 and 2002.



The Number of            For fiscal years 2001 and 2002, the national forest managers reported that
                         there were 818 decisions involving forest fuels reduction activities. These
Decisions Involving      decisions affected almost 4.8 million acres of national forest land. Most of
Forest Fuels Reduction   these decisions were excluded from detailed environmental impact
                         analysis because the Forest Service determined that they had little or no
Activities and the       significant impact on the land.
Number of Acres
Affected

Number of Decisions	     Of the 818 decisions involving forest fuels reduction activities, the forest
                         managers reported that 52 of the decisions (about 6 percent) were
                         expected to have significant environmental impacts, thus requiring the
                         preparation of environmental impact statements. About 280 of the
                         decisions (about 34 percent) initially had the potential for some
                         environmental impact and required the preparation of environmental
                         assessments. All of the remaining decisions (486 or about 59 percent)
                         involved activities that had no or only minor environmental impacts and, as
                         such, were categorically excluded from documentation in an
                         environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement.

                         In reporting these data, it is important to emphasize that the Forest Service
                         does not have a uniform definition of a fuels reduction activity. The lack of
                         a uniform definition is an important limitation because it could affect the



                         Page 10                             GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                              consistency of the data reported to us by the national forests in terms of
                              which activities are identified as fuels reduction projects. Accordingly, if
                              the supporting Forest Service decision documents explicitly stated that the
                              purpose of the activities was fuels reduction, we accepted the decision.
                              However, if the decision documents did not include an explicit discussion
                              of fuels reduction, we did not accept the decision. Many activities have the
                              practical effect of reducing forest fuels, but the purpose may be for
                              something other than fuels reduction. For example, a tree thinning activity
                              may reduce fuels, but the stated purpose of the project may be to treat an
                              insect infestation. If so, fuels reduction would not be a designated purpose
                              of the activity, and the decision was not included in our analysis. In
                              addition, a commercial timber harvest will reduce fuels by removing trees,
                              but the stated purpose may be commodity production. If so, the decision
                              was not included in our analysis. If the commercial timber sale or thinning
                              activities included a stated purpose of reducing fuels, the decision was
                              included in our analysis.



Amount of Acreage Affected	   The forest fuels reduction decisions for fiscal years 2001 and 2002 covered
                              almost 4.8 million acres of national forest land. Of the 4.8 million acres, the
                              forest managers reported that 0.3 million acres (about 7 percent) involved
                              activities that were expected to have significant environmental impacts,
                              thus requiring the preparation of environmental impact statements. About
                              1.5 million acres (about 31 percent) involved activities that initially had the
                              potential for some environmental impact and required the preparation of
                              environmental assessments. All of the remaining acreage (3.0 million or
                              about 62 percent) involved activities that had no or only minor
                              environmental impacts and, as such, were categorically excluded from
                              preparation of a detailed environmental impact analysis.

                              There are a few limitations to the acreage data. The 4.8 million acres does
                              not correspond to the number of acres actually treated in fiscal years 2001
                              and 2002. Once a decision is made and documented, there are many
                              reasons that activities covered by decision may be delayed or not
                              implemented, including funding availability, personnel availability, weather
                              conditions, and administrative appeals or litigation. In addition, the
                              national forests may have submitted more than one decision with activities
                              on the same area of land. Therefore, the 4.8 million acres may include
                              overlapping acreage. Further, the national forest managers reported
                              decisions involving personal firewood activities, including one large
                              project from the Tonto National Forest in Arizona that could potentially
                              skew the acreage data. Under the personal firewood program, forest



                              Page 11                              GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
managers designate areas where the public can obtain a wood cutting
permit and gather firewood for personal use. Forest managers can identify
all of the acreage available for firewood removal under this program as
fuels reduction activities. However, it is possible that the public may
collect only firewood that is easily accessible, such as near roads and trails,
rather than covering the entire designated area. One decision from the
Tonto National Forest in Arizona designates 1 million acres as eligible for
firewood removal. These 1 million acres are 21 percent of the total acreage
reported as treated or planned to be treated for fuels reduction activities
for all national forests. According to Forest Service officials, it is unlikely
that the public will remove fuels from all 1 million acres.

Table 1 shows the number of decisions with forest fuels reduction
activities, the amount of acreage affected, and their environmental impact
significance.



Table 1: Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities and Acreage Affected, by
Decision Type, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002

                                                                          Significant
                                    Little or no        Uncertain      environmental
                                 environmental      environmental             impact
                                         impact            impact     (environmental
                                   (categorical    (environmental             impact
Decisions/Acres                    exclusions)a    assessments)b         statements)           Totalc
Number of
decisions                                   486                280                   52           818
Percentage of total
decisions                                    59                  34                    6           99
Number of acres (in
thousands)                                2,989              1,489                  315        4,793
Percentage of total
acres                                        62                  31                    7          100
Source: GAO data and analysis.
a
 One activity covered by a categorical exclusion treats approximately 1 million acres under an annual
program to allow private individuals to collect firewood.
b
 Although the forest managers analyzed the proposed activities in an environmental assessment
because the expected environmental impacts were uncertain or potentially significant, in every case,
the result of the environmental assessment was a determination that the proposed activities had no
significant impact on the environment.
c
 Percentage totals may not add to 100 percent due to rounding.




Page 12                                            GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                          Appendix II provides a summary of the number of decisions and the
                          acreage affected for each of the nine Forest Service regions.



The Number of             Of the 818 decisions involving forest fuels reduction activities, 24 percent
                          were appealed. However, more than half were not subject to appeal
Decisions Involving       because they were categorically excluded from documentation in an
Forest Fuels Reduction    environmental impact statement or environmental assessment. Overall, of
                          the 818 total decisions, 332 were appealable because they had
Activities Appealed       environmental impacts that were either uncertain or significant and
and Litigated and the     required the preparation of an environmental assessment or environmental
Amount of Acreage         impact statement. Of these 194 (58 percent) were appealed. These
                          appealed decisions affected about 950,000 acres. In addition, 25 decisions
Affected                  (about 3 percent of all decisions) were litigated. The litigated decisions
                          affected about 111,000 acres.



Number of Decisions and   In fiscal years 2001 and 2002, 486 (59 percent) of all decision involving fuels
Amount of Acreage         reduction activities were not subject to appeal.5 The remaining 332
                          decisions involved forest fuels reduction activities that were generally
Appealed
                          more controversial because they were expected to have significant
                          environmental impact or initially had the potential for significant
                          environmental impacts. Of the 332 appealable decisions, 194 were
                          appealed affecting over 950,000 acres. Table 2 summarizes the number of
                          decisions appealed by decision type and the number of acres affected.




                          5
                           The 486 decisions that were exempt from the Forest Service appeals process affected about
                          3.0 million acres or about 62 percent of the acreage involving forest fuels reduction
                          activities in fiscal years 2001 and 2002. Generally, categorical exclusions are not appealable.
                          However, three categorical exclusions were reported as appealed due to a settlement
                          agreement in a lawsuit.




                          Page 13                                     GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Table 2: Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities That Were Appealed and Acreage Affected, by Decision Type, Fiscal Years
2001 and 2002

                                    Little or no              Uncertain              Significant
                                 environmental            environmental          environmental
                                         impact                  impact                  impact                                          Total for
                                   (categorical          (environmental         (environmental                Total for all            appealable
Decisions/Acres                    exclusions)a          assessments)b       impact statements)                decisions               decisionsa
Number of decisions                         486                      280                          52                    818                     332
Number of appealed
decisions                                     3                      146                          48                    197                     194
Percentage of
decisions appealed                           <1                        52                         92                     24                       58
Acreage (in
thousands)                                2,989                    1,489                        315                  4,793                    1,804
Acreage appealed (in
thousands)                                    4                      670                        280                     954                     950
Percentage of
acreage appealed                             <1                        45                         89                     20                       53
Source: GAO data and analysis.
                                               a
                                                Generally, only environmental assessments and environmental impact statements are appealable.
                                               Categorical exclusions are generally not appealable. However, there were three categorical
                                               exclusions reported to us that were appealed under a settlement agreement in a lawsuit.
                                               b
                                                Although the forest managers analyzed the proposed activities in an environmental assessment
                                               because the expected environmental impacts were uncertain or potentially significant, in every case,
                                               the result of the environmental assessment was a determination that the proposed activities had no
                                               significant impact on the environment.


                                               In reviewing the appeals data in table 2, it is important to point out that
                                               many types of land management activities may be analyzed and included as
                                               part of one decision. A single decision may include activities such as
                                               timber sales, road construction, grazing permits, and habitat improvement
                                               in addition to fuels reduction activities. As a result, when an appeal is
                                               pursued, it may or may not be based on concerns about fuels reduction
                                               activities. Under the Forest Service appeal regulations, the entire decision
                                               is appealed, not the individual activities. Therefore, the public may object
                                               to only one activity in a decision but all land management activities covered
                                               by the decision will be affected by an appeal. For example, a single
                                               decision may contain activities involving commercial thinning, prescribed
                                               burning, stream improvements, road construction, and a trail closure. An
                                               appellant may object to the road construction activity but not the forest
                                               thinning activities. However, all of the activities covered by a decision will
                                               be affected until the appeal is resolved.




                                               Page 14                                        GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                           There is no limit to the number of appeals that can be filed on an individual
                           decision. In total, appellants filed 285 appeals on the 197 appealed
                           decisions. One hundred and thirty-four decisions had 1 appeal, 48
                           decisions had 2 appeals, 10 decisions had 3 appeals, 3 decisions had 4
                           appeals, 1 decision had 5 appeals, and 1 decision had 8 appeals.

                           Appendix III provides information on appeal rates for each Forest Service
                           region.



Number of Litigated        All decisions can be litigated. In fiscal years 2001 and 2002, 25 decisions
Decisions with Fuels       (about 3 percent) were litigated.6 These litigated decisions affected about
                           111,000 acres (about 2 percent). Not surprisingly, decisions with significant
Reduction Activities and
                           environmental impacts were litigated more often. Of the 52 decisions
Acreage Affected           where the Forest Service was required to prepare environmental impact
                           statements, 15 (29 percent) were litigated. Table 3 provides a summary of
                           the decisions litigated and the acres affected by the litigation.




                           6
                            More than one decision can be litigated in one court case. The 25 decisions correspond to
                           21 court cases.




                           Page 15                                   GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Table 3: Litigated Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities and Acreage Affected,
by Decision Type, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002

                                                                           Significant
                                    Little or no        Uncertain       environmental
                                 environmental      environmental              impact
                                         impact            impact      (environmental
                                   (categorical    (environmental              impact
Decisions/Acres                    exclusions)     assessments)a          statements)          Total
Number of
decisions                                   486                280                    52         818
Number of
decisions litigated                           0                  10                   15          25
Percentage
litigated                                     0                   4                   29               3
Acreage
(in thousands)                            2,989              1,489                   315       4,793
Acreage litigated
(in thousands)                                0                  23                   88         111
Percentage of
acres litigated                               0                   2                   28               2
Source: GAO data and analysis.
a
 Although the forest managers analyzed the proposed activities in an environmental assessment
because the expected environmental impacts were uncertain or potentially significant, in every case,
the result of the environmental assessment was a determination that the proposed activities had no
significant impact on the environment.


Appendix III provides information on the number of litigated decisions, by
Forest Service region.




Page 16                                            GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Outcomes of Appealed      Of the 197 appealed decisions the Forest Service reviewed, 144 (about 73
                          percent) were allowed to be implemented without any changes. However,
and Litigated Decisions   the Forest Service did not allow 38 decisions (about 19 percent) to be
and the Identities of     implemented. The Forest Service required the remaining 15 decisions
                          (about 8 percent) to be changed prior to implementation. Of the 25
Appellants and            litigated decisions, 19 have been resolved and 6 were still ongoing at the
Plaintiffs                time of our review. Most of the appellants and plaintiffs were interest
                          groups.



