oversight

National Forests: Funding the Sawtooth National Recreation Area

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-02-11.

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

                 United States General Accounting Office

GAO              Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee
                 on Forests and Public Land
                 Management, Committee on Energy and
                 Natural Resources, U.S. Senate

February 1999
                 NATIONAL FORESTS
                 Funding the Sawtooth
                 National Recreation
                 Area




GAO/RCED-99-47
      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Resources, Community, and
      Economic Development Division

      B-281624

      February 11, 1999

      The Honorable Larry E. Craig
      Chairman, Subcommittee on Forests
        and Public Land Management
      Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
      United States Senate

      Dear Mr. Chairman:

      In 1972, the Congress established the Sawtooth National Recreation Area
      (SNRA) in central Idaho to ensure the preservation and protection of the
      area’s natural, scenic, historic, pastoral, and fish and wildlife values and to
      provide for the enhancement of the associated recreational values. The
      SNRA is part of the Sawtooth National Forest and is administered by the
      Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. As we reported in 1990, the
      SNRA, as well as other national recreation areas, had not been developed,
      operated, and maintained up to the levels and standards called for in
      Forest Service policy and in individual recreation areas’ plans, primarily
      because of funding shortfalls.1 The report noted that 663 campsites
      included in the SNRA’s plan and needed to support visitor trends had not
      been built and that visitor services, such as ranger patrols in the
      wilderness and evening and weekend walks and talks at the campgrounds,
      had been severely curtailed. Concerned that these shortfalls are
      continuing and that the Forest Service may not be fulfilling its mission of
      enhancing the recreational values in the SNRA, you asked us to provide
      information on funding for the Recreation Area, its accomplishments and
      unmet needs, and on agency actions that have had adverse impacts on the
      area.

      As agreed with your office, this report specifically addresses (1) the funds
      allocated to the SNRA for fiscal years 1993 through 1997; (2) spending for
      fiscal years 1993 through 1997 to enhance recreation, to preserve
      conservation values, such as fish and wildlife, and to manage commodity
      programs, such as grazing, and the accomplishments and unmet needs in
      these areas; (3) the funds not allocated or the funds allocated and then
      taken back from the Recreation Area for fiscal years 1993 through 1997
      and what was done with those funds; and (4) some examples of potentially
      adverse effects of how the Recreation Area is managed on individuals,
      companies, and communities economically dependent on the area.


      1
       National Forests: Special Recreation Areas Not Meeting Established Objectives (GAO/RCED-90-27,
      Feb. 5, 1990).



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                   The Sawtooth National Recreation Area’s overall annual budget allocation
Results in Brief   decreased in constant (inflation adjusted) dollars from about $4.88 million
                   in 1993 to about $2.25 million in 1997—a decrease of about 54 percent.2
                   This rather large decrease is somewhat misleading—1993 was the second
                   year of a 2-year funding peak in the Recreation Area’s budgets. These peak
                   budgets contained (1) special funding for recreation management that
                   dramatically decreased in the 1994 budget, (2) funds for the construction
                   of recreation facilities, and (3) funds for land acquisition. If these
                   categories of funds are consistently excluded from the Recreation Area’s
                   1993 and 1997 budget allocations, the overall budget allocation decrease
                   would have been about 26 percent. In comparison, the 5-year budget
                   allocation decrease for the Sawtooth National Forest was about
                   18 percent. At the same time, the budget for the Forest Service region
                   containing the Sawtooth National Recreation Area decreased about
                   1.6 percent, and the total Forest Service budget decreased about
                   12 percent.3

                   The Sawtooth National Recreation Area reduced spending between fiscal
                   years 1993 and 1997 for activities such as enhancing recreation, preserving
                   conservation values (such as fish and wildlife), and managing commodity
                   programs (mining, grazing, and timber harvesting). Spending for
                   enhancing recreation decreased from $1.8 million in 1993 to $783,100 in
                   1997—a decrease of about 57 percent. Similarly, spending to preserve
                   conservation values decreased 21 percent, from $586,200 in 1993 to
                   $461,200 in 1997. Spending for commodities programs decreased
                   44 percent, from $253,200 in 1993 to $141,600 in 1997. However, just as
                   with the overall budget, the size of these decreases is somewhat
                   misleading because of the funds included for special projects and
                   construction in the 1993 budget. If the funds for these special projects and
                   construction are excluded, spending decreased 19 percent for enhancing
                   recreation from 1993 through 1997, and expenditures for preserving
                   conservation values decreased 9 percent. Spending for commodity
                   programs increased by 4 percent. Nevertheless, Recreation Area officials
                   cited a number of accomplishments under each of these functions. In
                   recreation management, the Recreation Area reconstructed a popular
                   campground at Redfish Lake and began constructing the Harriman Trail,
                   work that resulted in part from partnership funding from such sources as
                   the state of Idaho, local governments, and private donors. In conservation,

                   2
                    All dollar amounts are expressed in constant 1997 dollars to represent the actual purchasing power of
                   the dollars spent and to make budget numbers comparable across the years covered.
                   3
                   The budget figures for the Forest Service were obtained from the Service’s Final Planning and Budget
                   Advice documents for each year.



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the Recreation Area completed environmental impact statements for the
Salmon River Corridor and the Sawtooth Wilderness, and in commodity
programs, reclaimed three abandoned mine sites. The Recreation Area’s
officials also stated that because of funding shortages, a number of needs
were still unmet, such as the construction of an additional 663 campsites,
the reconstruction of facilities such as visitor centers, the maintenance of
trails in the wilderness, and the completion of plans for managing grazing
lands.

We did not identify any instances in which funds that were allocated to the
Recreation Area were subsequently taken back for use by other Forest
Service units. We did, however, identify several instances in which funds,
rather than being allocated to the Recreation Area, were held at the
regional or the forest offices to fund region- or forestwide projects. The
funding for these projects comes off the top of the regional and forest
budgets before funds are subsequently allocated to the Recreation Area.
Overall, 28 projects totaling about $37.5 million fell into the regionwide
project category. They involved a wide range of projects, such as
improving the geographic information system4 and upgrading computers.
Two other projects totaling $305,000 fell into the forestwide project
category. These projects included radio replacements and improving the
geographic information system. The overall effect on the Sawtooth
National Recreation Area of withholding the funding for these region- and
forestwide projects was equivalent to $116,400 per year, or less than
4 percent of the Recreation Area’s budget, because the funding was
withheld from all of the units within the region and not just from the
Recreation Area. Any adverse impact on the Sawtooth National Recreation
Area was further reduced because the Recreation Area benefited from
some of these projects.

Overall, representatives from local governments affected by how the
Sawtooth National Recreation Area is managed said that the Forest
Service has done a good job of preserving the values that the Recreation
Area was created to preserve. However, they said that the declining
budgets for the Recreation Area have reduced its ability to meet
recreational needs by, for example, preventing the Recreation Area from
maintaining trails and building new campsites. In addition to the budget
impacts, outfitters that take visitors on raft and horse-pack trips through
the area and cattle ranchers that have grazing privileges in the Recreation
Area said they were adversely affected by various Recreation Area actions.

4
 The geographic information system is a computerized mapping tool that the Forest Service uses to
identify social, economic, and ecological trends.



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             The Recreation Area placed restrictions and increased requirements on
             river outfitters, limited the size of groups that horse-pack outfitters can
             take on wilderness trips, and reduced the amount of grazing allowed on its
             lands. We found that the actions taken by the Recreation Area that
             affected these groups were, for the most part, taken to protect endangered
             salmon, rangelands, and wilderness—rather than because of funding
             reductions. Our review showed that from a monetary standpoint, some
             ranchers who had large reductions in their grazing privileges were
             adversely affected. The effect of increased requirements on river and
             horseback outfitters is less clear because of factors that can affect river
             outfitters’ revenues and actions being taken by the Recreation Area to
             mitigate restrictions on horse-pack outfitters.


             The SNRA is the largest of the 38 national recreation areas within the United
Background   States. National recreation areas are areas within the National Forest
             System that have outstanding combinations of outdoor recreation
             opportunities, scenery, and proximity to potential users. They may also
             have cultural, historic, and other values contributing to public enjoyment.
             The SNRA comprises 754,000 acres in four Idaho counties—Custer, Blaine,
             Elmore, and Boise. Within the SNRA’s boundaries lie portions of five
             mountain ranges, the headwaters of five major rivers, and over 1,000 lakes.
             The SNRA’s forests, valleys, and barren ridges are home for a variety of
             wildlife species, including mountain goat, bighorn sheep, elk, moose, and
             deer. The lakes and streams provide important habitat for native fish
             populations as well as spawning grounds5 for chinook and sockeye
             salmon, which are listed and protected as threatened or endangered
             species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Visitors to the SNRA
             take trips on horseback and float-boats, camp, ski, and enjoy a variety of
             other recreational activities. (See app. I for a map of the Recreation Area.)

             Forest Service policy calls for its special recreation areas to be managed
             as showcases to demonstrate national forest management standards for
             programs, services, and facilities. While the policy does not define the
             term “showcase,” Forest Service officials interpret it to mean that these
             areas should be developed and managed to a noticeably higher standard
             than other Forest Service recreation units. The legislation creating the
             SNRA provides that the management, utilization, and disposal of natural
             resources on federal lands—such as timber, grazing, and mineral

             5
              Salmon hatch in inland streams; swim to the Pacific Ocean, where they mature; and then return to the
             same streams where they hatched to reproduce. During the reproduction process, the females develop
             nests, called redds, into which they deposit their eggs, an activity referred to as spawning. After the
             eggs are fertilized by the males, the adult salmon die.



