[env-trinity] USFS to Interior?

Patrick Truman truman at jeffnet.org
Thu Mar 12 10:11:17 PDT 2009


House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Potential Agency Transfer 

The House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee held a hearing today to review the potential effects of transferring the Forest Service from the Department of Agriculture to the Department of the Interior. 

The hearing addressed several reasons for a possible transfer, including the fact that the Forest Service and several Interior agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), have budgets for wildfire. Interest was expressed by the Subcommittee regarding the agencies' missions, cultures, responsibilities, shared policies, as well as potential management practices if such a transfer were implemented. One key piece of information presented at the hearing was a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, which is based on a year-long study of the issue and was developed at the request of the Subcommittee chair and ranking member.

The Subcommittee did not recommend immediate action. Follow-up to the hearing will likely be considered by both of the departments involved and the Subcommittee over the next few weeks and months. Many conservation districts work with both agencies on a host of projects and programs. Transfer of the Forest Service to Interior would likely affect work at the local level during a prospective transition period.

The full GAO report is available on the GAO's website at http://www.gao.gov/products/gao-09-223, and GAO witness testimony focusing on the potential effects and factors to consider is available at http://www.gao.gov/products/gao-09-412T. Other witness' testimony will also be available from the House Appropriations Subcommittee once the hearing record is completed. 
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