Outcomes of the Appeals   Generally, appealed decisions have one of three outcomes. First, the
and the Identities of     Forest Service can allow a decision to be implemented without any
                          changes. Second, the Forest Service can allow a decision to be
Appellants
                          implemented, but only if certain, specified changes are made. Third, the
                          Forest Service can prevent a decision from being implemented. There are a
                          variety of factors that can affect the disposition of an appeal and lead to
                          these outcomes. Each of these factors is specified in Forest Service
                          regulations. Some of these factors are procedural and have little or nothing
                          to do with the merit of an appeal, and some are based on the merit of the
                          appeal. Table 4 provides a brief summary of the three basic decision
                          outcomes and an explanation of the factors that can lead to various appeal
                          outcomes.




                          Page 17                            GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Table 4: Summary of Possible Decision Outcomes and Factors That Can Lead to the
Outcomes

Possible                   Forest Service 

decision                   disposition of        Explanation of Forest Service disposition 

outcomes                   appeal                terminology

Can be                     Decision affirmed     Forest Service reviews the appeal and
implemented                                      determines that the decision documents
without changes                                  adequately address all legal requirements.
                           Appeals dismissed	    Forest Service dismisses the appeal without
                                                 review for procedural reasons, such as if the
                                                 appeal was not filed within the allowed appeal
                                                 period.
                           Resolved informally, Forest Service contacts appellants and offers
                           appeal withdraw	     to discuss resolution of the appeal. If resolved,
                                                the appellant withdraws the appeal.
Can be           Affirmed with                   Forest Service reviews appeal and requires
implemented with instructions                    certain changes to the decision on the basis of
changes                                          the appeal points. The decision can be
                                                 implemented with specified changes.
Cannot be                  Reversed              Forest Service reviews the appeal and
implemented	                                     determines that the decision documents did not
                                                 consider comments previously provided or
                                                 comply with applicable law, regulation, or
                                                 policy. Forest Service returns the decision to
                                                 the national forest for further analysis or
                                                 documentation.
                           Resolved informally, Forest Service contacts appellants and offers
                           decision withdrawn to discuss resolution of the appeal. If resolved,
                                                the Forest Service withdraws the decision.
                           Decision withdrawn	 Forest Service withdraws the decision prior to
                                               the agency concluding the appeal review.
Source: GAO data and analysis.


Figure 3 shows the disposition of each of the 197 appealed decisions for
fiscal years 2001 and 2002.




Page 18                                           GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Figure 3: Frequency of Appeal Outcomes and Dispositions
       Total of 197 appealed
             decisions


                                        Decisions proceed unchanged (144)
                   73%
                                                  Affirmed                                  130

                                        Appeals dismissed         8
                                       Resolved informally,
                                         appeal withdrawn         6

      19%                                                     0        30   60   90   120    150

                   8%
                                        Decisions proceed with changes (15)
                                             Affirmed with
                                              instructions            15

                                                              0        30   60   90   120    150




                                        Decisions do not proceed (38)
                                       Resolved informally,
                                        decision withdrawn        7

                                                 Reversed              22

                                                Withdrawn         9
                                                              0        30   60   90   120    150

Source: GAO data and analysis.



Appendix IV provides a summary of the appeal outcomes, by region.

Under certain circumstances, members of the public, including private
individuals and interest groups, can appeal decisions of Forest Service
officers.7 A decision can be appealed multiple times and multiple
appellants can be parties to an appeal. For example, the Little Blacktail
Ecosystem Restoration Project Record of Decision issued in the Kaniksu
National Forest in Idaho had three appeals; the Ecology Center, Lands


7
 The Appeals Reform Act of 1993 (§ 322 of the Department of the Interior and Related
Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1993) states that any person who was involved
in the public comment process through submission of written or oral comments or by
otherwise notifying the agency of their interest in the proposed action may file an appeal.




Page 19                                    GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                               Council, Kootenai Environmental Alliance, and Friends of the Pond joined
                               in one appeal; the Alliance for the Wild Rockies filed another appeal; and a
                               private individual filed the third appeal. In these instances, each interest
                               group and the private individual counted as appellants—6 total
                               appellants—even though they were appealing 1 decision and had filed 3
                               appeals. Due to these situations, there were 285 appeals on the 197
                               appealed decisions. The 285 appeals had 559 appellants. The 559
                               appellants included 482 appeals by 85 different interest groups, mostly
                               environmental groups, and 77 appeals by 53 private individuals. Table 10 of
                               appendix V lists each interest group that appeared as an appellant in fiscal
                               years 2001 and 2002 and the number times they appeared. Of the interest
                               groups, 7 appeared as appellants 20 or more times. These groups include
                               the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Ecology Center, Forest Conservation
                               Council, Lands Council, National Forest Protection Alliance, Oregon
                               Natural Resources Council, and Sierra Club.



Outcomes of Litigated          Following a final decision by the Forest Service on an appeal, members of
Decisions and the Identities   the public, can file a lawsuit and seek a review of the decision from a
                               federal district court. Plaintiffs are usually the same parties who
of Plaintiffs                  previously appealed the decisions with the Forest Service. It may take
                               weeks to years to resolve a case once a decision is litigated. Of the 25
                               litigated decisions, 6 were continuing at the time of our analysis. For the
                               remaining 19 cases, lawsuits for 5 decisions were dismissed because the
                               plaintiffs and the Forest Service agreed to settle their claims. District
                               courts reached an outcome on the 14 remaining decisions—9 decisions
                               were decided favorably to the plaintiffs, and 5 decisions were decided
                               favorably to the Forest Service. Both plaintiffs and the Forest Service have
                               the option of appealing the decisions of the district court to the relevant
                               federal court of appeals. We did not collect information on whether the
                               decisions were appealed to a higher court.

                               Appendix V provides information on the outcomes of litigated decisions, by
                               region.

                               Multiple plaintiffs can be parties to a lawsuit. Of the 25 litigated decisions,
                               26 different interest groups and one private individual were plaintiffs. The
                               interest groups were primarily environmental groups. Five groups were
                               plaintiffs in 4 or more decisions: the Ecology Center, Sierra Club, Oregon
                               Natural Resources Council, Hell’s Canyon Preservation Council, and Native
                               Ecosystems Council.




                               Page 20                              GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                      Appendix VI provides a summary of the litigants, by Forest Service region.



The Number of         Most of the appeals that occurred in fiscal years 2001 and 2002 were
                      processed within the prescribed time frames. Specifically, of the 285
Decisions That Were   appeals that were filed, about 79 percent were processed within the
Processed Within      prescribed 90 days.
Prescribed Time       The applicable laws and regulations establish procedures for public notice
Frames                of a decision and the time frames for appeal.8 Once the public is given
                      notice of a decision, appellants have 45 days to file an appeal. If an appeal
                      is filed, the Forest Service has 45 days from the close of the appeal period
                      to determine the outcome of the appeal. In total, the Forest Service has up
                      to 90 days to resolve an appeal once the agency notifies the public of a
                      decision. While the agency is determining the disposition of an appeal, a
                      Forest Service official is required to contact an appellant and offer to meet
                      informally to dispose of the appeal. Figure 4 provides a flowchart showing
                      the appeals process that applied during fiscal years 2001 and 2002.9




                      8
                       The Appeals Reform Act of 1993 established the specific time frames. Pending legislation
                      (H.R. 1904) would exempt fuels reduction projects from the Appeals Reform Act and require
                      the Secretary of Agriculture to establish separate appeals procedures for these projects.
                      The Forest Service recently amended its appeals regulations to, among other things, extend
                      the comment period for projects with environmental impact statements to 45 days. The
                      amendment did not affect either the filing period or the formal disposition period—each
                      remains 45 days.
                      9
                       On June 4, 2003, the Forest Service issued a final rule modifying certain provisions of the
                      appeals process.




                      Page 21                                     GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Figure 4: Forest Service Appeals Process, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002

                                                         Decision
                                                      made and legally
                                                        published




                                         45-day
                                         review
                                         period




                                     Appeal                Appeal         No appeal
                                                            filed
                                                              ?


                 Formal      Informal                                                 Implement
                                                                                       decision
               resolution   resolution
                 period       period
45-day
review
period
                                                          Appellant
                      No                   Yes                                      If appellant
                            Resolution                withdraws appeal
                                                                                 withdraws appeal,
                                ?                     or Forest Service
                                                                                     implement
                                                         withdraws
                                                                                      decision
                                                          decision

                 Appeal
                decision




               Implement
                decision

Source: GAO.




Page 22                                          GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Of the 285 appeals filed in fiscal years 2001 and 2002, 226 (79 percent) were
processed within 90 days of the date that the decisions were made and
published. In contrast, 59 appeals (about 21 percent) were not processed
within 90 days. For those appeals that were not processed within the 90-
day limit, the appeal processing times ranged from 91 to 240 days, with a
median processing time of 119 days.10 The Forest Service offered several
reasons for not processing the 59 appeals within the 45-day formal
disposition period. These reasons included inadequate staffing, the
unavailability of staff around the holiday season, and appeal backlog. We
did not verify or analyze the support for the reasons that the Forest Service
provided.

Further, to fully understand the appeals process, it is important to
understand that under certain circumstances, appellants may have more
than one opportunity to appeal a decision. Once a decision is reversed or
withdrawn by the Forest Service as a result of an appeal, the agency can
revise and reissue the decision. This is usually done to accommodate
concerns that have been raised during an initial appeal. Moreover, the
Forest Service also has the option of not reissuing the decision. In our
analysis, 32 decisions had been reissued. Of those reissuances, 30 were
appealed again and 2 were implemented without appeal. Once a decision is
reissued, the permitted processing times for handling appeals begin again.

Appendix VII provides a summary of the appeals processing times for each
Forest Service region.




10
  If an appeal is filed, a decision may not be implemented until 15 days after the outcome of
the appeal is determined. However, an “emergency mechanism” permits the Forest Service
Chief to implement a decision even if an appeal was filed. This mechanism was not used in
fiscal year 2001 or 2002.




Page 23                                     GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
The Types of Fuels           Reducing the buildup of vegetation that fuels severe fires requires
                             vegetation management, or fuels reduction. There are four basic fuels
Reduction Treatment          treatment methods. These are prescribed burning, mechanical thinning,
Methods Identified in        the application of chemicals/herbicides, and grazing. Prescribed burning is
                             the most frequently used method to reduce the accumulation of dangerous
the Decisions, the           fuels on forested acres. Decisions involving the two main types of fuels
Acreage Affected, and        treatment methods, prescribed burning and mechanical treatment, were
How Frequently These         appealed at about the same rate.
Decisions Were
Appealed

Frequency of Use and Scope   A prescribed fire is one that is intentionally ignited to meet specific land
of Treatment Methods         management objectives. In addition to reducing the risk of wildfires,
                             prescribed fires also are used to prepare areas for reforestation or to
                             improve wildlife habitat. How and when a prescribed fire can be
                             successfully conducted is influenced by many conditions, such as the type
                             and moisture levels of vegetation, topography, temperature, wind speed,
                             and humidity. All of these factors are to be considered and documented by
                             fire management personnel prior to initiating a prescribed burn. Figures 5
                             and 6 show examples of a prescribed burn.




                             Page 24                             GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Figure 5: Members of Fire Crew Igniting a Prescribed Burn with Drip Torches




Page 25                               GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Figure 6: Prescribed Fire Being Used for Fuels Reduction




Prescribed burning was the most frequently used fuels treatment method
during fiscal years 2001 and 2002—in terms of both the number of
decisions that included prescribed burning activities and the number of
acres affected. Of the 818 decisions with fuels reduction activities, 570
(about 70 percent) included prescribed burns. Of the total 4.8 million acres
covered by all decisions, 3.2 million acres (about 67 percent) had been or
were to be treated using this method.

There is a range of mechanical treatments that can be used to reduce forest
fuels. Harvesting timber and removing smaller noncommercial trees and
brush can accomplish fuels reduction. In addition, thinning stands of trees
to reduce competition for light, moisture, and nutrients may improve forest
health. Mechanical thinning is typically done using power equipment, such
as bulldozers, chain saws, chippers, and mulchers. Figures 7 and 8 show
examples of mechanical thinning projects.




