A review of the United States Forest Service’s (USFS) research and development (R&D) programs by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified a major area for improvement in the agency’s activities: the delivery of scientific information to end users. The GAO found that USFS’s communication system is segmented and sometimes inconsistent. Additionally, some sources told GAO that the Forest Service places more emphasis on disseminating research results in peer-reviewed journals than through other media, such as workshops, which can be more useful to end users of data. The GAO found that “[w]ithout improved delivery of research results, land managers and others may be unable to fully benefit from the agency’s work.”

The report also investigated the accomplishments and shortcomings of the USFS’s R&D programs. GAO identified a number of successful programs, including the Forest Inventory and Analysis program and the invasive species and climate change research programs. Areas of possible improvement include collection and dissemination of higher resolution data, increased investments in controlling and eradicating invasive species, and greater emphasis on the social sciences.

To download the report, visit http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d1112.pdf.


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