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resources—could continue insofar as their utilization does not
substantially impair the purposes for which the Recreation Area was
created.

Funding levels for the SNRA for the period from 1993 through 1997 were
developed through a two-part process. First, Forest Service budgets were
developed through a largely bottom-up process. Based on guidance
derived from plans and the funds likely to be available, the lowest-level
units, such as ranger districts and recreation areas, developed and
presented their funding requests to successively higher units—forests,
regions, the Washington headquarters—where the requests were
consolidated and prioritized. (Fig. II.1 shows the Forest Service’s
organization to include regions, forests, and recreation areas.) These
requests provided the basis for the total Forest Service budget requests
that were presented to the House and Senate Committees on
Appropriations for their review, revision, and approval. Once the budgets
were enacted, Forest Service headquarters allocated funds to each of its
nine regions. The regions, in turn, allocated funds to individual forests, and
the forests then allocated funds to the ranger districts and recreation
areas.

In 1996, the Forest Service revised its budget development and allocation
process. The Forest Service now uses a more top-down approach through
which it allocates funds to the regions based on a series of national
criteria. In 1998, the region responsible for the SNRA began using similar
criteria to allocate funds within the region. The Forest Service made the
change because it believes that using the allocation criteria improves the
objectivity and rationality of the budget as a process for establishing
policy and program priorities. The criteria establish a visible and rational
basis for allocating resources by identifying differences among units in
terms of resource conditions, workload, production capabilities, and other
elements.

The SNRA is one of five units within the Sawtooth National Forest. The
other four units are ranger districts. Special recreation areas, such as the
SNRA, are designated by specific legislative acts, and typically, the
legislation directs the Secretary of Agriculture to manage these areas in a
manner that best provides for public outdoor recreation benefits and the
conservation of scenic, scientific, historic, and other values. In contrast,
ranger districts are administratively established units responsible for the
broad range of activities covered by the Forest Service’s multiple-use
mission, which includes managing timber harvesting, mining, and grazing



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                       as well as recreation. The Sawtooth National Forest is, in turn, part of the
                       Forest Service’s Intermountain Region, which contains 16 forests.

                       The yearly allocations to the SNRA contain a variety of funding categories.
                       Three accounts are particularly important in terms of their impact on the
                       SNRA. First, the National Forest System account, which is by far the largest,
                       provides funding for a number of different functions such as recreation
                       management, protection of threatened and endangered species, and
                       rangeland management. The two other accounts are construction and land
                       acquisition; the sizes of these two accounts vary substantially from year to
                       year, depending on whether construction projects or land acquisitions are
                       approved.


                       The SNRA’s budget decreased by 54 percent in constant dollars from 1993
The SNRA’s Budget      through 1997. However, special circumstances make the decrease
Decreased by Over 50   misleadingly large. The SNRA’s budget for 1993 was part of a 2-year funding
Percent From 1993 to   peak brought about by the funding of several special projects. After we
                       controlled for these special circumstances, the SNRA’s budget decrease for
1997, but Special      the 5-year period was about 26 percent. The SNRA’s decrease compares
Circumstances Help     with about an 18-percent decrease for the Sawtooth National Forest, a
                       1.6-percent decrease for the region that includes the SNRA, and about a
Explain the Large      12-percent decrease for the Forest Service as a whole.
Decrease
                       The Forest Service’s budget records show that the SNRA’s total budget
                       decreased from $4.88 million in 1993 to $2.25 million in 1997 in constant
                       dollars. The SNRA’s staff also decreased. The number of full-time staff
                       decreased from 31 to 29, and the number of seasonal staff providing visitor
                       services and maintenance decreased from 75 to 26 during the 1993-97
                       period. Although the SNRA’s budget and staffing decreased during this
                       period, SNRA officials said that recreation use ranged from about 1.2 million
                       to 1.3 million visitor days per year between 1993 and 1997.6

                       Because of the magnitude of the decrease in funding over the 1993-97
                       period, we reviewed the area’s yearly budgets over a somewhat longer
                       period to identify the reasons for the decrease. The funding trend for the
                       SNRA for the 1991-97 period is shown in figure 1. As figure 1 shows, fiscal
                       years 1992 and 1993 were peak funding years for the SNRA. Three factors
                       account for the funding peak and help to explain a large part of the
                       54-percent decrease from 1993 through 1997. In 1993, the SNRA received a
                       variety of special funds, including $365,000 for recreation management and

                       6
                        Visitor days are computed from the number of visitors and the number of hours of their visits.



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$446,000 for the construction of recreation facilities as part of a special
multiyear initiative aimed at improving recreation programs throughout
the Forest Service. In addition, the SNRA received $659,000 for land
acquisition. The availability of these special funds decreased dramatically
from 1993 to 1994 when the recreation initiative ended. The 1997 budget
contained no funds for special projects, construction of recreation
facilities, or land acquisition.7 However, the fiscal year 1997 allocation
included $260,000 for recreation road construction. Our analysis shows
that if these types of funds are consistently excluded from the 1993 and
1997 budgets, the decrease in the SNRA’s budget from 1993 through 1997
was about 26 percent.




7
 From 1993 through 1997, the Congress appropriated funds for two specific land acquisitions at the
SNRA—$600,000   in 1993 ($659,000 in 1997 dollars) and $800,000 in 1997. However, the $800,000 does not
appear in the SNRA’s budget allocation because the region does not allocate land acquisition funds to
the SNRA until acquisitions are made. In this case, the purchase was not made.



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Figure 1: Trend in the SNRA’s
Budgets, 1991-97
                                  Constant dollars in millions
                                  8



                                  7



                                  6



                                  5



                                  4



                                  3



                                  2



                                  1
                                      1991           1992           1993            1994            1995            1996            1997
                                      Fiscal years


                                              SNRA budget
                                              SNRA budget without special funds



                                Notes: Fiscal year 1995 was the only year in which the SNRA received no special funds. In fiscal
                                1992, the SNRA received $2.73 million in land acquisition funds. All figures are in 1997 constant
                                dollars.

                                Source: Forest Service data.




                                A comparison of the trend in the SNRA’s budget with budget trends for the
                                forest, the region, and the Forest Service shows that the SNRA’s budget
                                decrease was part of a general funding decrease that affected all levels.
                                The Sawtooth National Forest determines, within the limits of its own
                                budget, how much the SNRA receives each year. The forest’s budget
                                decreased by 18 percent over the 1993-97 period. The budget allocation for
                                the Intermountain Region, which allocates funds to the Sawtooth National
                                Forest and all other forests within the region, decreased by 1.6 percent




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                      during the same period. Forest Service officials told us that the Sawtooth
                      National Forest’s budget had a larger decrease than the region’s because
                      the priority of the Sawtooth Forest compared with that of the other forests
                      in the region decreased over the period. The changes in the region’s, the
                      forest’s, and the SNRA’s budgets have occurred within the context of the
                      Forest Service’s annual national budgets, which decreased from
                      $3.2 billion to $2.8 billion, or about 12 percent, over the 5-year period.

                      With the fiscal year 1996 budget, the Forest Service changed how it
                      allocates funds to its regions to a process called criteria-based budgeting.
                      The Forest Service changed this process to sharpen the focus on
                      objectives and to establish a rational basis for allocating resources. In
                      fiscal year 1998, the Intermountain Region began using a similar process
                      for allocating funds to forests. According to regional office officials, the
                      new criteria-based process further reduced the SNRA’s budget. Two of the
                      new criteria used to allocate recreation management funds in the 1998
                      budget process were the number of visitors and the developed site
                      capacity—that is, the capacity of the area to handle visitors. These two
                      criteria provided the basis for over 60 percent of the SNRA’s 1998 recreation
                      management budget allocation. According to agency officials, recreation
                      areas such as the SNRA do not compete well in the new criteria-based
                      budget process because they have fewer recreation visitors and less
                      capacity than other Forest Service units such as ranger districts located
                      near urban areas. To prevent the continued decline in the SNRA’s budget,
                      the regional office has ensured that for fiscal year 1999, the SNRA will be
                      funded at no less than fiscal year 1997 levels for the following accounts:
                      (1) National Forest System, which funds functions such as recreation
                      management; (2) construction; and (3) fire management. (App. III provides
                      additional information on the budgets for the SNRA and other Forest
                      Service units.) Furthermore, starting with the fiscal year 2000 budget, the
                      region has modified the criteria to provide the recreation areas with a
                      larger portion of the region’s recreation management funds.


                      In 1997, enhancing recreation, preserving conservation values, and
The SNRA’s Spending   managing commodity programs accounted for 63 percent of the SNRA’s
Has Decreased for     total spending. Our analysis of agency data shows that the SNRA’s spending
Recreation,           for these programs for fiscal years 1993 through 1997
                      decreased—57 percent for enhancing recreation, 21 percent for preserving
Conservation, and     conservation values, and 44 percent for managing commodity programs.
Commodity Programs    As with the SNRA’s overall budget, the change in spending for these areas
                      was misleadingly large because of the special funds allocated to the SNRA



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                                     in 1993. SNRA officials said that the Recreation Area had significant
                                     accomplishments in the recreation, conservation, and commodity
                                     programs since 1993. However, the officials also said that each program
                                     still has unmet needs. Figure 2 shows the trend in expenditures for each of
                                     these areas.