Page 26                               GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Figure 7: Bulldozer Piling Thinned Trees (Machine Piling)




Page 27                                GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Figure 8: Use of Chain Saw to Mechanically Thin Trees




Mechanical thinning is the second most utilized method for reducing forest
fuels. Of the 818 decisions with fuels reduction activities, 491 (about 60
percent) included mechanical treatment methods. These treatments
involved 0.8 million acres—about 17 percent of all the acreage treated or
planned for treatment in fiscal years 2001 and 2002.

Chemical treatments are herbicides used to control and remove the
hazardous buildup of forest vegetation. Herbicides are usually applied as
liquids mixed with water or oil and then sprayed on the soil surface to be
absorbed by the plant roots. Generally, there are four methods of applying
herbicides: (1) aerial application, using helicopters or other aircraft; (2)
mechanical equipment, using truck-mounted or truck-towed wand or
broom sprayers; (3) backpack equipment, generally a pressurized container
with an agitation device; and (4) hand application by injection, daubing cut
surfaces, or application of granular formulations to the soil.

Grazing animals, such as cattle and goats, can also be used to reduce the
buildup of hazardous forest fuels. However, grazing is less utilized because
it is increasingly competing with other uses of public lands, such as



Page 28                               GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
recreation, wildlife habitat, riparian management, endangered species
management, mining, hunting, cultural resource protection, wilderness,
and a wide variety of other uses.

Chemical treatments and grazing are the least utilized treatment methods.
Of the 818 fuels reduction decisions reported, 3 (less than 1 percent)
included chemical/herbicide treatments, and 2 (less than 1 percent)
included grazing. These two types of treatment methods affected about
700 acres—less than 1 percent of the total acres treated or planned for
treatment in fiscal years 2001 and 2002.11

In addition to the four basic hazardous fuels treatment methods, there are
other methods that are sometimes used. These other methods include
activities such as cutting underbrush by hand or the public’s removal of
firewood by hand. One hundred and twelve (14 percent) of all fuels
reduction decisions in fiscal years 2001 and 2002 included these other kinds
of treatments. However, while the use of the other methods was relatively
infrequent, the amount of acreage affected was considerable—mostly due
to the 1 million acre personal fire wood removal program from the Tonto
National Forest in Arizona. There are two important points that need to be
highlighted regarding this fire wood removal program. First, while the
project covers 1 million acres, it does not necessarily mean that firewood
will be removed from all of these acres. It simply means that these acres
are available for the removal of firewood. Accordingly, the extent of fuels
reduction on these acres is not clear. It is possible that the number of acres
actually reported for the project can be significantly overstated. Second,
even though officials at the Tonto National Forest reported this as part of
the forest fuels reduction program, Forest Service headquarters officials
questioned the merit of including it in our report because they believed it
skewed the data by increasing the amount of acreage having fuels
reduction activities. In the final analysis, we reported this project as a fuels
reduction activity because the Tonto forest officials identified it as such in
their decision documents. Table 5 summarizes the fuels reduction methods
used by the Forest Service in fiscal years 2001 and 2002.




11
   Four of these 5 decisions reported affecting the 700 acres. One decision did not report any
associated acreage.




Page 29                                     GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                           Table 5: Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities and the Acreage Affected, by
                           Treatment Methods, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002

                                                                            Number of                              Percentage

                                                            Number of          acresa           Percentage of          of total 

                           Treatment method                  decisions (in thousands)          total decisions          acres

                           Prescribed burning                       570               3,189                   70              67
                           Mechanical                               491                 808                   60              17
                           Chemical/Herbicide                          3                0.4                   <1              <1
                           Grazingb                                    2                0.3                   <1              <1
                           Other                                    112               1,021                   14              21
                           Source: GAO data and analysis.
                           a
                            One million acres in the other category is due to one decision involving an annual firewood removal
                           program.
                           b
                            One of the 2 decisions using grazing as a fuels treatment method did not report any associated
                           acreage.


                           The columns in the table 5 do not add to the total number of decisions
                           (818) or the total amount of acreage affected (4.8 million). This occurs for
                           two reasons. First, a decision can include prescribed burning on some
                           acreage and another treatment method on other acreage. Second, the same
                           acreage can be treated by more than one method. For example, an area can
                           be thinned using prescribed burning and then be further thinned using
                           mechanical means. Forest managers reported that 280 decisions with fuels
                           reduction activities included acres treated or planned for treatment by both
                           prescribed burning and mechanical methods.



Rate of Appeals for Each   Appeal rates for the two main types of treatments, prescribed burning and
Type of Fuels Treatment    mechanical, were about the same. Appealable decisions with a mechanical
                           treatment component were appealed about 64 percent of the time.
Method                     Appealable decisions with prescribed burning activities were appealed at
                           about the same rate—63 percent of the time. Similarly, 34 percent of all
                           decisions with mechanical treatment methods were appealed, and 29
                           percent of all decisions with prescribed burning activities were appealed.
                           Table 6 provides a summary of the appeal rates for decisions with the
                           different treatment methods.




                           Page 30                                         GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Table 6: Analysis of Appeal Rates, by Type of Fuels Reduction Treatment Method,
Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002

                                                                                       Appeal rate 

                                                                           Appeal               for

                                              Number of Number of       rate for all   appealable 

                                 Number of    appealable appealed        decisions      decisions 

Treatment method                 decisionsa   decisionsb decisions              (%)            (%)

Prescribed burning                     570          258          163             29             63
Mechanical                             491          265          169             34             64
Chemical/Herbicide                       3            3            2             67             67
Grazing                                  2            0            0              0            N/A
Other                                  112           51           26             23             51
Source: GAO data and analysis.
a
Because more than one treatment method can be used on the same decision, the numbers add to
more than the total decisions (818).
b
 This column shows the number of decisions involving environmental assessments and environmental
impact statements. Since categorical exclusions generally cannot be appealed, they are not included
in this column.


An analysis of the data shown in table 7, on the basis of the amount of
acreage affected, shows that decisions with prescribed burning covered the
most acreage appealed.




Page 31                                          GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                         Table 7: Analysis of Acreage Affected by Appeals for Each Type of Fuels Reduction
                         Treatment Method, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002

                                                                         Acreage   Acreage
                                                             Acreage covered by covered by Percentage Percentage

                                                               for all appealable appealed of acreage of acreage

                                                           decisionsa decisionsb  decisions affected for affected for 

                                                                   (in        (in        (in          all appealable 

                         Treatment method                 thousands) thousands) thousands)    decisions    decisions

                         Prescribed burning                    3,189        1,484          758              24              51
                         Mechanical                              808         651           336              42              52
                         Chemical/Herbicide                       0.4         0.4           0.3             64              64
                         Grazingc                                 0.3           0             0               0             0
                         Other                                 1,021          18             11               1             61
                         Source: GAO data and analysis.
                         a
                          Because more than one treatment method can be used on the same acreage, the numbers add to
                         more than the total amount of acreage treated or planned for treatment (4.8 million).
                         b
                          This column shows the number of acres involving environmental assessments and environmental
                         impact statements. Since categorical exclusions cannot be appealed, the acreage for these is not
                         included in this column.
                         c
                           One of the 2 decisions using grazing as a fuels treatment method did not report any associated
                         acreage.


                         Appendix VIII provides data on treatment methods and appeal rates, by
                         Forest Service region.



Types of Contracts       Typically, the Forest Service contracts with other organizations to carry out
                         fuels reduction activities in the national forests. In doing this, the agency
Used in Decisions with   generally uses three types of contracting mechanisms—timber sale
Fuels Reduction          contracts, service contracts, and stewardship contracts. A decision can
                         use more than one type of contract to carry out fuels reduction activities.
Activities and How       The Forest Service awards timber sale contracts to individuals or
Frequently Decisions     companies to harvest and remove trees from federal lands under its
Involving the Contract   jurisdiction. Service contracts are awarded to contractors by the Forest
                         Service to perform specific tasks to reduce forest fuels, such as thinning
Types Were Appealed      trees or clearing underbrush. Stewardship contracts are used by the Forest
                         Service to conduct on-the-ground restoration and enhancement of
                         landscapes with public and private entities. Service contracts are the most
                         frequent contracting method used. Decisions using timber sale contracts
                         and stewardship contracts are the most frequently appealed.




                         Page 32                                           GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Types of Contracts Used in   Forest Service timber sale contracts set forth specific terms and provisions
Decisions with Fuels         of a sale, including the estimated volume of timber to be removed, the time
                             period of the removal, the price to be paid to the government, and the
Reduction Activities         environmental protection measures to be taken. Of the 818 total fuels
                             reduction decisions, 278 (34 percent) involved timber sale contracts.

                             The Forest Service also uses traditional service contracts to reduce the
                             accumulation of fuel loads. Typically, a service contract identifies the tasks
                             to be performed, such as removing and treating the unmarketable, cut
                             materials. The cut materials affect the fuel loads and can be left as is, piled
                             and burned, lopped and scattered to accelerate rotting, or removed from
                             the site. Of the 818 total fuels reduction projects, 356 (44 percent) of the
                             decisions involved service contracts.

                             Stewardship contracts use a combination of service contracts and timber
                             sale contracts to care for national forest system land. In 1998, the Forest
                             Service was given stewardship contracting authority so that the agency
                             could work with private and public entities to achieve federal management
                             goals. For example, this authority provided the Forest Service with the
                             ability to trade goods for services (such as timber in exchange for road
                             maintenance). A stewardship contract might include prescribed burning to
                             improve wildlife habitat or reduce forest fuels in conjunction with the sale
                             of forest products off the same piece of land. Of the 818 total fuels
                             reduction decisions, 41 (5 percent) of the decisions involved stewardship
                             contracts.12

                             Figure 9 shows the frequency of service, timber sale, and stewardship
                             contracts used in decisions with fuels reduction activities.




                             12
                              In 2003, the Congress significantly expanded the scope of the stewardship contracting
                             program. See section 323 of Public Law 108-7, the Consolidated Appropriations Resolution,
                             2003. None of the projects we examined were subject to the new legislation.




                             Page 33                                   GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                             Figure 9: Frequency of Service, Timber Sale, and Stewardship Contracts Used in
                             Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002




                             Note: More than one contract type can be used in one decision.


                             The total number of decisions in figure 9 does not total 818 because there
                             are also other means used to implement fuels reduction activities. Forest
                             Service personnel are frequently used to perform the needed work.
                             Typically, Forest Service personnel are used in conjunction with different
                             contract types. Of the 818 decisions, 673 (82 percent) involved some work
                             by Forest Service personnel. Further, other means, such as contracts that
                             utilize prison labor and contracts that collaborate with other federal
                             agencies like the Bureau of Land Management, are also used to help reduce
                             forest fuels. Eighty-three (10 percent) of all 818 decisions with fuels
                             reduction activities used these other mechanisms.



Appeal Rates for Decisions   Decisions that are implemented through the use of timber sale contracts
with Each Contracting        and stewardship contracts were the most frequently appealed. Because of
                             the controversy that surrounds timber harvesting activities and their
Mechanism                    impact on the environment, it is not surprising that contracts for this type




                             Page 34                                       GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                       of activity would be scrutinized and challenged by the forest interest
                       groups or other stakeholders.



                       Table 8: Analysis of Appeal Rates by Each Type of Contracting Mechanism, Fiscal
                       Years 2001 and 2002

                                                                                                              Percentage
                                                                                         Percentage             appealed
                                                              Number of       Number of appealed for                  for
                                                 Number of    appealable       appealed           all         appealable
                       Contract type             decisionsa   decisionsb       decisions  decisions            decisions
                       Timber sale                      278            244             155               56              64
                       Service                          356            205             123               35              60
                       Stewardship                       41             31              23               56              74
                       Source: GAO data and analysis.
                       a
                        The total number of decisions is less than the 818 decisions reported because the other methods
                       used for implementation are not included. In addition, more than one contact type can be used in one
                       decision.
                       b
                        These are the number of decisions involving environmental assessments and environmental impact
                       statements. Since categorical exclusions generally cannot be appealed, they are not included in this
                       column.


