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Know the West

Millions for furniture

  Between 1990 and 1992, the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon spent $5.4 million intended for reforestation on staff salaries, new furniture and remodeling buildings, a federal audit reports. Eventually, this misallocation could cost taxpayers up to $200 million from lost timber harvests. The 21-page report also found that since 1990 the Oregon BLM has failed to maintain reforested areas and neglected programs intended to offset logging cutbacks. BLM officials dispute the audit and say the agency only misspent $1.9 million. But after reading the report, Rep. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., urged Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to investigate the BLM's operations in Oregon.

The report, Forestry Operations in Western Oregon, Bureau of Land Management, (94-I-359) is available from the Office of Inspector General, 1849 C St. N.W., Room MS 5341, Washington, DC 20240 (202/208-4356).