Figure 2: Spending for Recreation,
Conservation, and Commodity
Programs, 1993-97                    Dollars in thousands
                                     2,000


                                     1,750


                                     1,500


                                     1,250


                                     1,000


                                      750


                                      500


                                      250


                                         0
                                             1993                   1994                 1995                   1996                      1997
                                             Fiscal years

                                                     Enhance recreation
                                                     Preserve conservation values
                                                     Manage commodity programs



                                     Notes: “Enhance recreation” includes the budget line items for recreation management and the
                                     construction of recreation facilities and trails. “Preserve conservation values” includes the line
                                     items for wildlife and fisheries habitat management and wilderness and ecosystem management.
                                     “Manage commodity programs” includes the line items for rangeland management, forestland
                                     management, and mineral and geology management. All figures are in constant 1997 dollars and
                                     include the funds allocated for special projects.

                                     Source: Forest Service data.




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Enhancing Recreation   The SNRA’s spending for enhancing recreation decreased from $1.8 million
                       in 1993 to $783,100 in 1997—a decrease of about 57 percent. Funding for
                       enhancing recreation includes funds for recreation management and the
                       construction of recreation facilities and trails. (See table IV.1 for more
                       detailed information.) In support of its recreation program, the SNRA is
                       responsible for maintaining over 75 developed recreational facilities that
                       include campsites, picnic areas, boat launches, scenic overlooks, and
                       trailheads with 750 miles of trails. It also provides dispersed recreation
                       activities that include camping, hunting, facilities for off-road vehicles,
                       customer service patrols, interpretive programs, and visitor centers. A
                       large portion of the 57-percent decrease in spending occurred because
                       funds from the multiyear recreation initiative program, which ended in
                       1993, were no longer appropriated. If the funds for that initiative and other
                       special projects are excluded from the analysis, we estimate that spending
                       in 1993 would have been about $970,000. Thus, the change from 1993 to
                       1997 would have shown a decrease of about $187,000, or about 19 percent.
                       While spending for recreation decreased, visitation to the SNRA over the
                       5-year period remained relatively constant, ranging from about 1.2 million
                       to 1.3 million visitor days.

                       Despite these reductions in spending for enhancing recreation and the
                       reductions in seasonal staff previously mentioned, SNRA officials told us
                       they had made significant accomplishments since 1993. They said that in
                       addition to providing for day-to-day operations, they had been able to
                       continue providing the same recreational services to the public (such as
                       camping), to renovate some camping facilities, and to expand the
                       availability of trails through partnership projects with state, local, and
                       private donors that constructed new trails and maintained existing trails.
                       In 1996, the SNRA completed the renovation of a major campground at
                       Redfish Lake and, in 1997, awarded a contract to construct the Harriman
                       Trail that will run through an 18-mile stretch in the Recreation Area. SNRA
                       officials also said that the recreation program still has unmet needs in a
                       wide range of areas, such as in its dispersed recreation programs,
                       customer service patrols, interpretive programs, and visitor centers. They
                       said they have been unable to construct an additional 663 needed
                       campsites; to reconstruct and rehabilitate deteriorating facilities, such as
                       visitor centers, trailheads, and camp or day-use facilities; to maintain
                       about one-third of the trails; or to inspect recreational residences (summer
                       homes) and other facilities to ensure that they comply with the
                       requirements in their permits. They said the SNRA has also been unable to
                       keep visitor information desks open to adequately serve visitors, maintain
                       adequate customer service staff in the field, or provide interpretive



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                          programs that enhance the public’s enjoyment of the SNRA. In addition,
                          officials said that other factors besides changes in the funds available for
                          this program affect what can and cannot be accomplished in the
                          recreation program. In particular, reductions in funds for other programs
                          such as land acquisition have required the recreation program to cover a
                          higher percentage of costs for receptionist, payroll, and public affairs
                          personnel in the SNRA. According to these officials, the impacts of these
                          reductions have had a direct effect on accomplishments and have resulted
                          in more unmet needs in the recreation program. (See app. V for more
                          information on specific accomplishments and unmet needs.)


Preserving Conservation   The SNRA’s spending to preserve conservation values decreased 21 percent,
Values                    from $586,200 in 1993 to $461,200 in 1997. If the special funding contained
                          in the 1993 budget is excluded from the analysis, however, we estimate
                          that spending in 1993 would have been about $505,000. Thus the change in
                          spending from 1993 to 1997 would have been a reduction of about $44,000,
                          or about 9 percent. Preserving conservation values is a pervasive effort at
                          the SNRA. Every resource activity at the SNRA includes major provisions for
                          preserving conservation values, according to the SNRA’s Acting Area
                          Ranger. The main focus of the conservation efforts has been on protecting
                          threatened and endangered species and protecting key wilderness values,
                          such as protecting the primitive nature of wilderness and maintaining the
                          opportunity for solitude, in the 217,000-acre Sawtooth Wilderness. The
                          Snake River chinook and sockeye salmon, which spawn in the SNRA, and
                          the Snake River steelhead trout are protected under provisions of the
                          Endangered Species Act of 1973. In addition, the Columbia River bull trout
                          is currently proposed for listing as a threatened species. As a result of
                          these endangered species listings, the SNRA must do what it can to improve
                          the habitat for these species and ensure that its actions do not have an
                          adverse effect on the fish. The Sawtooth Wilderness Area was created by
                          the 1972 act that established the SNRA and must be managed to meet the
                          requirements set out in the Wilderness Act of 1964. The Wilderness Act
                          requires that wilderness areas remain undeveloped to retain their primeval
                          character and be managed to preserve their natural conditions. Wilderness
                          areas should also provide opportunities for solitude or for a primitive and
                          unconfined type of recreation. As the use of the Sawtooth Wilderness for
                          recreational purposes increases, the SNRA must, among other things, limit
                          and distribute use to conserve the wilderness values.

                          According to SNRA officials, their major accomplishments since 1993 in
                          preserving conservation values include (1) completing an environmental



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                     impact statement aimed at improving riparian ecosystems and protecting
                     salmon habitat throughout the Salmon River Corridor;8 (2) eliminating
                     barriers to fish migration; and (3) issuing the SNRA Wilderness Management
                     Plan. SNRA officials also said that the conservation program still has unmet
                     needs. They said they are unable to perform a number of activities that
                     would contribute to improving the habitat for, and thus the health and
                     diversity of, the species within the SNRA. The SNRA also has been unable to
                     maintain trails in the wilderness and fulfill its 1993 Wilderness
                     Implementation Schedule, which it created to enable the Recreation Area
                     to meet the management practices, standards, and guidelines outlined in
                     the Forest Plan for the Sawtooth Wilderness for 1994 to 1997. In addition,
                     as in the recreation program, officials said that the reduction in funds for
                     other programs has resulted in the conservation program’s covering a
                     higher percentage of the cost for some SNRA personnel. This has an impact
                     on the accomplishments and contributes to more unmet needs in the
                     conservation program. (See app. V for more information on specific
                     accomplishments and unmet needs.)


Managing Commodity   The SNRA’s spending for commodity programs decreased 44 percent, from
Programs             $253,200 in 1993 to $141,600 in 1997. However, if the 1993 allocation for
                     projects totaling $120,000 is excluded from the analysis,9 this area would
                     have experienced a 4-percent increase in spending from 1993 through
                     1997. The commodity programs include programs for grazing, timber, and
                     mining. In 1997, the grazing program had 26 range allotments—19 for
                     cattle and 7 for sheep—covering 400,500 acres, more than half of the
                     SNRA’s land area. The allotments provided that 2,500 cows and 4,470 sheep
                     could graze for a total of 21,000 animal unit months.10 The timber program
                     primarily provides firewood and fence posts to meet the needs of local
                     users. Commercial timber sales, which are also part of the timber program,
                     are limited to small-scale operations for posts and firewood because the
                     area contains only minor amounts of commercial sawtimber. The mining
                     program in the SNRA is very small. The act creating the SNRA provided that
                     new mining claims could no longer be filed. From 1972 through 1997,
                     active mining claims decreased from approximately 6,000 to


                     8
                      Riparian areas are the banks around streams, rivers, and other wetlands. The Salmon River Corridor
                     is a 30-mile length of the upper main Salmon River from its source close to the community of Smiley
                     Creek, past the city of Stanley, to the eastern border of the SNRA.
                     9
                      The $120,000 funded projects covering the Snake River Basin mitigation, forest vegetation, mountain
                     pine beetles, and wolverines.
                     10
                      An animal unit month is defined as the amount of forage needed to support a 1,000-pound cow, a
                     horse, or five sheep for 1 month.



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                      approximately 170. Currently, there are no commercial mining operations
                      on the SNRA’s lands.