                       Appendix IX summarizes the contracting methods used and appeal rates,
                       by Forest Service region.



Number of Decisions    Two areas of particular interest on national forest land where fuels
                       reduction activities can occur are in the wildland-urban interface and
with Fuels Reduction   inventoried roadless areas. The wildland-urban interface areas are those
Activities in the      areas where federal lands surround or are adjacent to human development
                       and communities. In contrast, inventoried roadless areas are undeveloped
Wildland-Urban         areas with no or few roads. Fuels reduction activities occur more on
Interface and          wildland-urban interface areas than in inventoried roadless areas. Of the
Inventoried Roadless   818 decisions involving fuels reduction activities, 462 decisions had
                       activities in the wildland-urban interface and 76 decisions had activities in
Areas and How          inventoried roadless areas. Decisions with fuels reduction activities in the
Frequently the         inventoried roadless areas are appealed more frequently.
Decisions Were
Appealed



                       Page 35                                        GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Decisions with Fuels          The Forest Service broadly defines the wildland-urban interface as areas
Reduction Activities in the   where humans and their development meet or intermix with wildland
                              forest fuels. There are three categories of communities that meet its
Wildland-Urban Interface      definition: (1) an interface community exists where structures directly
and Appeal Rates              abut wildland fuels; (2) an intermix community exists where structures are
                              scattered throughout a wildland area; and (3) an occluded community
                              exists, often within a city, where structures abut an island of wildland fuels,
                              such as a park or open space. 13 Figure 10 shows an example of a
                              community in the wildland-urban interface.



                              Figure 10: Wildland-Urban Interface Area




                              Individual forest managers may or may not use the definition of wildland-
                              urban interface that the Forest Service provides. According to the
                              information provided by the national forests in response to our survey,
                              most forest managers reported that they used the Forest Service’s


                              13
                                 Urban Wildland Interface Communities Within the Vicinity of Federal Lands That Are at
                              High Risk From Wildfire, 66 Fed. Reg. 752-753 (2001).




                              Page 36                                   GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
definition or they developed their own definition. Other managers reported
that they either did not have a definition or did not know if they had a
definition. The inconsistent application of these definitions by forest
managers should be considered when using the information reported about
whether fuels reduction activities were in the wildland-urban interface. An
August 2003 GAO report highlighted the fact that agencies need to define
which lands are part of the wildland-urban interface.14 Without doing so,
the Forest Service will be constrained in its ability to prioritize locations for
fuels reduction treatments and to allocate funding accordingly. We
recommended in the August report that the Forest Service develop a
consistent, specific definition of the wildland-urban interface so that
detailed, comparable nationwide data could be collected to identify the
amount and location of lands in the wildland-urban interface.
Development of a consistent definition will facilitate the prioritization of
fuels reduction treatments.

Of the 818 decisions with fuels reduction activities, the national forest
managers reported 462 decisions (57 percent) had fuels reduction activities
in the wildland-urban interface. Of these 462 decisions, 169 were
appealeable—that is, they were decisions analyzed in conjunction with
environmental assessments or environmental impact statements. Of the
169 appealable decisions, 89 were appealed—that is, 53 percent of
appealable decisions and 19 percent of all decisions with fuels reduction
activities in the wildland-urban interface.

The 462 decisions covered 1.5 million acres—that is, 31 percent of the total
acreage (4.8 million) for all reported fuels reduction activities.




14
   See U.S. General Accounting Office, Wildland Fire Management: Additional Actions
Required to Better Identify and Prioritize Lands Needing Fuels Reduction, GAO-03-805
(Washington, D.C.: Aug. 15, 2003).




Page 37                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Decisions with Fuels         Inventoried roadless areas, as the name implies, are undeveloped areas
Reduction Activities in      generally without roads, which the Forest Service has specifically
                             defined.15 The intent of the roadless designation is to conserve these
Inventoried Roadless Areas   natural areas by limiting road building and logging activities. Figure 11
and Appeal Rates             shows an example of an inventoried roadless area on national forest land.



                             Figure 11: Inventoried Roadless Area




                             In contrast to the wildland-urban interface areas, roadless areas have
                             specific boundaries, which make it much easier for forest managers to
                             report on decisions with treatments in these areas. Of the 818 decisions,
                             the national forests reported 76 decisions—about 9 percent of all
                             decisions—with fuels reduction activities in roadless areas. Of these 76


                             15
                                The definition of an inventoried roadless area was provided in rulemaking on January 12,
                             2001. Litigants are currently challenging the rule’s validity in court. The rule defines
                             inventoried roadless areas as those areas identified in a set of inventoried roadless area
                             maps contained in Forest Service Roadless Area Conservation, Final Environmental Impact
                             Statement, Volume 2, dated November 2000.




                             Page 38                                    GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                      decisions, 41 were appealable and 26 were appealed—that is, 34 percent of
                      all decisions with treatments in roadless areas and 63 percent of appealable
                      decisions.

                      The 76 decisions covered 240,000 acres—about 5 percent of all acreage
                      treated or planned for treatment in fiscal years 2001 and 2002.

                      Appendix X provides information on the number of decisions involving
                      fuels reduction activities in the wildland-urban interface and inventoried
                      roadless areas and the frequency of appeals for each Forest Service region.



Agency Comments and   We provided a draft of this report to the Forest Service for review and
                      comment. The agency generally agreed with the information presented in
Our Evaluation        the report. However, the agency did offer a few comments that it believed
                      would help clarify some of this information. Specifically, the Forest
                      Service believes that we should not have included information on a 1
                      million acre personal use firewood program at one forest because, in their
                      opinion, doing so unnecessarily skews the data by increasing the amount of
                      acreage with fuels reduction activities. We did not change the report to
                      omit this information because, as the Forest Service agrees, it was reported
                      and documented as a fuels reduction project by the agency. Nonetheless,
                      to ensure clarity, we highlighted in the report the unique nature of the
                      project, where appropriate.

                      The agency suggested that we highlight the fact that a single decision can
                      be appealed multiple times, and that the Forest Service’s workload
                      increases accordingly. In its comments, the agency commented that we
                      should provide additional information on that point in the body of the
                      report to emphasize the impact of multiple appeals on the workload of the
                      agency. We believe this point was already addressed in the body where we
                      noted that there were 285 appeals on the 197 appealed decisions. In
                      addition, we also provided a breakdown of the number of appeals per
                      decision. Nonetheless, we did add language to the Results in Brief section
                      of the report and the Highlights section, noting that decisions can be
                      appealed multiple times.

                      The Forest Service also commented that because appeal rates vary widely
                      throughout the nation, we should add language in the narrative regarding
                      local perceptions of appeal rates and how they can differ from the national
                      data. The agency noted that when local groups or individuals state that
                      many projects are held up by appeals, they are more likely referring to their



                      Page 39                             GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
experience at the local level. We believe the information needed to discern
regional differences was already presented in the report; therefore, we did
not make changes to the report.

The Forest Service’s written comments are presented in appendix XII.


As arranged with your offices, unless you publicly announce its contents 

earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days after the 

date of this letter. At that time, we will send copies to the Secretary of 

Agriculture, the Chief of the Forest Service, and other interested parties. 

We will make copies available to others upon request. This report will also 

be available on the GAO Web site at http://www.gao.gov.


If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please contact me

at (202) 512-3841. Key contributors to this report were Cliff Fowler, Curtis 

Groves, Richard Johnson, Roy Judy, Nicole Shivers, Patrick Sigl, and Shana

Wallace.





Barry T. Hill

Director, Natural Resources

 and Environment





Page 40                              GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
List of Requesters

The Honorable Jeff Bingaman
Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Energy
 and Natural Resources
United States Senate

The Honorable Larry E. Craig

Chairman, Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests

Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

United States Senate


The Honorable Scott McInnis

Chairman, Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health

Committee on Resources

House of Representatives


The Honorable Gordon Smith

United States Senate





Page 41                         GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix I

Scope and Methodology



              The Forest Service does not maintain its own database on the number of
              decisions or appeals throughout the national forest system. Accordingly, to
              address each of the objectives, we had to develop a national database. To
              do this, we used a Web-based survey of all 155 national forests. The survey
              focused on all Forest Service decisions in fiscal years 2001 and 2002 with a
              forest fuels reduction component, including those that were categorically
              excluded from preparation of an environmental impact statement, that
              were issued in fiscal years 2001 and 2002.1 The specific information we
              needed to satisfy our objectives was located at several organizational
              levels—headquarters, regional offices, individual forests, and district
              offices within each forest. For instance, information on the individual
              decisions, particularly the environmental impact statements and
              environmental assessments, was located at the forest-level. Information on
              categorical exclusions was primarily located only at the district offices.
              Our survey was addressed to forest supervisors. We asked forest
              supervisors to gather the necessary information from the other
              organizational units within the Forest Service, as needed, to complete the
              survey. We also asked each forest supervisor for a contact person at the
              forest who was familiar with the National Environmental Policy Act
              process requirements, since it guides land management decision-making
              and planning activities. This contact person served as our focal point at
              each forest and was responsible for providing us with survey responses and
              addressing the follow-up questions and documents that we requested.

              We developed a data collection instrument to obtain the relevant
              information. Appendix XI contains a copy of the instrument used to gather
              these data. To help us understand the decision-making and appeals and
              litigation processes and to help us formulate the questions for our survey
              instrument, we met with Forest Service personnel at headquarters in
              Washington, D.C.; the region 5 office in Vallejo, California; the Stanislaus
              and Tahoe National Forests in California; and the George Washington and
              Jefferson National Forests in Virginia. Once we developed the questions,
              we pretested the instrument at the Kootenai National Forest in Montana,
              the Payette and Boise National Forests in Idaho, and the Monongahela
              National Forest in West Virginia.

              We gave the forests 3 weeks to respond to the survey and granted
              extensions as needed. We obtained a 100 percent response rate from the


              1
               Our work focused only on national forests, we did not include national grasslands in our
              survey.




              Page 42                                    GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix I

Scope and Methodology





forest managers. We verified the accuracy of about 10 percent of the
survey responses submitted. We used a random number to identify the first
decision to be verified and then selected every 10th decision submitted by
the forests. After selecting a decision, we obtained the supporting decision
documents, National Environmental Policy Act documents, and appeals
information from the forests and verified the information submitted for the
randomly selected decisions. Using this approach, we verified 85 total
decisions. Any discrepancies between the survey responses and our data
verification were discussed and resolved with the responsible forest
official. Through our data verification process, we determined that the
data submitted were generally reliable.

In addition to our verification of the information supporting the 85
randomly selected decisions, we also reviewed the data to determine
whether there were any aberrations in the submitted data (e.g., illogical
dates or inconsistent responses). We contacted the appropriate forest
officials and corrected many aberrations in the data. As a result of our
review and verification, we identified 42 decisions that were eliminated
from the information provided by the forest managers. These decisions
were eliminated for a variety of reasons. For example, the decisions (1)
were not issued within fiscal years 2001 and 2002 or (2) lacked clear
documentation that the activities had a fuels reduction purpose.

There are some limitations to the data we gathered. As with any survey, the
information obtained from the national forests was self-reported, and we
were not able to independently ensure that all decisions were reported. In
particular, we had no way to determine if forests were underreporting their
activities. To get some indication of whether this might be occurring, we
contacted eight environmental groups to review the decisions submitted by
selected forests in order to determine if there was any indication that the
forests were underreporting decisions.2 These groups did not identify any
instances of underreporting.



