The Government Accountability Office: an independent nonpartisan federal agency that acts as the investigative arm of Congress making the executive branch accountable to Congress and the government accountable to citizens of the United States
GAO was requested to examine the land acquisition and management practices of the National Park Service (NPS) at Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. Through the law which established this area, it was congressional intent that land acquisition costs be minimal, that a private community in the recreation area continue to exist, that commercial development not be eliminated, and that additional compatible development be permitted to accommodate increased visitor use.
NPS has not acted in accordance with congressional intent. NPS has spent millions of dollars to acquire over half of the privately owned land in the recreation area. Moreover, it plans to acquire most of the area's remaining privately owned land. These additional land acquisitions are planned without a clear definition of the uses that are incompatible with the enabling legislation. The acquisitions are based on the premise that NPS must acquire the major areas subject to subdivision to prevent a prospective boom in recreational homesites. NPS has also prohibited new private commercial development to increase lodging accommodations and to provide needed restaurant and grocery services for both residents and visitors.
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