                      According to SNRA officials, one of the major accomplishments for the
                      commodity programs is that grazing continues within the SNRA despite the
                      requirements placed on grazing to protect the habitat of the threatened or
                      endangered salmon. Other accomplishments include improvements to
                      riparian areas and the reclamation of abandoned mines. SNRA officials also
                      identified unmet needs. For example, the Recreation Area was unable to
                      complete, on schedule, plans for managing grazing on Sawtooth lands. As
                      with the recreation and conservation programs, officials said that the
                      reduction in funds for other programs has an impact on the
                      accomplishments and unmet needs in the commodity programs. (See app.
                      V for more information on specific accomplishments and unmet needs.)


                      We identified several instances in which funds were held at the
Funds Devoted to      Intermountain Region and at the Sawtooth National Forest rather than
Region- and           being allocated to subordinate units, including the SNRA. These funds were
Forestwide Projects   held for a variety of region- and forestwide projects. The combined annual
                      impact on the SNRA of withholding these funds was equivalent to less than
Reduced the SNRA’s    4 percent of the SNRA’s budget. We found no instances in which funds were
Budget                allocated to the SNRA and subsequently taken back by the forest or region
                      for other projects.

                      According to agency officials, it is a common practice for regional and
                      forest offices to retain funds for region- and forestwide projects. The
                      funding for regional projects comes off the top of the regional budget
                      before allocations are made to the forests and subsequently to the ranger
                      districts and recreation areas. As a result, all of the forests, ranger
                      districts, and recreation areas within the region are affected by the funding
                      of these projects. The region responsible for the SNRA had a total of 28
                      regionwide projects during the 1993-97 period. These projects included
                      improving the geographic information system and computers throughout
                      the region and conducting the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem




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                      B-281624




                      Management Project.11 The funds withheld by the region for regionwide
                      projects for the 5-year period totaled about $37.5 million.

                      Also during the 1993-97 period, the Sawtooth National Forest withheld
                      funds totaling $305,000 from the ranger districts and the SNRA for two
                      forestwide projects. Of this amount, $185,000 was for improving the
                      geographic information system and $120,000 was for radio replacements.
                      Both of these projects benefited all of the forest’s units, including the SNRA.
                      (App. VI lists the totals for region- and forestwide projects for fiscal years
                      1993-97.)

                      Funds withheld by the region and the forest reduced the SNRA’s budget by
                      less than 4 percent. According to an estimate by the Forest Service
                      Intermountain regional office, if there had been no regionwide projects
                      and the Forest Service had allocated these funds to the SNRA, the
                      Recreation Area would have received, on average, about $109,000 per year.
                      This represents about 3.4 percent of the area’s annual budget for the
                      1993-97 period. Officials from the forest office told us withholding money
                      for forestwide projects had reduced the SNRA’s budget by $7,400 per year,
                      or about 0.23 percent, on average. Combined, the overall reduction in
                      funds available to the SNRA was $116,400 per year, or about 3.6 percent.
                      Although the SNRA’s budget decreased as a result of these projects, the
                      SNRA also benefited directly from some of the projects, such as those for
                      improving the geographic information system and upgrading radios.


                      On February 16, 1998, a field hearing was held in Twin Falls, Idaho, to
Adverse Impacts on    examine the management of the SNRA.12 Areas of particular interest at the
Businesses and        hearing included the impact of both (1) laws, regulations, and the SNRA’s
Individuals Result    related actions and (2) the SNRA’s funding levels on individuals and
                      businesses that are economically dependent on the SNRA. Overall,
Primarily From the    representatives of the communities that are affected by the SNRA’s
SNRA’s Conservation   management said that the Forest Service had done a good job of
                      preserving the values that the SNRA was created to preserve. However,
Efforts
                      11
                        The Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project is intended to develop a state-of-the-art
                      management strategy for the lands administered by the Forest Service or the Bureau of Land
                      Management in the interior Columbia River Basin and portions of the Klamath Basin and the Great
                      Basin. These areas are located primarily in the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho but also
                      include small portions of Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming. The project aims to develop ecosystem
                      management strategies to restore forest and rangeland health while providing sustainable resources
                      and jobs. It also aims to address broad-based problems that cross jurisdictional lines, such as
                      endangered species and species population viability, in one effort, thus saving money and time.
                      12
                       Sawtooth National Recreation Area, Subcommittee on Forests and Public Land Management,
                      Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Senate (S. Hrg. 105-493, Feb. 16, 1998).



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                              these representatives and various businesses and individuals identified a
                              number of adverse impacts on various activities on the SNRA’s lands.
                              Businesses and individuals involved in recreational or grazing activities
                              were the most affected by changes in the SNRA’s policies and funding. In
                              terms of recreation, outfitters that take visitors on trips through the area
                              on float-boats or on horseback were the most affected; while in terms of
                              grazing, cattle ranchers with grazing allotments on SNRA lands were the
                              most affected. The outfitters and ranchers were affected primarily by
                              restrictions resulting from laws and regulations, such as those protecting
                              the threatened or endangered salmon. Funding levels seemed to also affect
                              individuals and businesses but to a lesser extent than the SNRA’s actions to
                              preserve conservation values.


The Forest Service            Local public officials and community leaders said that, overall, the SNRA
Preserves the Values of the   was doing a good job preserving the values it was set up to preserve, such
SNRA’s Lands                  as natural, scenic, historic, and pastoral values, and fish and wildlife.
                              Elected officials from Blaine County, Idaho, and the Director of the Blaine
                              County Recreation District said that the SNRA’s management was doing a
                              good job and had maintained good relations with the county. In addition,
                              the Executive Director of the Sawtooth Society, a nonprofit, nonpartisan,
                              independent organization, said that most people believed that the Forest
                              Service was doing well, overall, in preserving the natural and scenic values
                              it was created to protect.


SNRA Actions Adversely        According to the river and horseback outfitters we talked with, the SNRA
Affect Recreation             has taken specific actions that are adversely affecting recreation by
                              curtailing (1) float-boating on a portion of the Upper Main Salmon River13
                              (see app. I for a map of the Recreation Area), and (2) stock-supported
                              camping using horses and mules in the Sawtooth Wilderness, which
                              comprises most of the western half of the SNRA.14 In considering the SNRA’s
                              actions and their impacts, it is important to be aware of the changing
                              circumstances affecting the Forest Service’s nationwide decision-making.
                              In our 1997 report on the Forest Service’s decision-making, we noted that
                              during the last 10 years, the agency has increasingly shifted its emphasis
                              from consumption (primarily producing timber) to conservation (primarily

                              13
                               The Upper Main Salmon River runs from north of Sawtooth City, past the city of Stanley, and then
                              east to the eastern border of the Recreation Area. Float-boating occurs roughly between Buckhorn
                              Bridge and the Torrey’s takeout.
                              14
                               Stock-supported excursions (using horses, mules, llamas, or goats) allow groups of visitors to
                              explore the wilderness area on horseback, their gear and supplies traveling with them on pack
                              animals.



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sustaining fish and wildlife).15 This shift is taking place in response to
requirements in planning and environmental laws and the judicial
interpretations of these laws. In particular, section 7 of the Endangered
Species Act of 1973 represents a congressional design to give greater
priority to the protection of endangered species than to the current
primary missions of the Forest Service and other federal agencies, such as
timber harvesting, rangeland, and outdoor recreation.

In 1991, the National Marine Fisheries Service listed Snake River sockeye
salmon as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. In 1992, Snake
River spring/summer chinook salmon were listed as threatened. The
Salmon River and its tributaries, including those portions running through
the SNRA, are designated as part of the critical habitat for threatened
spring/summer chinook salmon migration and spawning and for
endangered sockeye salmon that migrate up the Salmon River to spawn in
Redfish Lake. From 1992 until 1996, the SNRA and the float-boat outfitters
worked to develop plans to minimize the impact of float-boating on
salmon spawning, which occurs annually from mid-August to late
September, in various parts of the Salmon River. In spring 1996, the SNRA
completed the final environmental impact statement for the Salmon River
Corridor within the SNRA. At that time, it implemented rules to protect
spawning salmon. The rules required that on August 21 each year, or
earlier if spawning has commenced, the float-boaters must portage (carry)
their rafts around a section of the river called Indian Riffles—a traditional
spawning area for chinook salmon—and terminate their trips west of
Torrey’s Hole, another spawning area for chinook salmon. These
restrictions required outfitters to provide a truck to portage the rafts, to
eliminate the lunch sites three of the outfitters used, and to shorten the
trip for all.

We met with three of the four float-boat outfitters operating out of the
town of Stanley—the largest town in the SNRA. They asserted that the
restrictions on float-boating reduced their revenue and increased their
costs of doing business. Because of the many factors that influenced the
number of rafters—such as the water level and the weather—the impact of
the SNRA’s restrictions on the outfitters’ revenues is not clear. However,
our analysis showed that outfitter revenues for 1996 and 1997, the first
years that the new restrictions were in place, were higher than 2 of the 3
prior years. Figures the outfitters provided to the SNRA for the float-boating
seasons from 1993 through 1997 indicated that the number of rafters and


15
 Forest Service Decision-Making: A Framework for Improving Performance (GAO/RCED-97-71,
Apr. 29, 1997).



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                                        total revenues generated in 1996 and 1997 were better than in 1993 and
                                        1994 but less than in 1995 when rafting conditions were considered
                                        exceptionally good. Table 1 shows the total number of rafters and
                                        revenues for 1993 through 1997.