2
 We selected environmental groups that had some appeal activity in a given forest. The eight
environmental organizations and the corresponding forests include: Alliance for Wild
Rockies (St. Joe, Flat Head, and Lolo National Forests); Biodiversity Association (Black
Hills and Routt National Forests); Center for Biological Diversity (Apache and Kaibab
National Forests); Utah Environmental Congress (Dixie, Manti-La Sal, and Cache National
Forests); Forest Conversation Council (Lassen, Plumas, and Tahoe National Forests);
Oregon National Resource Council (Fremont, Umatilla, and Wallowa National Forests);
Texas Committee on Natural Resources (Angelina and Sabine National Forests); and
Heartwood (Huron and Hiawatha National Forests).




Page 43                                    GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix I

Scope and Methodology





We conducted our work from September 2002 through September 2003 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




Page 44                         GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix I

Scope and Methodology





[This page is intentionally left blank]




Page 45                              GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix II

Decisions and Acres, by Forest Service
Region                                                                                                                                                    Appendx
                                                                                                                                                                Ii




                                                  The Forest Service consists of nine regions. Figure 12 highlights the areas
                                                  covered by each region. The Southern Region (region 8) had the largest
                                                  number of decisions with fuels reduction activities (180 decisions) with the
                                                  largest planned acreage—2.1 million acres. The Alaska Region (region 10)
                                                  listed the least number of decisions with fuels activities (2) and the least
                                                  amount of acreage—1,408 acres. Figure 12 provides a summary of the
                                                  number of decisions and acres planned in each Forest Service region.




Figure 12: Total Decisions and Acres, by Forest Service Region, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002
 Regions                        Decisions                                                             Acres (in thousands)

 Region 1                             28                                                                   155
                                     23                                                                    85
                                            44                                                            50
                                                             95                                                  290
                            0              50              100          150         200           0               500   1,000     1,500   2,000   2,500


 Region 2                       2                                                                     4
                                           38                                                             89
                                         34                                                               47
                                                      74                                                   139
                            0              50              100          150         200           0               500   1,000     1,500   2,000   2,500


 Region 3
                                2                                                                     10
                                    19                                                                     121
                                                 65                                                                             1,185
                                                       86                                                                         1,316
                            0              50          100              150         200           0              500    1,000     1,500   2,000   2,500


                                                                 Environmental impact statement        Categorical exclusion

                                                                 Environmental assessment              Total




                                                  Page 46                                         GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                                                               Appendix II
                                                               Decisions and Acres, by Forest Service
                                                               Region




  Regions                        Decisions                                                                Acres (in thousands)

  Region 4                               10                                                                   42
                                          18                                                                   122
                                                42                                                            36
                                                              70                                                    200
                                 0              50                 100         150        200             0              500          1,000   1,500      2,000      2,500


  Region 5                           2                                                                        3
                                                         59                                                        127
                                                                   89                                             91
                                                                                 150                                   221
                                 0              50                 100         150        200             0              500          1000    1500       2000       2,500



  Region 6
                                     5                                                                        20
                                                          66                                                             303
                                                    48                                                            60
                                                                         119                                              384
                                 0              50                 100         150        200             0              500          1,000   1,500      2,000      2,500


  Region 8
                                 0                                                                            0
                                               33                                                                               611
                                                                                147                                                              1,508
                                                                                        180                                                                      2,119
                                 0              50                 100         150        200             0              500          1,000   1,500      2,000       2,500


  Region 9                           3                                                                         81
                                          22                                                                  29
                                          17                                                                  13
                                                42                                                                 123
                                 0              50                 100         150        200             0              500          1,000   1,500      2,000      2,500


  Region 10
                                 0                                                                            0
                                  2                                                                           1
                                     0                                                                        0
                                     2                                                                        1
                                 0              50                 100         150        200             0              500          1,000   1,500      2,000      2,500



                                                                         Environmental impact statement            Categorical exclusion

                                                                         Environmental assessment                  Total
Source: GAO data and analysis.




                                                               Page 47                                            GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix III

Forest Service Appeals and Litigation of
Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities, by
Forest Service Region                                                                                                                           Appendx
                                                                                                                                                      iI




                                                           Figure 13 summarizes the appeals and litigation information by each Forest
                                                           Service region. The Northern Region (region 1) had the highest appeal rate
                                                           for both all decisions and appealable decisions appealed. The Northern
                                                           Region (region 1) had 48 percent of all decisions appealed and 90 percent
                                                           of appealable decisions appealed. The Alaska Region (region 10) had no
                                                           decisions appealed. The Southern Region (region 8) had the lowest appeal
                                                           rates for regions with recorded appeals—7 percent of all decisions and 36
                                                           percent of appealable decisions. The Northern Region (region 1) had the
                                                           highest number of litigated decisions with 8. The Southwestern (region 3),
                                                           Southern (region 8), and Alaska (region 10) Regions did not report any
                                                           litigated decisions with fuels reduction activities.


Figure 13: Appeal Rates and Litigation, by Forest Service Region, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002
                                                                                         Percentage appealed          Percentage appealed of
 Regions                   Decisions                                                     of all decisions             appealable decisions

 Region 1                          8
                                            46
                                                 51                                                   48%
                                                            95                                                                  90%
                           0                50             100       150     200


 Region 2                      1
                                       21
                                                                                                      28%
                                            40                                                                                   53%
                                                      74
                           0                50             100       150     200


 Region 3
                               0                                                                  9%
                                   8
                                                                                                                                 38%
                                       21
                                                           86
                           0                50             100       150     200


                                                                 Litigated          Appealable

                                                                 Appealed           Total decisions




                                                           Page 48                                GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                                                                    Appendix III
                                                                    Forest Service Appeals and Litigation of
                                                                    Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities, by
                                                                    Forest Service Region




                                                                                                        Percentage appealed           Percentage appealed of
 Regions                         Decisions                                                              of all decisions              appealable decisions

 Region 4                                5
                                              18
                                                                                                                  26%
                                                   28
                                                                                                                                                64%
                                                              70
                                 0                     50          100         150          200


 Region 5
                                         5
                                                       40                                                         27%
                                                             61                                                                                 66%
                                                                                 150
                                 0                     50          100         150          200


 Region 6
                                     5
                                                    36
                                                                                                                   30%
                                                              71                                                                                51%
                                                                         119
                                 0                     50          100         150          200


 Region 8
                                     0                                                                                   7%
                                             12
                                                                                                                                                36%
                                                   33
                                                                                        180
                                 0                     50          100         150        200


 Region 9                                1
                                             16
                                                                                                                   38%
                                                  25
                                                                                                                                                64%
                                                        42
                                 0                     50          100         150          200



 Region 10                                                                                                               0%                           0%
                                     0
                                     0
                                     2
                                     2
                                 0                     50          100         150          200



                                                                                Litigated            Appealable

                                                                                Appealed             Total decisions

Source: GAO data and analysis.




                                                                    Page 49                                       GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix IV

Appeal Outcomes for Decisions with Fuels
Reduction Activities, by Forest Service Region                                                                                                     Appendx
                                                                                                                                                         iIV




                                             Figure 14 summarizes the appeal outcomes for decisions with fuels
                                             reduction activities by Forest Service region. All of the decisions in the
                                             Southern Region (region 8) were permitted to proceed without changes.
                                             The Eastern Region (region 9) had the lowest percentage of decisions that
                                             were allowed to proceed without changes—50 percent. The Southwestern
                                             Region (region 3) had the highest percentage of decisions that were not
                                             allowed to proceed due to appeals—38 percent.




Figure 14: Outcomes of Appeals of Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities, by Forest Service Region, Fiscal Years 2001 and
2002

 Regions                         Percent                                                           Number of appeal outcomes
                                                                                 Affirmed decisions                                          36
 Region 1
                                                                                Appeals dismissed      2
                            2%   15%                         Resolved informally/Appeal withdrawn 0
                                                                          Affirmed with instructions 1
                                       83%                                                Reversed        5
                                                            Resolved informally/Decision withdrawn 1
                                                                                Decision withdrawn 1
                                                                                                    0    5    10    15   20   25   30   35    40
                                                                                 Affirmed decisions                11
 Region 2
                                                                                Appeals dismissed 1
                                 24%                         Resolved informally/Appeal withdrawn 0
                                                                          Affirmed with instructions   4
                                       57%
                                 19%                                                      Reversed     4
                                                            Resolved informally/Decision withdrawn 1
                                                                                Decision withdrawn 0
                                                                                                     0 5      10    15   20   25   30   35    40

 Region 3                                                                        Affirmed decisions     3
                                                                                Appeals dismissed 0
                                                             Resolved informally/Appeal withdrawn      2
                                 38%
                                                                          Affirmed with instructions 0
                                       63%                                                Reversed     2
                                                            Resolved informally/Decision withdrawn 0
                                                                                Decision withdrawn 1
                                                                                                    0    5    10    15   20   25   30   35    40

                                                   Decisions can proceed with no changes
                                                   Decisions can proceed with changes
                                                   Decisions cannot proceed




                                             Page 50                                           GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                                                    Appendix IV
                                                    Appeal Outcomes for Decisions with Fuels
                                                    Reduction Activities, by Forest Service
                                                    Region




 Regions                                Percent                                                              Number of appeal outcomes
                                                                                       Affirmed decisions                          12
 Region 4
                                                                                      Appeals dismissed 0
                                       22%                         Resolved informally/Appeal withdrawn 1
                                 6%                                             Affirmed with instructions 1
                                              72%                                               Reversed     2
                                                                  Resolved informally/Decision withdrawn     2
                                                                                      Decision withdrawn 0
                                                                                                          0    5             10    15   20   25    30   35   40

 Region 5                                                                              Affirmed decisions                                         26
                                                                                      Appeals dismissed 0
                                       18%                         Resolved informally/Appeal withdrawn 1
                                      15%                                       Affirmed with instructions        6
                                              68%                                               Reversed         4
                                                                  Resolved informally/Decision withdrawn 0
                                                                                      Decision withdrawn     3
                                                                                                           0    5   10             15   20   25 30      35   40
                                                                                       Affirmed decisions                                      25
 Region 6
                                                                                      Appeals dismissed        3
                                       19%                         Resolved informally/Appeal withdrawn 1
                                                                                Affirmed with instructions 0
                                              81%                                               Reversed     2
                                                                  Resolved informally/Decision withdrawn     2
                                                                                      Decision withdrawn       3
                                                                                                           0    5   10             15   20   25    30   35   40
                                                                                       Affirmed decisions                     10
 Region 8
                                                                                      Appeals dismissed              2
                                                                   Resolved informally/Appeal withdrawn          0
                                                                                Affirmed with instructions       0
                                            100%                                                Reversed         0
                                                                  Resolved informally/Decision withdrawn         0
                                                                                      Decision withdrawn         0
                                                                                                             0       5       10    15   20   25    30   35   40

 Region 9                                                                              Affirmed decisions                7
                                                                                      Appeals dismissed 0
                                                                   Resolved informally/Appeal withdrawn      1
                                       31%                                      Affirmed with instructions     3
                                                                                                Reversed       3
                                              50%                 Resolved informally/Decision withdrawn     1
                                       19%
                                                                                      Decision withdrawn 1
                                                                                                           0    5            10    15   20   25    30   35   40

 Region 10                                                                             Affirmed decisions        0
                                                                                      Appeals dismissed          0
                                                                   Resolved informally/Appeal withdrawn          0
                                             N/A                                Affirmed with instructions       0
                                                                                                Reversed         0
                                                                  Resolved informally/Decision withdrawn         0
                                                                                      Decision withdrawn         0
                                                                                                             0       5       10    15   20   25    30   35   40
                                                          Decisions can proceed with no changes
                                                          Decisions can proceed with changes
                                                          Decisions cannot proceed
Source: GAO data and analysis.




                                                    Page 51                                            GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix V

Litigation Outcomes for Decisions with Fuels 

Reduction Activities, by Forest Service Region


               Table 9 summarizes the number of litigated decisions and the outcomes for
               each Forest Service region. The Northern Region (region 1) had 8 litigated
               decisions and 3 were settled or continuing. Of those decided, 3 were in
               favor of plaintiffs and 2 were in favor of the Forest Service. The Pacific
               Northwest Region (region 6) had all 5 of its litigated decisions resolved—4
               in favor of plaintiffs and 1 in favor of the Forest Service. Three regions—
               Southwestern (region 3), Southern (region 8), and Alaska (region 10)—had
               no decisions litigated.



