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PolicyPolicy
IV. Agency Budget Summaries

U.S. FOREST SERVICE


  1. RESOURCE SUMMARY

  2. METHODOLOGY

    • The U.S. Forest Service budget structure includes a Law Enforcement and Operations (LE) budget line item within the National Forest System appropriation. Within the LE budget line item, funds allocated for drug enforcement activities are based on an analysis of workload that takes into account all law enforcement responsibilities related to the mission of the Forest Service. In addition, by law the Forest Service can spend only up to $10 million per year for activities relating to the use and production of narcotics and controlled substances on lands that it administers.

  3. PROGRAM SUMMARY

    • The Forest Service manages 156 national forests, 20 national grasslands, and 9 land utilization projects on 191.6 million acres in 43 states, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Most of this land is generally located in extremely rural areas of the United States. The law enforcement program is directed at protecting the public, employees, and the natural resources. Of the major concerns in the drug enforcement program is the production of cannabis and the risk to national forest visitors, contractors, and employees when they encounter those who are using these public lands for drug production. Reducing the use of the national forests for cannabis production is essential to maintain a safe environment for all users of the National Forest System.

    • The Forest Service conducts a limited outreach program in rural areas within and adjacent to National Forest Systems lands under the "Drug Abuse Resistance Education" (D.A.R.E.) Program. The areas of participation are generally in economically depressed communities. In the areas where we have initiated this program, we have received positive feedback from the community.

    • Investigations: Cases involving large amounts of cannabis, multiple suspects, weapons and booby trap violations, as well as cases involving clandestine labs, are targeted for investigation. These investigations are usually multi-agency in nature. Drug related assets are identified for seizure and forfeiture action as appropriate. Cannabis cultivation cases not meeting the above criteria are usually targeted for plant and site eradication, and arrests which occur in these cases are usually prosecuted in state courts.

    • Cooperative Activities: Under this activity, funds are used to cover the cost of cooperative agreements with local LE agencies. Funds are used to reimburse State and local law enforcement agencies for their expenses as the result of their assistance in drug control operations on National Forest System lands. This assistance includes additional participation in special joint-agency task forces. Reimbursement is made on the basis of Cooperative Agreements between the Forest Service and state and local agencies. Coordination and support from these other agencies improves our drug enforcement effectiveness.

    • Detection & Monitoring: Research is ongoing in the evaluation of new technology for detecting, locating, and monitoring cannabis activities on National Forest System lands. This involves the evaluation and development of additional ground surveillance systems to improve apprehension of individuals involved in illegal drug activities on National Forest system lands, while limiting the exposure and detection of officers performing the surveillance.

  4. BUDGET SUMMARY

    1998 Program

    Goal 1: Educate and enable America's youth to reject illegal drugs as well as the use of alcohol and tobacco.

    • The FY 1998 program includes $0.125 million which supports Goal 1 of the National Drug Control Strategy. All funds are used for the D.A.R.E. program in rural areas adjacent to National Forest System lands.

    Goal 5: Break foreign and domestic drug sources of supply.

    • The FY 1998 program includes $5.875 million which supports Goal 5 of the National Drug Control Strategy. This includes Law Enforcement Agency Support and Detection and Monitoring.

    • Major emphasis areas include:

    • Determine the extent of cannabis cultivation in the National Forest System and assign law enforcement resources accordingly.

    • Encourage state and local agencies to assist in drug enforcement actions within the National Forest System.

    • Provide specialized training to Forest Service agents and law enforcement officers as appropriate. Have at least 70 percent of Forest Service law enforcement resources trained in drug enforcement operations.

    • Increase cannabis detection through effective interpretation of ground data and airborne optical-analysis systems. Establish a task group of technical and enforcement personnel to identify and evaluate various systems which may increase the Forest Service's ability to detect cannabis cultivation sites. Coordinate Forest Service task force operations and findings with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

    • Attempt to eradicate not less than 60 percent of the cannabis grown in the National Forest System.

    • Coordinate the Forest Service drug enforcement actions with the Drug Enforcement Administration, other Federal agencies, and state and local law enforcement agencies as appropriate.

    • Continue to place emphasis on drug-trafficking activities along the Southwest Border.

    1999 Request

    • The total FY 1999 drug control budget request is $6.8 million.

    Goal 1: Educate and enable America's youth to reject illegal drugs as well as the use of alcohol and tobacco.

    • The FY 1999 program is $0.125 million, the same as the FY 1998 enacted level.

    Goal 5: Break foreign and domestic drug sources of supply.

    • The FY 1999 program is $6.675 million, $0.8 million above the FY 1998 enacted program level. Highlights include:

    • Continue to focus on investigations involving large quantities of cannabis, multiple suspects, weapons and booby trap violations, clandestine drug labs, and drug trafficking.

    • Continue special Federal, State and local task force groups to work National Forests having serious drug impacts particularly in areas along the Southwest Border, Kentucky, and other southern states, where a dramatic increase in drug production and trafficking activities is occurring.

    • Focus on drug trafficking threat from Canada. Western and Northern States with national forests along the Canadian border are members of Project Northstar.

    • Continue use of vital National Guard Bureau and other military support resources.

    • Continue intelligence collection and analysis of drug activities occurring on all National Forest System lands. Coordination of information sharing with other data bases as appropriate.

  5. PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS

    • An estimated 6,152 cannabis sites and 318,550 cannabis plants were eradicated in FY 1996. Also the Forest Service Law Enforcement personnel, in conjunction with other Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies, seized 7,638 pounds of processed marijuana and 575 pounds of dried and unprocessed marijuana in FY 1996.

    • Of the $2,189,557 assets seized during operations under Federal and State asset seizure and forfeiture laws, $178,707 were reported by the U.S. Forest Service in FY 1996.

    • There were 3,482 arrests made in FY 1996.

    • Surveillance and detection activities have helped find chemical drug labs and dump sites on U.S. Forest Service lands. Once these sites are detected, the U.S. Forest Service works with other government agencies to clean up these extremely hazardous sites.

    • Continued arrests and prosecutions of individuals engaging in illicit drug activity on U.S. Forest Service lands send these individuals the message that the Federal Government will not tolerate illegal activity on public land.

    • Collaboration among the U.S. Forest Service and State and local law enforcement officials has deterred many drug activities on Federal and surrounding private lands.