Table 1: Totals for Number of Rafters
and Revenue for 1993 Through 1997 in    Fiscal year                             Total number of rafters                      Total revenue
Current Dollars                         1993                                                         9,489                         $484,569
                                        1994                                                         7,949                          403,713
                                        1995                                                        12,032                          624,360
                                        1996                                                        10,461                          542,485
                                        1997                                                        10,468                         $555,561
                                        Source: Forest Service data.



                                        We conducted a more detailed analysis for August, the month when the
                                        portage rules go into effect. We looked at the figures for the 2-week period
                                        before the portage rules were in effect and the 2-week period after
                                        portaging began. This analysis showed that for 1996 and 1997, the total
                                        revenues and the number of rafters decreased with the imposition of the
                                        portage rule. However, we noted that the total revenues and number of
                                        rafters also decreased in the latter part of August 1993 when no
                                        restrictions were in place.16 Because revenues appear to decrease whether
                                        or not there are restrictions, the impact of the SNRA’s restrictions on
                                        outfitter revenue is unclear. The outfitters also told us that their costs
                                        were increased by the restrictions that require, among other things, that
                                        they monitor the river to identify spawning activity and provide a truck
                                        and staff to portage their rafts. We did not determine the amount of these
                                        costs. As a result, despite the strong revenue picture for recent years, the
                                        increased costs resulting from the restrictions may have had a negative
                                        impact on the outfitters.

                                        Horse-pack outfitters on the SNRA also have stated that the Recreation
                                        Area’s actions are hurting their operations economically and reducing the
                                        number of people they can serve. In summer 1998, the SNRA amended the
                                        Sawtooth National Forest Plan to change the management direction for
                                        the Sawtooth Wilderness. The purpose of the changes was to clearly
                                        define management objectives, standards, and guidelines to protect and
                                        preserve the Sawtooth Wilderness as required by the Wilderness Act of
                                        1964. Rules contained in the revised plan reduced the number of people

                                        16
                                         For 1993, the SNRA was able to provide revenue data for two outfitters and the number of rafters for
                                        one other outfitter. For the fourth outfitter, the SNRA provided the number of rafters for 1992.



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                      who can be part of a horse-pack excursion in the wilderness from 20 to 12
                      and also reduced the number of horses that can be used on each trip.17

                      The SNRA reduced the size of horse-pack groups to meet specific objectives
                      of the Wilderness Act that provide that wilderness lands are to be managed
                      so that they generally appear to have been affected primarily by the forces
                      of nature and that they provide outstanding opportunities for solitude.
                      Hikers complained that their wilderness experience—the opportunity to
                      experience solitude—was degraded when they were confronted with large
                      groups of horseback riders. SNRA officials also said they imposed the
                      restrictions to reduce adverse impacts on trails and campsites. Most trails
                      and campsites in the wilderness area could not withstand the damage
                      caused by large horse-pack groups.

                      We met with the owner of the largest horse-pack operation in the SNRA. He
                      said that reducing the size of horseback groups has adversely affected his
                      business. However, these adverse effects may be largely mitigated because
                      the reductions are being phased in over a 3-year period and because the
                      SNRA is working with the outfitters to identify a number of campsites that
                      can accommodate up to 20 people. These sites will be dedicated to the
                      outfitters’ use, and the outfitters will be able to pre-position supplies at
                      these sites, thus lessening the impact of the requirement that the outfitters
                      use fewer horses on their excursions, a requirement that limits the
                      supplies horse-packing groups can carry with them. Although the
                      outfitters’ costs may be somewhat higher for smaller groups, the outfitters
                      will be able to continue accommodating larger groups by breaking them
                      into smaller groups on the trail and reuniting them at their campsites.


SNRA Actions Reduce   We also spoke with SNRA and local officials, ranchers, and a mining
Grazing               representative about the adverse effects of the Recreation Area’s actions
                      on commodity programs—grazing, timber harvesting, and mining.18 Our
                      discussions suggest that grazing is the commodity program that the SNRA’s
                      actions have most affected. Grazing has been reduced around the riparian
                      areas providing the watershed for the Salmon River to protect salmon
                      habitat and to prevent adverse impacts on spawning salmon. Grazing has


                      17
                        The reduction covers May 1 to November 30, annually. For the remainder of the year, the person limit
                      stays at 20 and the stock limit is also reduced to 14.
                      18
                        In our numerous discussions, we did not identify any adverse effects related to the timber
                      management program, which is a very small program that primarily serves residential needs for
                      firewood and fence posts. Discussions with elected officials in the area suggest that mining in the
                      SNRA is not an issue. The mining program is very small, any potential adverse effects seem limited to
                      only one claim, and even those suggested impacts are not clear.



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                         also been curtailed because cattle and their impacts in campgrounds, in
                         road corridors, and along heavily used recreational trails are unacceptable
                         to many recreational users, according to SNRA officials. Allowing cattle in
                         campgrounds raises water quality issues as well as physical safety issues
                         for campers. In addition, on a national level, the Forest Service has put a
                         high priority on improving the condition of its rangelands so that range
                         conditions meet the legal requirements set out in various laws, regulations,
                         and planning documents. Specifically, the National Forest Management
                         Act of 1976 requires that management plans be prepared for the forests.
                         The plan for the Sawtooth National Forest contains management goals
                         that set the desired future condition of allotments. Forest officials told us
                         they believed that the range conditions established in the forest’s plan
                         were not being met.

                         To meet the plan’s objectives, the SNRA reduced grazing on allotments on
                         its lands. These reductions have closed grazing areas, shortened grazing
                         seasons, and increased ranchers’ grazing costs. Overall, the SNRA has
                         reduced grazing on allotments by almost one-third. However, some
                         individual allotment reductions have been larger. For example, the
                         ranchers we met with who graze cattle on the Stanley Basin allotment had
                         grazing on their allotments cut by almost 60 percent. These ranchers told
                         us that they had experienced a number of adverse economic impacts as a
                         result. They said that they had decided to sell a portion of their herd and
                         then went into debt to purchase private land for grazing. As a result, the
                         value of their ranches had decreased because the value of a ranch is based
                         partly on the number of cattle that the ranch can support with both its
                         own grazing lands and its federal grazing privileges. SNRA documents note
                         that in the future, grazing may be further reduced when the SNRA
                         completes the required upgrading of its grazing management plans for 10
                         of the 25 allotments that do not yet have complete management plans.


Declining SNRA Budgets   According to the SNRA, local government, and other individuals we talked
May Also Reduce          with, the SNRA’s declining budgets have also reduced recreational
Recreation and Grazing   opportunities. Several of them said that as a result of budget restrictions,
                         needed new campsites that have long been in the SNRA’s area plan are not
                         being built. As noted previously, the Recreation Area has been unable to
                         construct an additional 663 campsites that were included in its 1975 area
                         plan. Many campers must be turned away during peak periods because
                         there are not enough campsites equipped with facilities such as water,
                         toilets, picnic tables, and grills. Those we spoke with also said that trails
                         and some campsites are poorly maintained and that other trails are not



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                  maintained at all. All these factors either directly limit recreation or
                  discourage recreation by making the experience less enjoyable, according
                  to those we spoke with.


                  We provided a draft of this report to the Forest Service for its review and
Agency Comments   comment. The Forest Service agreed with the overall findings and also
                  provided detailed technical comments clarifying certain aspects of the
                  report. We considered these comments and revised the report as
                  appropriate.

                  In addition, the Forest Service also commented that we did not fully
                  disclose the Sawtooth National Recreation Area’s accomplishments and
                  unmet needs in three areas discussed in the report—recreation,
                  conservation, and commodities. The Forest Service pointed out a number
                  of specific accomplishments and unmet needs that we should add to the
                  report. We added these comments as appropriate.

                  The Forest Service’s letter also said it was unclear how the special funds
                  for recreation construction were handled throughout the report in terms
                  of any accomplishments stemming from these funds. The Forest Service
                  said that since we did not include these construction funds when
                  calculating changes in the Recreation Area’s budget because they
                  represented special funding, we should also not have included
                  accomplishments made possible by those funds. We do not believe that
                  our analysis should exclude discussing these accomplishments. As the
                  report points out, the Recreation Area’s overall budget decreased by
                  54 percent and its budget for enhancing recreation decreased by
                  57 percent from 1993 through 1997. In computing these decreases, we
                  included funds for recreation construction. The report also points out that
                  the rather large decreases of 54 and 57 percent are somewhat misleading
                  because they contain large amounts for special funds, such as
                  construction funds, in certain years. Therefore, to get a truer reading on
                  the decreases in the Recreation Area’s budget for the 1993-97 period, we
                  provide an analysis that excluded these types of funds. The
                  accomplishments that we included in the report were those Forest Service
                  officials identified, including some which were paid for with special funds.