               Table 9: Litigation Outcomes, by Forest Service Region, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002

                                                 Number of
                                                   litigated
               Region                             decisions        Outcomes
               Northern - Region 1                          8      2 were continuing, 1 was settled, 3 were
                                                                   decided in favor the plaintiffs, 2 were
                                                                   decided in favor of the Forest Service
               Rocky Mountain -                             1      Settled
               Region 2
               Southwestern -                           None       N/A
               Region 3
               Intermountain -                              5      1 was continuing, 2 were settled, 1 was
               Region 4                                            decided in favor of the plaintiffs, 1 was
                                                                   decided in favor of the Forest Service
               Pacific Southwest -                          5      2 were continuing, 1 was settled, 1 was
               Region 5                                            decided in favor of the plaintiffs, 1 was
                                                                   decided in favor of the Forest Service
               Pacific Northwest -                          5	     4 were decided in favor of the plaintiffs, 1
               Region 6                                            was decided in favor of the Forest Service
               Southern - Region 8                      None       N/A
               Eastern - Region 9                           1      Continuing
               Alaska - Region 10                       None       N/A
               Source: GAO data and analysis.

               Note: Decisions may be subject to appeal to the applicable federal court of appeals.




               Page 52                                          GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix VI

List of Appellants and Litigants for Each
Forest Service Region


Appellants, by Region	                          Table 10 provides a list of appellants by Forest Service region. Interest
                                                groups were most active in the Forest Service’s Northern (region 1), Pacific
                                                Southwest (region 5), and Pacific Northwest (region 6) Regions. Private
                                                individuals were most active in the Rocky Mountain (region 2) and Pacific
                                                Southwest (region 5) Regions. Interest groups were the least active in the
                                                Alaska (region 10), Southern (region 8), and the Southwestern (region 3)
                                                Regions.



Table 10: List of Appellants, by Forest Service Region, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002

Interest groups                                      R-1       R-2   R-3   R-4    R-5      R-6     R-8     R-9    R-10        Total
1.    Alliance for the Wild Rockies                       30                4                2                                   36
2.    Ambiance Project                                     1                                                                      1
3.    American Lands Alliance                                                                2                1                   3
4.    American Wildlands                                   7                                                                      7
5.    Ancient Forest International                                                   1                                            1
6.    Aspen Wilderness Workshop                                 3                                                                 3
7.    Biodiversity Associates                                   9                                                                 9
8.    Biodiversity Conservation Alliance                        1                                                                 1
9.    Breckenridge Ski Resort                                   1                                                                 1
10.   California Wilderness Coalition                                                1                                            1
11.   Californians for Alternatives to Toxics                                        6                                            6
12.   Capitol Trail Vehicle Association                    1                                                                      1
13.   Carson Forest Watch                                             1                                                           1
14.   Cascadia Wildlands Project                                                             3                                    3
15.   Center for Biological Diversity                      1          3              1                                            5
16.   Center for Native Ecosystems                              3                                                                 3
17.   Christians Caring for Creation                                                 2                                            2
18.   Citizens for Better Forestry                                                   1                                            1
19.   Colorado Wild                                             7                                                                 7
20.   Ecology Center                                      41                8                2                                   51
21.	 Environmental Protection Information
     Center                                                                          6                                            6
22.   Forest Conservation Council                          8    3     2     3      25        6                4                  51
23.   Forest Guardians                                     1          2                                       1                   4
24.   Forest Issues Group                                                            3                                            3
25.   Friends of Mississippi Public Lands                                                            1                            1




                                                Page 53                              GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                                             Appendix VI

                                             List of Appellants and Litigants for Each 

                                             Forest Service Region





(Continued From Previous Page)
Interest groups                                    R-1      R-2      R-3      R-4      R-5       R-6     R-8     R-9    R-10        Total
26.   Friends of the Bitteroot                          1                                                                               1
27.   Friends of the Bow                                       1                                                                        1
28.   Friends of the Clearwater                         6                                                                               6
29.   Friends of the Pond                               1                                                                               1
30.   Heartwood Forestwatch                                                                                2        5                   7
31.   Hells Canyon Preservation Council                                                            5                                    5
32.   High Country Citizens' Alliance                          2                                                                        2
33.   Idaho Conservation League                         3                                                                               3
34.   Idaho Sporting Congress                           1                        7                 1                                    9
35.   Intermountain Forest Association-RMD              1      2                                                                        3
36.	 John Muir Project of the Earth Island
     Institute                                          1                                  12                                          13
37.   Kerncrest Audubon Society                                                            2                                            2
38.   Kettle Range Conservation Group                                                              4                                    4
39.   Klamath Forest Alliance                                                              4                                            4
40.   Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center                                                    2                                            2
41.   Kootenai Environmental Alliance                   7                                                                               7
42.   Land and Water Fund of the Rockies                       2                                                                        2
43.   Lands Council                                    23                                          6                                   29
44.   Lassen Forest Preservation Group                                                     3                                            3
45.	 League of Wilderness Defenders - Blue
     Mountain Biodiversity Project                                                                 7                                    7
46.   LSK2 Incorporated                                                          1                                                      1
47.   Minnesota Forest Industries, Inc.                                                                             5                   5
48.   Montana 4x4 Association                           1                                                                               1
49.   Montana Ecosystem Defense Council                 1                                                                               1
50.   Montanans for Multiple Use                        1                                                                               1
51.   Montanans for Property Rights                     1                                                                               1
52.   National Audobon Society                                                             1                                            1
53.   National Forest Protection Alliance               8      1                 3         10      5                                   27
54.   Native Ecosystems Council                         6      3                 1                                                     10
55.   Native Forest Network                             1                                                                               1
56.	 Northwest Environmental Defense
     Center                                                                                        4                                    4
57.   Northwoods Wilderness Recovery                                                                                4                   4
58.   Oregon Natural Resources Council                                                            24                                   24
59.   Pacific Rivers Council                            1                                                                               1




                                             Page 54                                       GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                                               Appendix VI

                                               List of Appellants and Litigants for Each 

                                               Forest Service Region





(Continued From Previous Page)
Interest groups                                       R-1      R-2       R-3      R-4       R-5      R-6       R-8      R-9     R-10          Total
60.    Payette Forest Watch                                                          4                                                            4
61.    Plumas Forest Project                                                                  2                                                   2
62.    Potlatch Corporation                                                                                                3                      3
63.    Rajala Companies                                                                                                    4                      4
64.    Ruffed Grouse Society                                                                                               3                      3
65.    Santa Fe Forest Watch                                               2                                                                      2
66.	 Seagull-Sag Property Owners
     Association                                                                                                           1                      1
67.    Sequoia Forest Alliance                                                                2                                                   2
68.    Sierra Club                                        8       3        1                  4         5                  1                     22
69.    Sky Island Alliance                                                 1                                                                      1
70.	 Southern Appalachian Biodiversity
     Project                                                                                                     2                                2
71.    Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance                                             1                                                            1
72.    Southwest Forest Alliance                                           1                                                                      1
73.    Superior Wilderness Action Network                                                                                  3                      3
74.    Texas Committee on Natural Resources                                                                      2                                2
75.    Tule River Conservancy                                                                 2                                                   2
76.    Upper Arkansas & South Platte Project                      2                                                                               2
77.    Utah Environmental Congress                                                   7                                                            7
78.    Vallecitos Stables                                                  1                                                                      1
79.    Washington Wilderness Coalition                                                                  1                                         1
80.    Western Watersheds Project                                                    4                                                            4
81.    White Mountain Conservation League                                  1                                                                      1
82.    Wild Watershed                                                      3                                                                      3
83.    Wilderness Society                                 1       2                                                                               3
84.    Wildlands Center for Preventing Roads                      2                                                                               2
85.    Wildlaw                                                                                                   1         1                      2
Total for interest group appellants, by
region                                               163        47        18       43        90       77         8       36         0          482
Total private individual appellants, by
region - 53 different private individuals                10     17         0         8       17         7        4       14         0            77
Total for all identified appellants                  173        64        18       51      107        84        12       50         0          559
Source: GAO data and analysis.

                                               Note: A decision can be appealed multiple times and multiple appellants can be parties to an appeal.
                                               This table provides a list of the appellants who appeared in the 285 appeals of the 197 appealed
                                               decisions in fiscal years 2001 and 2002.




                                               Page 55                                        GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                                            Appendix VI

                                            List of Appellants and Litigants for Each 

                                            Forest Service Region





Litigants, by Region	                       Table 11 provides a list of litigants by Forest Service region. Interest
                                            groups were most active in the Forest Service’s Northern (region 1),
                                            Intermountain (region 4), Pacific Southwest (region 5), and Pacific
                                            Northwest (region 6) Regions. The Southwestern (region 3), Southern
                                            (region 8), and Alaska (region 10) Regions did not have any decisions
                                            litigated.



Table 11: Interest Groups and Private Individuals Appearing as Litigants, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002

Interest groups                                           R-1      R-2     R-3     R-4      R-5     R-6     R-8    R-9    R-10     Total
1.    Alliance for the Wild Rockies                          1                                                                         1
2.    Aspen Wilderness Workshop                                      1                                                                 1
3.    Blue Mountain Biodiversity Project                                                              1                                1
4.    California Wilderness Coalition                                                          1                                       1
5.    Center for Biological Diversity                        1                                 1                                       2
6.    Center for Native Ecosystems                                   1                                                                 1
7.    Colorado Wild                                                  1                                                                 1
8.    Ecology Center                                         6                        3        1                                      10
9.    Environmental Protection Information Center                                              2                                       2
10.   Forest Conservation Council                                                              2                                       2
11.   Friends of the Bitterroots                             1                                                                         1
12.   Heartwood                                                                                                       1                1
13.   Hell's Canyon Preservation Council                                                              4                                4
14.   Idaho Sporting Congress                                                         2        1                                       3
15.   John Muir Project                                                                        1                                       1
16.   Klamath Forest Alliance                                                                  2                                       2
17.   Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center                                                        2                                       2
18.   Kootenai Environmental Alliance                                                          1                                       1
19.   Lands Council                                          2                                 1                                       3
20.   Native Ecosystems Council                              3                        1                                                4
21.   Neighbors of Cuddy Mountain                                                     1                                                1
22.   Northwest Environmental Defense Center                                                          1                                1
23.   Oregon Natural Resources Council                                                                4                                4
24.   Plumas Forest Project                                                                    1                                       1
25.   Sierra Club                                            3                                 1      1                                5
26.   Utah Environmental Congress                                                     2                                                2
Regional total for interest groups                         17        3       0        9      17      11       0       1      0        58




                                            Page 56                                       GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                                              Appendix VI

                                              List of Appellants and Litigants for Each 

                                              Forest Service Region





(Continued From Previous Page)
Interest groups                                             R-1      R-2     R-3     R-4      R-5     R-6     R-8    R-9    R-10     Total
Regional total for private individuals – 1 private
individual                                                                                       1                                       1
Total for all litigants                                      17        3       0        9      18      11       0       1      0        59
Source: GAO data and analysis.




                                              Page 57                                       GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix VII

Appeal Processing Time Frames for Decisions
with Fuels Reduction Activities, by Region                                                                                                       Append
                                                                                                                                                      x
                                                                                                                                                      iVI




                                          Figure 15 summarizes the processing time frames for appeals of decisions
                                          for each Forest Service region. The Rocky Mountain Region (region 2) had
                                          the highest rate of appeals processed within the 90-day prescribed time
                                          frame at a rate of 100 percent. The Pacific Northwest Region (region 6) had
                                          a rate below 50 percent by processing 17 of 49 appeals (about 35 percent)
                                          within the 90-day prescribed time frame.




