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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Progress Report: Forestry Program Could Achieve Savings by Implementing OPPAGA Recommendations, Report No. 03-43, August 2003
 
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The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has not implemented the recommendations made in our August 2001 review of the Forest and Resource Protection Program. We again recommend that
  • The program could generate an estimated $750,000 annually in additional recreation activity fees by implementing a system currently used by the U.S. Forest Service, which provide local forest managers greater autonomy over recreation fee levels and allows the managers to retain a portion of the fees to meet local needs.  A U.S. General Accounting Office study found that the system increases revenues without affecting public use of the lands.
  • The program could save Florida’s taxpayers over $1 million annually by directing private forestland owners to use the federally funded Forest Stewardship Program to create land management plans rather than continuing to provide these services with state general revenue funds.

The Legislature could help improve privately owned forestland management practices and reduce program costs by modifying the county fire protection assessment, which has remained unchanged since 1935. Implementation of our recommendation to selectively raise the fire protection assessment from $.03 to $.10 would initially increase fee collections by $1.2 million annually. As more forest landowners receive certification, the amount collected will decrease.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Forest and Resource Protection
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS)

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 01-36 Justification Review: Forest Protection Program Meets Most Standards; Could Achieve Further Savings, published in August 2001.
  • Report No. 94-11 Performance Audit of the Division of Forestry, published in October 1994.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
e-mail address: oppaga@oppaga.fl.gov


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