                  The Forest Service also said we should not include the $260,000 for
                  recreation road construction that the Recreation Area received in 1997 as
                  part of its budget, but instead should treat road construction funds
                  similarly to the other construction funds that were excluded. We agree. As



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              a result of removing this amount from our analysis, the corrected overall
              budget decrease for the Recreation Area was about 26 percent over the
              1993-97 period. (Had we included the funds, the decrease would have been
              16 percent.) In addition, the Forest Service raised questions about whether
              funds provided through cooperative projects with outside sources, such as
              state and private organizations, should be included in the total. In
              designing this study, we worked with Forest Service officials at the region,
              forest, and Recreation Area to determine the budget fund codes to include.
              It was agreed at that time that funds for cooperative projects should be
              included in the Recreation Area’s total budget allocation for each year. We
              further discussed this subject with officials at the Sawtooth National
              Forest, and they recommended that we not make any revisions in the
              numbers included in the report. The Forest Service’s letter is in appendix
              VII.


              We conducted our work at the Forest Service headquarters in Washington,
Scope and     D.C.; the Forest Service Intermountain Regional Office in Ogden, Utah; the
Methodology   Sawtooth National Forest Office in Twin Falls, Idaho; and the Sawtooth
              National Recreation Area and the surrounding communities of Stanley and
              Blaine County. To determine how much was allocated to the SNRA during
              fiscal years 1993 through 1997, we reviewed the initial and final planning
              and budget advice documents for the Forest Service, the regional office,
              the Sawtooth National Forest, and the SNRA. We also reviewed an agency
              document prepared for our use by the Intermountain Region and the
              Sawtooth National Forest offices that included all the appropriate budget
              fund codes. This document was prepared to ensure that we had data that
              the participating Forest Service units agreed on and considered to be
              accurate and consistent. We interviewed Forest Service budget officials at
              the SNRA, the forest office, the region, and at headquarters; the SNRA Area
              Ranger; and the Sawtooth National Forest Supervisor. To determine the
              trend in funding from 1993 through 1997 and to put the trend in its
              historical perspective, we also reviewed the SNRA’s budgets for 1991 and
              1992 and converted all numbers to constant 1997 dollars. To help explain
              the large allocation decreases, we identified and removed allocations for
              1993 that made that year’s budget unusually high and removed funds for
              construction and land acquisition because funds for these activities vary
              substantially from year to year depending on whether construction
              projects or land acquisitions are approved.

              To determine whether regional or forest funds had not been allocated to
              the SNRA or whether funds had been allocated and then taken back during



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fiscal years 1993 through 1997 and what was done with those funds, we
obtained and compared final budget allocations with expenditures. We
also reviewed the allocation change documents for the SNRA and
interviewed Forest Service budget officials at the SNRA, the forest office,
and the region.

We did not independently verify the reliability of the financial data
provided nor did we trace the data to the systems from which they came.
These systems were, in some cases, subject to audit procedures by the
Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General in connection
with the agency’s financial statement audits. For fiscal years 1995, 1996,
1997, and previous years, the Office of the Inspector General reported that
because of significant internal control weaknesses in various accounting
subsystems, the Forest Service’s accounting data were not reliable.
Despite these weaknesses, we used the data because they were the only
data available and are the data that the agency uses to manage its
programs.

Because of the portion of the SNRA’s budget that enhancing recreation,
preserving conservation values, and managing commodity programs
account for, we agreed with your office to focus our review of the SNRA’s
expenditures on these areas. We further agreed that conservation values
would include such areas as fish and wildlife, threatened and endangered
species, and wilderness management. Similarly, commodity programs
would include timber harvesting, grazing, and mining. To determine how
much the Recreation Area spent to enhance recreation, to preserve
conservation values, and to manage commodity programs, we obtained
and reviewed documents showing expenditures for the SNRA. To obtain
trends over the 5-year period, we converted all expenditures to constant
1997 dollars, removed special funding allocations from the 1993 budget,
and estimated the reduction in expenditures that resulted from the
reduced allocations. To identify accomplishments and unmet needs, we
relied on information provided to us by the Area Ranger and other officials
responsible for the program areas. We also inspected some of the most
significant accomplishments.

To identify examples of potentially adverse effects of the SNRA’s actions on
individuals, companies, and communities economically dependent on the
area, we reviewed and analyzed the testimony presented at the
February 16, 1998, hearing on the SNRA before the Subcommittee on
Forests and Public Land Management of the Senate Committee on Energy
and Natural Resources. The purpose of the hearing was to examine the



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management of the SNRA. On the basis of the data presented in the
testimony and our interviews with community groups, local elected
officials, and Forest Service officials, we identified the most significantly
affected areas in the SNRA. We then interviewed individuals, company
representatives, and community officials to obtain their views and related
documents on the SNRA’s actions and their impacts. Specifically, we met
with the following local officials: the mayor of the city of Stanley, the chair
of the Stanley Chamber of Commerce, the chairman of the Blaine County
Board of Commissioners, and a commissioner from Blaine County. We
also met with the following business owners and individuals: float-boat
operators, a horse-pack outfitter, ranchers, the director of the Sawtooth
Society, and private landowners. Lastly, we discussed the actions and their
impacts with SNRA officials and analyzed various data the SNRA provided.
We performed our work from June 1998 through December 1998 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.


As arranged with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents
earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report for 10 days after the
date of this letter. We will then send copies to the Secretary of Agriculture;
the Chief, Forest Service; the Director, Office of Management and Budget;
and other interested parties. We will also make copies available to others
on request.

If you have any questions about this report, please contact me at
(202) 512-3841. Major contributors to this report are listed in appendix
VIII.

Sincerely yours,




Barry T. Hill
Associate Director, Energy,
  Resources, and Science Issues




Page 24                   GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
Page 25   GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
Contents



Letter                                                                                   1


Appendix I                                                                              30
Location of the
Sawtooth National
Recreation Area
Appendix II                                                                             32
Partial Forest Service
Organization Chart
Appendix III                                                                            34
Budget Allocations for
the Sawtooth National
Recreation Area and
Other Forest Service
Units
Appendix IV                                                                             36
Funds the SNRA
Spent for Recreation,
Conservation, and
Commodity Programs
From 1993 Through
1997




                         Page 26   GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
                        Contents




Appendix V                                                                                           38
                        Enhancing Recreation                                                         38
The SNRA’s              Preserving Conservation Values                                               39
Accomplishments and     Managing Commodity Programs                                                  41
Unmet Needs for
Recreation,
Conservation, and
Commodity Programs
Appendix VI                                                                                          43
Funds Retained at the
Region and the
Sawtooth National
Forest to Fund
Region- and
Forestwide Projects
Appendix VII                                                                                         44
Comments From the
Department of
Agriculture’s Forest
Service
Appendix VIII                                                                                        48
Contributors to This
Report
Tables                  Table 1: Totals for Number of Rafters and Revenue for 1993                   18
                          Through 1997 in Current Dollars
                        Table III.1: The SNRA’s Budget Allocations, Fiscal Years 1991-97             34
                        Table III.2: Final Budget Allocations for Other Forest Service               35
                          Units, Fiscal Years 1993-97
                        Table IV.1: The SNRA’s Total Spending for Selected Budget Line               37
                          Items




                        Page 27                 GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
          Contents




          Table VI.1: Regionwide Projects, Fiscal Years 1993-97                        43
          Table VI.2: Forestwide Projects, Fiscal Years 1993-97                        43


Figures   Figure 1: Trend in the SNRA’s Budgets, 1991-97                                8
          Figure 2: Spending for Recreation, Conservation, and Commodity               10
            Programs, 1993-97
          Figure II.1: Partial Forest Service Organization Chart                       33




          Abbreviations

          SNRA       Sawtooth National Recreation Area


          Page 28                 GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
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Appendix I

Location of the Sawtooth National
Recreation Area




                                                                                  Salmon
                                                                                  River

                                                                                                 Sawtooth National
                                                                                 Boise           Recreation Area

                                                                                                 Ketchum




                                                                                           Idaho

                                                                                         Salmon River

                                    Stanley




                                              Sawtooth
                                               National
             Sawtooth                         Recreation
             Wilderness                         Area


                                               Sawtooth City




                                                                                                (Figure notes on next page)


                          Page 30                          GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
Appendix I
Location of the Sawtooth National
Recreation Area




Note: The Sawtooth Wilderness is part of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

Source: Final Environmental Impact Statement, Salmon River Corridor, SNRA.




Page 31                         GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
Appendix II

Partial Forest Service Organization Chart


               This organization chart highlights the position of the Sawtooth National
               Forest and the Sawtooth National Recreation Area within the Forest
               Service.




               Page 32                 GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
                                      Appendix II
                                      Partial Forest Service Organization Chart




Figure II.1: Partial Forest Service
Organization Chart
                                                                                  Secretary of
                                                                                  Agriculture




                                                                                  Chief of the
                                                                                 Forest Service




                                                                                 Associate Chief
                                                                                Natural Resources




                                                                                    National                   State and
                                            Research
                                                                                     Forest                     Private
                                         & Development
                                                                                    System                     Forestry




                                                                                    Regional
                                                                                   Foresters
                                                                                   9 Regions




                                                                                    Sawtooth
                                                                                    National
                                                                                     Forest




                                                     Sawtooth
                                                      National                                         4 Ranger
                                                     Recreation                                        Districts
                                                       Area




                                      Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture.