Figure 15: Appeal Processing Time Frames for Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities, by Region
                                         Appeals processed                                            Percentage of appeals processed
 Regions                                 within prescribed 90 days                                        within prescribed 90 days

 Region 1
                                                                               66

                                                                               68                                   97%

                                         0   10      20   30   40    50   60   70   80


 Region 2
                                                          25

                                                          25
                                                                                                                    100%
                                         0   10      20   30   40    50   60   70   80


 Region 3
                                             5
                                                                                                                       56%
                                                 9

                                         0   10      20   30   40    50   60   70   80


                                                     Appeals processed within prescribed 90 days

                                                     Total appeals




                                          Page 58                                                  GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                                 Appendix VII
                                 Appeal Processing Time Frames for Decisions
                                 with Fuels Reduction Activities, by Region




                                 Appeals processed                                             Percentage of appeals processed
 Regions                         within prescribed 90 days                                         within prescribed 90 days

 Region 4
                                                     29

                                                         33                                                   88%

                                 0       10    20   30    40   50    60    70   80


 Region 5
                                                                50

                                                                          60                                  83%

                                 0       10    20   30    40   50    60    70   80



 Region 6
                                               17
                                                                                                                35%
                                                                49

                                 0       10    20   30    40   50    60    70   80



 Region 8
                                         7
                                                                                                                58%
                                              12

                                 0       10    20   30    40   50    60    70   80


 Region 9
                                                     27

                                                         29                                                   93%

                                 0       10    20   30    40   50    60    70   80


 Region 10
                                     0
                                                                                                              N/A
                                     0

                                 0       10    20   30    40   50    60    70   80



                                              Appeals processed within prescribed 90 days

                                              Total appeals

Source: GAO data and analysis.




                                 Page 59                                                    GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix VIII

Fuels Reduction Methods and Appeals, by
Forest Service Region

                Figure 16 summarizes the fuels reduction methods used and how
                frequently decisions with those methods were appealed by Forest Service
                region. The Southern Region (region 8) had the most decisions (166) with
                prescribed burn activities. The Pacific Southwest Region (region 5) had
                the most decisions (126) with mechanical treatments. The Northern
                Region (region 1) experienced the highest appeal rates for decisions with
                prescribed burning and mechanical treatment activities—95 percent of
                appealable decisions and 55 percent of all decisions for prescribed burning;
                and 93 percent of appealable decisions and 63 percent of all decisions for
                mechanical treatment.




                Page 60                            GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                                         Appendix VIII
                                         Fuels Reduction Methods and Appeals, by
                                         Forest Service Region




Figure 16: Treatment Methods and Appeals, by Region, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002

                          Treatment method
                             en l
                          in ed

                       atm ica
                               t
                    bu scrib




                                                                       Number of                        Appeal rate          Number of
                    tre han
                    Me g



                           r




                                             Appeal rate of         appealed to total                  of appealable
                        he




                                                                                                                        appealed to appealable
                       rn

                        c
                       e




                     Ot




Regions                                      all decisions             decisions                         decisions            decisions
                    Pr




Region 1
                                                                  Total                71
                                                                                                                       Appealable           41
                                                  55%         Appealed            39                        95%         Appealed            39
                                                                          0         100      200                                    0         100      200

                                                                  Total                68
                                                                                                                       Appealable             46
                                                              Appealed             43                       93%         Appealed              43
                                                  63%
                                                                          0         100      200                                    0          100     200

                                                                  Total       14
                                        14%
                                                                                                                       Appealable 3
                                                              Appealed 2                                     67%        Appealed 2
                                                                      0             100      200                                 0            100      200

Region 2                                                          Total            50
                                                   34%                                                        53%      Appealable        32
                                                              Appealed        17                                        Appealed        17
                                                                          0            100   200                                    0            100   200

                                                                  Total                60
                                                    32%                                                       58%      Appealable        33
                                                              Appealed            19                                    Appealed        19
                                                                          0            100   200                                    0      100         200

                                                                  Total       17
                                        18%
                                                                                                              60%      Appealable 5
                                                              Appealed 3                                                Appealed 3
                                                                      0                100   200                                 0               100   200

Region 3                                11%                       Total                66
                                                                                                              35%      Appealable           20
                                                              Appealed        7                                         Appealed        7
                                                                          0            100   200                                    0            100   200


                                        14%                       Total            51
                                                                                                              44%      Appealable        16
                                                              Appealed        7                                         Appealed        7
                                                                          0            100   200                                    0            100   200

                                                                  Total       10
                                        10%                                                          20%
                                                                                                                       Appealable 5
                                                              Appealed 1                                                Appealed 1
                                                                      0                100   200                                 0               100   200




                                         Page 61                                                   GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                               Appendix VIII
                               Fuels Reduction Methods and Appeals, by
                               Forest Service Region




                Treatment method
                    en l
                 in ed

              atm ica
                      t
           bu scrib




                                                            Number of                          Appeal rate          Number of
           tre han
           Me g



                  r
               he




                                   Appeal rate of        appealed to total                    of appealable    appealed to appealable
              rn

               c
              e




            Ot




Regions                            all decisions            decisions                           decisions            decisions
           Pr




Region 4
                                                        Total            42
                                         38%                                                                  Appealable       24
                                                                    16                              67%        Appealed        16
                                                    Appealed
                                                                0            100    200                                    0         100   200

                                                        Total            47
                                          26%                                                                                   18
                                                                                                              Appealable
                                                    Appealed        12                              67%        Appealed         12
                                                                0            100    200                                    0         100   200

                                                        Total       6
                                         17%
                                                                                                     50%      Appealable 2
                                                    Appealed 1                                                 Appealed 1
                                                            0                100    200                                 0           100    200

Region 5                                                Total                 82
                                         43%                                                                  Appealable        47
                                                    Appealed            35                         74%         Appealed         35
                                                                0         100       200                                    0       100     200

                                                        Total                 126
                                         31%                                                                                     55
                                                                                                              Appealable
                                                    Appealed             39                         71%        Appealed         39
                                                                0         100       200                                    0      100      200

                                                        Total           18
                                         50%                                                                  Appealable 13
                                                                                                     69%       Appealed
                                                    Appealed 9                                                            9
                                                            0                100    200                                 0   100            200

Region 6                                                Total                66
                                         44%                                                         59%      Appealable         49
                                                    Appealed            29                                     Appealed        29
                                                                0            100    200                                    0      100      200

                                                        Total                98
                                          37%                                                        52%      Appealable        69
                                                    Appealed            36                                     Appealed        36
                                                                0            100    200                                    0      100      200

                                                        Total           37
                                         24%                                                         45%      Appealable  20
                                                    Appealed 9                                                 Appealed 9
                                                            0                100    200                                 0    100           200




                               Page 62                                                    GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                                                    Appendix VIII

                                                    Fuels Reduction Methods and Appeals, by 

                                                    Forest Service Region





                                     Treatment method
                                         en l
                                       in ed

                                    atm ica
                                           t
                                 bu scrib


                                 tre an
                                 Me g




                                                                                 Number of                         Appeal rate          Number of
                                     ch


                                       r
                                    he




                                                        Appeal rate of        appealed to total                   of appealable    appealed to appealable
                                    rn
                                    e
                                 Pr




                                 Ot




Regions                                                 all decisions            decisions                          decisions            decisions
Region 8                                                                     Total                      166
                                                   7%
                                                                                                                         34%      Appealable        32
                                                                         Appealed        11                                        Appealed        11
                                                                                     0            100   200                                    0         100   200

                                                   7%                        Total       15
                                                                                                                        20%
                                                                                                                                  Appealable 5
                                                                         Appealed 1                                                Appealed 1
                                                                                 0                100   200                                 0            100   200

                                                   0%                        Total       4                      0%
                                                                                                                                  Appealable 1
                                                                         Appealed 0                                                Appealed 0
                                                                                 0                100   200                                 0           100    200

Region 9                                                                     Total       26
                                                               35%                                                                Appealable       12
                                                                         Appealed        9                              75%        Appealed         9
                                                                                     0            100   200                                    0         100   200

                                                                             Total           24

                                                               50%                                                       57%      Appealable         21
                                                                         Appealed        12                                        Appealed         12
                                                                                     0            100   200                                    0       100     200

                                                                             Total       6
                                                  17%
                                                                                                                         50%      Appealable 2
                                                                         Appealed 1                                                Appealed 1
                                                                                 0                100   200                                 0           100    200

Region 10                                          0%                        Total 1                            0%
                                                                                                                                  Appealable       1
                                                                         Appealed 0                                                Appealed        0
                                                                                 0                100   200                                    0         100   200

                                                   0%                        Total       2                      0%
                                                                                                                                  Appealable 2
                                                                         Appealed 0                                                Appealed 0
                                                                                 0                100   200                                 0            100   200

                                                                             Total 0
                                                             N/A                                                       N/A        Appealable 0
                                                                         Appealed 0                                                Appealed 0
                                                                                 0                100   200                                 0           100    200

Source: GAO data and analysis.




                                                    Page 63                                                   GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix IX

Types of Contracts Used in Decisions with
Fuels Reduction Activities and How
Frequently They Were Appealed, by Region
              Figure 17 shows a summary of the types of contracts used for
              implementing fuels reduction activities and how frequently decisions
              involving the contract types were appealed by region. The Pacific
              Northwest Region (region 6) had the most decisions (75) that included
              service contracts. The Pacific Southwest Region (region 5) issued the most
              decisions (65) with timber sale contracts. The Northern Region (region 1)
              had the most decisions (14) with stewardship contracts. The
              Intermountain (region 4), Pacific Southwest (region 5), and Eastern (region
              9) Regions had all of their decisions with stewardship contracts appealed—
              totaling 4 decisions for all three regions.




              Page 64                            GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                                           Appendix IX
                                           Types of Contracts Used in Decisions with
                                           Fuels Reduction Activities and How
                                           Frequently They Were Appealed, by Region




Figure 17: Types of Contracts Used in Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities and How Frequently Decisions Involving the
Contract Types Were Appealed, by Region, Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002
                            Contract method
                                     ip
                                  ale

                                  sh
                               rs




                                                                       Number of                  Appeal rate         Number of
                             ard

                               ce
                            be




                           rvi




                                              Appeal rate of        appealed to total            of appealable   appealed to appealable
                          ew
                      Tim




                       Se




Regions                                       all decisions            decisions                   decisions           decisions
                       St




Region 1
                                                                   Total                 42
                                                                                                                 Appealable           39
                                                   88%         Appealed            37                  95%        Appealed            37
                                                                           0   20 40 60 80                                    0   20 40 60 80

                                                                   Total           14
                                                                                                                 Appealable       13
                                                   93%         Appealed         13                    100%        Appealed         13
                                                                           0   20 40 60 80                                    0   20 40 60 80

                                                                   Total                 39
                                                                                                                  Appealable         29
                                                   67%         Appealed           26                   90%         Appealed          26
                                                                       0       20 40 60 80                                  0     20 40 60 80

Region 2                                                           Total            31

                                                     52%                                                62%       Appealable          26
                                                               Appealed         16                                 Appealed        16
                                                                           0   20 40 60 80                                  0     20 40 60 80
                                                                   Total       5
                                                                                                                  Appealable  5
                                                     60%                                                60%        Appealed 3
                                                               Appealed        3
                                                                           0   20 40 60 80                                  0 20 40 60 80

                                                                   Total                 43
                                                     33%                                                          Appealable
                                                                                                        54%                          26
                                                               Appealed         14                                 Appealed         14
                                                                       0       20 40 60 80                                  0     20 40 60 80

Region 3                                                           Total       9
                                                    44%                                                 57%       Appealable 7
                                                               Appealed      4                                     Appealed 4
                                                                           0 20 40 60 80                                    0 20 40 60 80

                                                                   Total        7
                                          14%
                                                                                                        50%       Appealable  2
                                                               Appealed      1                                     Appealed 1
                                                                           0 20 40 60 80                                    0 20 40 60 80

