Improvements Needed in Review of Public Land Withdrawals

Land Set Aside for Special Purposes Gao ID: CED-76-159 November 16, 1976

The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management procedures for reviewing and revoking public land withdrawals are described, and, in particular, public lands withdrawn in the State of California are reviewed. The Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator of General Services have responsibility for reviewing the status of certain withdrawn lands. The Secretary of the Interior delegated his authority to the Bureau of Land Management.

In California the Bureau had not established a comprehensive program to review land withdrawals primarily under its jurisdiction. In many cases a review was not made, or, if made, it was limited to identifying withdrawals, rather than determining whether any were obsolete and should be revoked. The Bureau and the General Services Administration had overlapping responsibilities for reviewing withdrawals--primarily concerning those for military purposes. The Bureau had not processed revocation applications submitted to it by other agencies in a timely manner so that the land withdrawn could be returned to the public land inventory.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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