                                      Page 33                         GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
Appendix III

Budget Allocations for the Sawtooth
National Recreation Area and Other Forest
Service Units
                                    This appendix presents information on budgets for the Sawtooth National
                                    Recreation Area (SNRA) and for other Forest Service units. Table III.1
                                    provides the SNRA’s budget allocations for fiscal years 1991 through 1997,
                                    with and without special funds. Special funds include funds from the
                                    multiyear recreation initiative and funds for construction and land
                                    acquisition. Table III.2 provides the final budget allocations for the
                                    Sawtooth National Forest, the Forest Service Region 4 (the Intermountain
                                    Region), and the Forest Service nationwide for fiscal years 1993 through
                                    1997.

Table III.1: The SNRA’s Budget
Allocations, Fiscal Years 1991-97   1997 constant dollars
                                                                                    Year-to-year SNRA budget               Year-to-year
                                                              SNRA budget            percentage without special             percentage
                                    Fiscal year                  (millions)             change funds (millions)                 change
                                    1991                              $2.9791                   •           $1.7174                        •
                                            a
                                    1992                               7.1663              140.6              2.9287                 70.5
                                    1993                               4.8792              –31.9              2.6848                 –8.3
                                    1994                               3.1423              –35.6              2.8474                      6.1
                                    1995b                              2.6821              –14.6              2.6821                 –5.8
                                    1996                               3.1281               16.6              2.1439                –20.1
                                    1997                              $2.2531              –28.0            $1.9931                  –7.0
                                    Percentage
                                    change (1993-97)                    –53.8                   •              –25.8                       •
                                    a
                                     In fiscal year 1992, the SNRA received $2.73 million in land acquisition funds for the purchase of
                                    the Busterback Ranch.
                                    b
                                        Fiscal year 1995 did not have any special funds.

                                    Source: Forest Service data.




                                    Page 34                             GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
                                            Appendix III
                                            Budget Allocations for the Sawtooth
                                            National Recreation Area and Other Forest
                                            Service Units




Table III.2: Final Budget Allocations for
Other Forest Service Units, Fiscal          1997 constant dollars in millions
Years 1993-97                                                       Sawtooth National                               Forest Service
                                            Fiscal year                       Forest               Region 4            Nationwide
                                            1993                                $13.690            $210.028                 $3,192
                                            1994                                 12.228              202.318                 3,004
                                            1995                                 11.745              224.768                 3,150
                                            1996                                 11.013              201.830                 2,701
                                            1997                                 11.251              206.673                 2,802
                                            Percentage
                                            change (1993-97)                      –17.8                 –1.6                 –12.2

                                            Source: Forest Service data.




                                            Page 35                        GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
Appendix IV

Funds the SNRA Spent for Recreation,
Conservation, and Commodity Programs
From 1993 Through 1997
              Table IV.1 shows the funds the SNRA spent to enhance recreation, preserve
              conservation values, and manage commodity programs for fiscal years
              1993 through 1997. The figures shown in the table include those from
              funds allocated for special projects, such as the funds for the multiyear
              recreation initiative and for the construction of recreation facilities. A
              large portion of the decrease in the SNRA’s spending from 1993 through
              1997 may be explained by the loss of special funding or the creation of
              additional budget line items that shifted funds from line item to line item.
              For example, spending for enhancing recreation decreased about
              57 percent from 1993 through 1997. A significant portion of the decrease
              occurred because the recreation initiative, which provided additional
              funding in 1992 and 1993, ended in 1993, and because the SNRA had
              recreation facilities construction funds in 1993 but did not have such
              construction funds to spend in 1997. If these items are excluded from the
              analysis, the decrease in spending for enhancing recreation is about
              19 percent rather than 57 percent.




              Page 36                  GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
                                          Appendix IV
                                          Funds the SNRA Spent for Recreation,
                                          Conservation, and Commodity Programs
                                          From 1993 Through 1997




Table IV.1: The SNRA’s Total Spending for Selected Budget Line Items
1997 constant dollars in thousands
                                                                                                                              Estimated
                                                                                                                             percentage
                                                                                                             Percentage          change
                                                                                                                 change without special
SNRA budget line item           1993           1994            1995             1996             1997          (1993-97) funds (1993-97)
Enhance recreation
Recreation managementa       $1,283.8     $1,129.1           $663.9           $781.3           $783.1                –39.0
Recreation facilities
construction                    426.4           29.0             0.9           456.1               0.0             –100.0
Trail construction              119.9           68.4            87.4             75.7              0.0             –100.0
Total for recreation         $1,830.0     $1,226.5           $752.2         $1,313.2           $783.1                –57.2               –19.3
Preserve conservation values
Wildlife and fisheries
habitat management             $370.0         $488.4         $291.6           $267.0           $218.9                –40.8
                         a
Wilderness management           216.2          180.9          227.8            151.4            163.3                –24.5
Ecosystem managementb             0.0            0.0          438.9            164.0              79.0                    •
Total for conservation         $586.2         $669.3         $958.2           $582.4           $461.2                –21.3                –8.7
Manage commodity programs
Rangeland management           $135.4         $181.7          $54.2            $25.7            $68.1                –49.7
Forestland management            91.2           26.8            13.2             34.5             36.0               –60.5
Minerals and geology
management                       26.6           24.9            37.7             39.7             37.5                41.0
Total for commodity
programs                       $253.2         $233.4         $105.1            $99.9           $141.6                –44.1                  4.4
                                          a
                                           For fiscal year 1993 and 1994, we have added $79,300 and $93,400 to recreation management
                                          and $34,100 and $39,800 to the wilderness program, respectively. These funds are from the trail
                                          maintenance budget line item that was eliminated in fiscal 1995; the funds were distributed
                                          between the recreation management and wilderness management programs. We distributed the
                                          funds based on a Forest Service headquarters formula under which 70 percent went to recreation
                                          management and the remaining 30 percent went to wilderness management.
                                          b
                                            In fiscal year 1995, the Forest Service created the ecosystem planning, inventory, and monitoring
                                          budget line item and funded it by shifting funds from other budget and extended budget line
                                          items such as recreation management. This budget line item is currently called land management
                                          planning, inventory, and monitoring, and it funds the ecosystem management program.

                                          Source: Forest Service data.




                                          Page 37                          GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
Appendix V

The SNRA’s Accomplishments and Unmet
Needs for Recreation, Conservation, and
Commodity Programs
                           Officials at the SNRA identified a number of accomplishments and unmet
                           needs in their programs for enhancing recreation, preserving conservation
                           values, and managing commodity programs. The following are examples of
                           specific accomplishments and unmet needs for each area.



Enhancing Recreation

Accomplishments        •   In 1994, the SNRA transferred the management of its recreational facilities
                           to a concessionaire. SNRA officials said this transfer allows them to provide
                           the same recreational services to the public at one-third the cost to the
                           SNRA and with one-third the SNRA staff.
                       •   The SNRA completed the renovation of a major campground at Redfish
                           Lake (a scenic and popular camping area) in 1996 through a funding
                           partnership in which the state of Idaho paid $285,000 of the project’s
                           $777,000 cost. The major renovations included larger paved campsites to
                           accommodate the larger recreational vehicles now in use, upgraded
                           restrooms, and numerous erosion and vegetation improvements. This
                           campground experiences nearly 100-percent occupancy during much of
                           the high-use season.
                       •   In 1997, the SNRA awarded a contract to construct a trail that will run
                           through an 18-mile stretch in the SNRA. When completed, this trail will be
                           used for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and cross-country
                           skiing. Large portions of the cost of this project are being covered by the
                           state and by private contributions.


Unmet Needs            •   The SNRA has not been able to construct an additional 663 campsites that
                           have been in its area plan since 1975. According to Forest Service officials,
                           the SNRA is unable to meet the public’s demand for camping
                           accommodations or to rotate campsites to allow for them to recover from
                           heavy use.
                       •   The SNRA has been unable to maintain about one-third of its 750 miles of
                           trails. The trails require regular maintenance to remove fallen trees, cut
                           back undergrowth, and repair erosion and use damage. Unmaintained and
                           closed trails reduce the recreational experience of visitors to the SNRA and
                           increase costs to horse-pack outfitters who must use some of their own
                           resources to make trails safe and usable for their trips.
                       •   The SNRA has 130 recreational residences (summer homes), 8 organization
                           camps, and 4 resorts authorized under special uses. Prior to 1997, nearly




                           Page 38                  GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
                          Appendix V
                          The SNRA’s Accomplishments and Unmet
                          Needs for Recreation, Conservation, and
                          Commodity Programs




                          all of these facilities were inspected annually to ensure compliance with
                          the special use permits. In 1997, when funds for fire protection were
                          moved from the SNRA to the Ketchum Ranger District, the SNRA also lost the
                          position for the person who had done the inspections. As a result, only
                          about one-third of the residences are now inspected annually. In addition,
                          the SNRA is unable to process requests for permit modifications because it
                          does not have the staff to perform the required analysis of the impacts
                          these modifications might have. Therefore, deviations from the permits
                          can occur and go undetected, and some of these deviations could have
                          significant adverse impacts on area resource values such as endangered
                          species habitat.
                      •   The SNRA has not been able to keep its visitor information desks open to
                          provide adequate service for its more than 1 million visitors each year. The
                          days and hours of operation have been reduced, and in 1996, the Redfish
                          Lake Visitor Center was closed, causing a loss of service to the 18,000
                          people who visited the center during its average 2-1/2 month season.
                      •   The SNRA decreased customer service crews by approximately one-third
                          between 1993 and 1997. These staff are the SNRA’s primary contact in the
                          field with the visiting public, and they are responsible for visitor
                          assistance, education and interpretation, compliance, and search and
                          rescue assistance.
                      •   The SNRA has cut back interpretive programs at all locations because of a
                          lack of staff and program supplies and equipment.
                      •   Inadequate funding has prevented the SNRA from doing any meaningful
                          travel management or dispersed recreation management to deal with the
                          increasing conflicts between many of the dispersed recreation uses, such
                          as skiers and snowmobilers, and motorized and nonmotorized trail users.
                      •   Construction funds have been unavailable since 1993 to improve aging
                          interpretive exhibits at the Headquarters and Redfish Lake visitor centers.
                      •   The Redfish Lake Visitor Center needs extensive repair work to keep it
                          functionally sound and requires considerable remodeling to make it
                          accessible.