                                          16%                      Total                32
                                                                                                         38%      Appealable   13
                                                               Appealed 5                                          Appealed 5
                                                                       0 20 40 60 80                                        0 20 40 60 80




                                           Page 65                                            GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                               Appendix IX
                               Types of Contracts Used in Decisions with
                               Fuels Reduction Activities and How
                               Frequently They Were Appealed, by Region




                 Contract method
                          ip
                       ale

                       sh
                    rs




                                                            Number of                     Appeal rate         Number of
                  ard

                    ce
                 be




                rvi




                                   Appeal rate of        appealed to total               of appealable   appealed to appealable
               ew
           Tim




            Se




Regions                            all decisions            decisions                      decisions           decisions
            St




Region 4                                                Total           16

                                         63%                                                              Appealable     16
                                                                         10                     63%        Appealed     10
                                                    Appealed
                                                                0       20 40 60 80                                 0   20 40 60 80

                                                        Total       2
                                                                                                          Appealable 2
                                        100%        Appealed      2                           100%         Appealed 2
                                                                0 20 40 60 80                                       0 20 40 60 80

                                                        Total             22
                                          27%                                                             Appealable    9
                                                    Appealed 6                                  67%        Appealed     6
                                                            0 20 40 60 80                                           0   20 40 60 80

Region 5                                                Total                   65

                                          49%                                                             Appealable           48
                                                                            32                  67%        Appealed         32
                                                    Appealed
                                                                0       20 40 60 80                                 0   20 40 60 80

                                                        Total 1
                                                                                                          Appealable 1
                                        100%        Appealed 1                                100%         Appealed 1
                                                            0 20 40 60 80                                           0 20 40 60 80

                                                        Total                    71

                                         39%                                                              Appealable         38
                                                    Appealed               28                   74%        Appealed        28
                                                            0           20 40 60 80                                 0   20 40 60 80

Region 6                                                Total                   64

                                          55%                                                   56%       Appealable            62
                                                    Appealed                35                             Appealed         35
                                                                0       20 40 60 80                                 0   20 40 60 80

                                                        Total       7
                                          29%                                                   29%
                                                                                                          Appealable 7
                                                    Appealed        2                                      Appealed 2
                                                                0       20 40 60 80                                 0 20 40 60 80

                                                        Total                    75
                                         39%                                                     56%      Appealable          52
                                                    Appealed               29                              Appealed        29
                                                            0           20 40 60 80                                 0   20 40 60 80




                               Page 66                                                GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                                                      Appendix IX
                                                      Types of Contracts Used in Decisions with
                                                      Fuels Reduction Activities and How
                                                      Frequently They Were Appealed, by Region




                                       Contract method
                                                ip
                                             ale

                                             sh
                                          rs




                                                                                  Number of                       Appeal rate         Number of
                                        ard

                                          ce
                                       be




                                      rvi




                                                         Appeal rate of        appealed to total                 of appealable   appealed to appealable
                                     ew
                                 Tim




                                  Se




 Regions                                                 all decisions            decisions                        decisions           decisions
                                  St




 Region 8                                                                     Total                29
                                                                24%                                                     29%
                                                                                                                                 Appealable    24
                                                                          Appealed         7                                      Appealed 7
                                                                                      0   20 40 60 80                                      0 20 40 60 80

                                                                              Total       4
                                                     0%
                                                                                                                      N/A        Appealable 0
                                                                          Appealed      0                                         Appealed 0
                                                                                      0 20 40 60 80                                        0 20 40 60 80

                                                                              Total                     53
                                                     11%
                                                                                                                        27%      Appealable      22
                                                                          Appealed 6                                              Appealed     6
                                                                                  0 20 40 60 80                                            0   20 40 60 80

Region 9                                                                      Total           22
                                                                64%                                                              Appealable      22
                                                                          Appealed          14                        64%         Appealed       14
                                                                                      0   20 40 60 80                                      0   20 40 60 80

                                                                              Total       1
                                                                                                                                 Appealable 1
                                                             100%         Appealed 1                                  100%        Appealed 1
                                                                                  0 20 40 60 80                                            0 20 40 60 80

                                                                              Total           19
                                                                47%                                                              Appealable    14
                                                                          Appealed  9                                  64%        Appealed     9
                                                                                  0 20 40 60 80                                            0   20 40 60 80

Region 10                                                                     Total       0

                                                              N/A                                                     N/A        Appealable 0
                                                                          Appealed     0                                          Appealed 0
                                                                                      0 20 40 60 80                                        0 20 40 60 80

                                                                              Total       0

                                                              N/A                                                     N/A        Appealable 0
                                                                          Appealed     0                                          Appealed 0
                                                                                      0 20 40 60 80                                        0 20 40 60 80

                                                                              Total       2
                                                     0%                                                         0%
                                                                                                                                 Appealable 2
                                                                          Appealed     0                                          Appealed 0
                                                                                      0 20 40 60 80                                        0 20 40 60 80

Source: GAO data and analysis.




                                                      Page 67                                                GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix X

Decisions in Wildland-Urban Interface and
Inventoried Roadless Areas                                                                                                          Append
                                                                                                                                         x
                                                                                                                                         i
                                                                                                                                         X




                                            Figure 18 summarizes the number of decisions with fuels reduction
                                            activities in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) and frequency of appeals
                                            by region. The Southern Region (region 8) had the most decisions (125) in
                                            the WUI. The Northern Region (region 1) had the most decisions (23) that
                                            were appealed. The highest appeal rate for all decisions (50 percent) was
                                            the Eastern Region (region 9). The highest rate for appealable decisions
                                            (88 percent) was the Northern Region (region 1).




Figure 18: Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities in the Wildland-Urban Interface and Frequency of Appeals, by Region,
Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002
                        Appeal rate of          Number of appealed               Appeal rate of         Number of appealed to
 Regions                WUI decisions          to total WUI decisions       appealable WUI decisions   appealable WUI decisions

 Region 1
                                              Total         48
                               48%
                                                                                                  Appealable       26
                                                         23                           88%          Appealed        23
                                          Appealed
                                                      0 30 60 90 120 150                                       0 30 60 90 120 150


 Region 2

                              20%             Total         49
                                                                                        38%
                                                                                                  Appealable       26
                                          Appealed      10                                         Appealed       10
                                                      0 30 60 90 120 150                                       0 30 60 90 120 150


 Region 3
                                     9%
                                              Total          54
                                                                                        36%
                                                                                                  Appealable 14
                                          Appealed 5                                               Appealed 5
                                                      0 30 60 90 120 150                                       0 30 60 90 120 150




                                            Page 68                              GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                                                     Appendix X
                                                     Decisions in Wildland-Urban Interface and
                                                     Inventoried Roadless Areas




                                 Appeal rate of          Number of appealed                    Appeal rate of           Number of appealed to
 Regions                         WUI decisions          to total WUI decisions            appealable WUI decisions     appealable WUI decisions

 Region 4

                                       21%             Total          38

                                                                                                       73%         Appealable     11
                                                   Appealed     8                                                   Appealed     8
                                                               0 30 60 90 120 150                                               0 30 60 90 120 150


 Region 5

                                       18%             Total               88

                                                                                                        59%        Appealable        27
                                                   Appealed      16                                                 Appealed       16
                                                               0 30 60 90 120 150                                               0 30 60 90 120 150


 Region 6
                                                       Total          46
                                       26%                                                              44%
                                                                                                                   Appealable        27
                                                   Appealed      12                                                 Appealed       12
                                                               0 30 60 90 120 150                                               0 30 60 90 120 150


 Region 8
                                             7%
                                                       Total                    125
                                                                                                        32%
                                                                                                                   Appealable        28
                                                   Appealed      9                                                  Appealed       9
                                                               0 30 60 90 120 150                                               0 30 60 90 120 150


 Region 9
                                                       Total     12
                                       50%                                                                         Appealable
                                                                                                       75%                         8
                                                   Appealed     6                                                   Appealed      6
                                                               0 30 60 90 120 150                                               0 30 60 90 120 150


 Region 10
                                              0%                                                              0%
                                                       Total 2
                                                                                                                   Appealable 2
                                                   Appealed 0                                                       Appealed 0
                                                               0 30 60 90 120 150                                               0 30 60 90 120 150

Source: GAO data and analysis.




                                                     Page 69                                     GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                                          Appendix X
                                          Decisions in Wildland-Urban Interface and
                                          Inventoried Roadless Areas




                                          Figure 19 summarizes the number of decisions with fuels reduction
                                          activities in inventoried roadless areas (IRA) and frequency of appeals by
                                          region. The Northern Region (region 1) had the most decisions (21) in
                                          IRAs. The Intermountain Region (region 4) had the most appealed
                                          decisions (8). The highest appeal rate for all decisions (50 percent) was in
                                          the Eastern Region (region 9). The highest appeal rate for appealable
                                          decisions (100 percent) was in the Eastern Region (region 9).




Figure 19: Decisions with Fuels Reduction Activities in Inventoried Roadless Areas and Frequency of Appeals, by Region,
Fiscal Years 2001 and 2002
                       Appeal rate of         Number of appealed                   Appeal rate of           Number of appealed to
 Regions               IRA decisions         to total IRA decisions           appealable IRA decisions     appealable IRA decisions

 Region 1
                                             Total                     21
                              33%
                                                                                            70%          Appealable              10
                                         Appealed             7                                           Appealed           7
                                                     0   5 10 15 20 25                                                0   5 10 15 20 25


 Region 2
                                             Total                12
                              42%
                                                                                            56%          Appealable           9
                                         Appealed         5                                               Appealed          5
                                                     0   5 10 15 20 25                                                0   5 10 15 20 25


 Region 3
                             17%             Total        6

                                                                                            50%          Appealable       2
                                         Appealed      1                                                  Appealed        1
                                                     0 5 10 15 20 25                                                  0   5 10 15 20 25




                                          Page 70                                     GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
                                                    Appendix X
                                                    Decisions in Wildland-Urban Interface and
                                                    Inventoried Roadless Areas




                                 Appeal rate of         Number of appealed                   Appeal rate of           Number of appealed to
Regions                          IRA decisions         to total IRA decisions           appealable IRA decisions     appealable IRA decisions

Region 4
                                                       Total                   17
                                        47%
                                                                                                       73%         Appealable              11
                                                   Appealed                8                                        Appealed           8
                                                               0       5 10 15 20 25                                            0   5 10 15 20 25


Region 5
                                                       Total               7
                                        43%
                                                                                                       75%         Appealable        4
                                                   Appealed            3                                            Appealed        3
                                                               0       5 10 15 20 25                                            0   5 10 15 20 25


Region 6
                                                       Total           3
                                        33%                                                            33%
                                                                                                                   Appealable       3
                                                   Appealed        1                                                Appealed      1
                                                               0       5 10 15 20 25                                            0 5 10 15 20 25


Region 8
                                              0%       Total               7

                                                                                                    N/A            Appealable 0
                                                   Appealed        0                                                Appealed 0
                                                               0       5 10 15 20 25                                            0   5 10 15 20 25


Region 9
                                                       Total           2
                                        50%                                                         100%           Appealable     1
                                                   Appealed        1                                                Appealed      1
                                                               0       5 10 15 20 25                                            0 5 10 15 20 25


Region 10
                                              0%       Total       1                                         0%

                                                                                                                   Appealable 1
                                                   Appealed 0                                                       Appealed 0
                                                           0 5 10 15 20 25                                                   0 5 10 15 20 25


Source: GAO data and analysis.




                                                    Page 71                                     GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





               Page 72       GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 73                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 74                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 75                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 76                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 77                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 78                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 79                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 80                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 81                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 82                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 83                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 84                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 85                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 86                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 87                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 88                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 89                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 90                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 91                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 92                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XI

Survey Questions to National Forests





Page 93                                 GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
Appendix XII

Comments from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture




               Page 94     GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
           Appendix XII

           Comments from the U.S. Department of 

           Agriculture





(360356)   Page 95                                  GAO-04-52 Forest Service Appeals and Litigation
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