Preserving
Conservation Values

Accomplishments       •   In 1996, the SNRA completed the final environmental impact statement for
                          the Salmon River Corridor—a 30-mile length of the Salmon River from its
                          source around the community of Smiley Creek to the eastern border of the




                          Page 39                      GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
                  Appendix V
                  The SNRA’s Accomplishments and Unmet
                  Needs for Recreation, Conservation, and
                  Commodity Programs




                  SNRA. The statement identified direct measures to protect salmon,
                  primarily by improving habitat, maintaining or improving water quality,
                  restricting float-boating activities to prevent the disturbance of spawning,
                  and curtailing other water-related recreation activities during the critical
                  spawning season for both sockeye and chinook salmon.
              •   The SNRA reestablished the migration route for salmon trying to return to
                  Alturas Lake to spawn by increasing the water flow along Alturas Lake
                  Creek and removing an irrigation diversion that was blocking the
                  migration. The work was done through a partnership project in which the
                  SNRA paid for the removal of the irrigation diversion from Alturas Lake
                  Creek with $13,000 provided by the Bonneville Power Administration in
                  1997. The Idaho Fish and Game Department provided about $50,000 in
                  1998 to develop a well source to provide replacement water for the
                  landowner who had been using water from the creek for irrigation. The
                  landowner installed a replacement irrigation system at an estimated cost
                  of $50,000. The Forest Service’s funding for the project was limited to its
                  staff’s salaries for participation and oversight of the negotiations.
              •   The SNRA developed and issued a wilderness management plan in which it
                  updated the standards and guidelines in the Forest Plan and clearly
                  defined the management objectives for the Sawtooth Wilderness to
                  address the impacts from increasing numbers of visitors and more
                  intensive use. The SNRA also issued a prescribed natural fire plan for the
                  wilderness in 1997. The plan provides criteria under which fires started by
                  natural causes, such as lighting, can be allowed to burn, the objectives to
                  be achieved with such burns, and the requirements for monitoring and
                  controlling such fires.
              •   The SNRA completed Endangered Species Act consultations for all ongoing
                  activities after chinook and sockeye salmon and steelhead and bull trout
                  were listed under the act.


Unmet Needs   •   From 1995 to 1997, the SNRA was unable to conduct broad-level surveys of
                  habitat condition or species distribution. Consequently, without updated
                  field surveys, the SNRA is not able to effectively assess the effects of forest
                  management activities on species or habitat to effectively manage, protect,
                  or recover listed species.
              •   The routine maintenance of trails in the Sawtooth Wilderness has not been
                  performed as needed. In 1993, 195 miles (82 percent) of trails in the
                  Sawtooth Wilderness were maintained, while in 1997, only 122 miles
                  (51 percent) of the trails were maintained. The reduction of maintenance
                  directly correlates to the decrease in trail crew size from 15 people in 1993
                  to 5 people in 1997. The reduction in trail maintenance has led to (1) trail



                  Page 40                      GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
                         Appendix V
                         The SNRA’s Accomplishments and Unmet
                         Needs for Recreation, Conservation, and
                         Commodity Programs




                         damage and increased impacts due to soil erosion, (2) decreased visitor
                         satisfaction, and (3) increased hazards because visitors are forced to find
                         other routes around fallen trees.
                     •   The SNRA has been prevented by inadequate funding from completing
                         conservation agreements that allow for proactive management for species
                         prior to the species’ being listed under the Endangered Species Act.



Managing Commodity
Programs

Accomplishments      •   The SNRA reported that almost all of the formerly degraded riparian habitat
                         on allotments has been allowed to recover to levels that benefit various
                         fish populations. The recovery occurred because of rigorous compliance
                         with standards, changes in grazing management, and new fencing to
                         prevent cows and sheep from grazing in riparian areas.
                     •   The SNRA contracted in 1995-96 with the Idaho Geological Survey to
                         complete abandoned mine surveys for chemical and physical hazards at 44
                         sites and, between 1995 and 1997, reclaimed three abandoned mine sites
                         and one mining road.


Unmet Needs          •   Because of funding shortages, the SNRA did not have staff to consult with
                         the National Marine Fisheries Service on the appropriateness of using
                         newly acquired land for grazing. Completing the consultation process
                         might have resulted in additional lands being opened to grazing, according
                         to an SNRA official. The new lands would have compensated for reductions
                         in grazing elsewhere.
                     •   The SNRA has been unable to meet the schedule mandated in the 1995
                         Recissions Bill for the Forest Service to meet requirements set out in the
                         National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. All forests are required to have
                         updated allotment management plans that set out how grazing allotments
                         will be brought up to and maintained at conditions that meet the direction,
                         standards, and guidelines in the forests’ land and resources management
                         plans.
                     •   The SNRA has been unable to contain infestations of noxious weeds.
                         Consequently, the weeds are spreading more rapidly, with a resulting loss
                         in land productivity for grazing.
                     •   Because the limited funding for range programs must be spent primarily
                         on monitoring compliance with the terms and conditions of Biological




                         Page 41                      GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
Appendix V
The SNRA’s Accomplishments and Unmet
Needs for Recreation, Conservation, and
Commodity Programs




Opinions under the Endangered Species Act, the needs for completing or
revising allotment management plans and for interacting with permittees
cannot be fully met.




Page 42                      GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
Appendix VI

Funds Retained at the Region and the
Sawtooth National Forest to Fund Region-
and Forestwide Projects
                                           The Forest Service’s Region 4 and the Sawtooth National Forest withheld
                                           funds from the SNRA for region- and forestwide projects. Table VI.1 lists
                                           some of the regionwide projects and the total dollar amounts for fiscal
                                           years 1993 through 1997. Similarly, table VI.2 lists the forestwide projects
                                           and dollar amounts for the same period.


Table VI.1: Regionwide Projects, Fiscal Years 1993-97
1997 constant dollars in thousands
Regionwide projects             FY 1993              FY 1994              FY 1995              FY 1996              FY 1997         Totala
Computer Enhancement/
Geographic Information
System                            $3,846               $3,478                 $919               $2,551               $4,000     $14,794
Interior Columbia Basin
Ecosystem Management
Project                                0                     0               2,245                  561                  780        3,586
2002 Winter Olympics                   0                     0                    0                    0                 655           655
Water Rights
Adjudicationb                        474                     0               1,613                1,387                1,040        4,514
Timber Inventoryc                    654                  516                  469                  583                  703        2,925
Regional Forester
Emergency                            275                  257                     0                 255                  250        1,037
All Other Regionwide
Projects                           3,157                1,762                1,297                2,005                1,756        9,977
     a
Total                             $8,405               $6,014               $6,543               $7,342               $9,184     $37,488
                                           a
                                            Numbers may not add up because of rounding.
                                           b
                                               The figure for fiscal year 1993 is for the Snake River Adjudication project.
                                           c
                                            The figure for fiscal year 1995 is for a vegetation inventory. The figures for fiscal years 1996 and
                                           1997 are for an integrated ecosystem inventory.

                                           Source: Forest Service data.




Table VI.2: Forestwide Projects, Fiscal Years 1993-97
1997 constant dollars in thousands
Forestwide projects             FY 1993              FY 1994              FY 1995              FY 1996              FY 1997                   Total
Radio Replacement                   $0.0                  $0.0                 $0.0                 $0.0              $120.0                 $120.0
Geographic Information
System                             108.8                  30.1                  8.3                 37.8                  0.0                 185.0
Total                             $108.8                $30.1                  $8.3               $37.8               $120.0                 $305.0
                                           Source: Forest Service data.




                                           Page 43                              GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
Appendix VII

Comments From the Department of
Agriculture’s Forest Service




               Page 44   GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
                Appendix VII
                Comments From the Department of
                Agriculture’s Forest Service




Now on p. 2.




Now on p. 12.




Now on p. 12.

Now on p. 13.



Now on p. 16.


Now on p. 19.




Now on p. 20.




                Page 45                   GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
                Appendix VII
                Comments From the Department of
                Agriculture’s Forest Service




Now on p. 34.




Now on p. 39.



Now on p. 40.




Now on p. 41.




                Page 46                   GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
Appendix VII
Comments From the Department of
Agriculture’s Forest Service




Page 47                   GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
Appendix VIII

Contributors to This Report


                Robert E. Cronin
                José Alfredo Gómez
                Chester F. Janik
                Victor S. Rezendes




(141207)        Page 48              GAO/RCED-99-47 Sawtooth National Recreation Area Funding
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