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CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE - S. 2833

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE - S. 2833 June 3, 2008 Owyhee Public Land Management Act of 2008As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on May 7, 2008 S. 2833 would designate land and waterways in southwestern Idaho as wilderness or as wild or recreational rivers.  The bill also would authorize the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to sell certain lands in Idaho and spend the proceeds on acquiring other properties in the state.  Based on information provided by BLM, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would have no significant effect on discretionary spending.  We estimate that enacting the bill would result in additional direct spending of about $5 million over the 2009-2013 period. The legislation would not affect revenues. The bill contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would have no significant impact on the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments. Under S. 2833, about 517,000 acres of land, most of which is already owned by BLM, would be added to the National Wilderness Preservation System.  About 316 miles of rivers and creeks in the same area would be added to the Wild and Scenic River System.  Most of the acreage designated by the bill is currently in wilderness study areas (WSA), which are managed by BLM to protect their wilderness values; no additional resources would be required to manage that acreage (or the small amount of other BLM land not in a WSA) as wilderness.  The agency could incur additional discretionary costs to revise brochures, maps, and signs to reflect the new designations (of both wilderness and wild or recreational rivers), but CBO estimates that such costs would be minimal because most such revisions would take place in conjunction with scheduled reprinting and routine maintenance.  Other expenses— for possible fencing, resource inventories, and other costs—would be minor. Enacting S. 2833 would result in additional direct spending because the bill would allow BLM to spend proceeds from sales that would, under existing law, be deposited into the U.S. Treasury.  Under the bill, BLM could sell federal lands in the Boise area that were identified for disposal before the legislation's enactment and spend, without further appropriation, up to $8 million of those proceeds to purchase other land for the new wilderness area.  BLM is already authorized to dispose of all of that land under existing law, but the authority to spend the proceeds of such sales only applies to land that was identified for disposal before July 25, 2000.  CBO expects that BLM would receive about $5 million from selling land that was identified for disposal after that date, resulting in additional direct spending of that amount over the 2009-2013 period. The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis.  This estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
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CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE - H.R. 5541

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE - H.R. 5541 May 5, 2008 Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement Act (FLAME Act) As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on April 17, 2008 SUMMARY H.R. 5541 would establish the Federal Land Assistance, Management, and Enhancement Fund (Flame Fund) to finance some fire suppression activities managed by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  The bill also would authorize those agencies to provide grants to certain communities to improve local firefighting capabilities.  Lastly, the bill would require the agencies to submit several new reports to the Congress regarding the incidence and management of wildland fires. CBO expects that creating the Flame Fund and authorizing appropriations to that fund for fire suppression would have no effect on the federal budget because agencies already receive appropriations under existing authorities and have permanent authority to transfer funds from other accounts to cover fire suppression costs.  Implementing this legislation might change the timing of appropriations for fire suppression but not the total cost of that activity. CBO estimates that carrying out other provisions of the bill, including new reporting requirements and grant programs, would cost $100 million over the 2009-2013 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.  Enacting the legislation would not affect revenues or direct spending. H.R. 5541 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments. ESTIMATED COST TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT The estimated budgetary impact of H.R. 5541 is shown in the following table.  The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).

By Fiscal Year, in Millions of Dollars 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION Spending for Grants and Reports

Estimated Authorization Level 20 20 20 20 20 Estimated Outlays 12 18 20 25 25

BASIS OF ESTIMATE For this estimate, CBO assumes that the legislation will be enacted near the beginning of fiscal year 2009 and that necessary amounts will be appropriated near the start of each fiscal year.  Estimated outlays are based on historical spending patterns for similar activities. Flame Fund H.R. 5541 would establish the Flame Fund and authorize appropriations to the fund equaling the average amount obligated for fire suppression over the five preceding years.  Those amounts would be in addition to annual appropriations made under existing authorities to cover the “predicted annual workload for wildland fire suppression activities.”  Agencies could continue to transfer funds from other accounts to cover those costs, if necessary, after all funds specifically appropriated for suppression have been obligated. Under current law, annual appropriations for fire suppression are typically equal to the rolling average of annual obligations for those activities over the previous 10 years.  When the 10-year average is not sufficient to cover those costs, the agencies are authorized to transfer funds from any other accounts to pay suppression costs.  In many years, the 10-year average has not been sufficient to cover actual costs, requiring agencies to use transfer authority.  When agencies transfer funds form other accounts, they are required to reimburse those accounts when additional appropriations become available.  Supplemental appropriations also may be provided. CBO expects that the appropriation of additional funds authorized by the legislation could result in fewer transfers from other program accounts to pay for suppression, but establishing the Flame Fund would not change the total amount spent on suppression.  Although the timing of appropriations for suppression could change (if fewer supplemental appropriations would be required), this bill would not modify the total cost of suppression activities. Grants and Reporting Requirements H.R. 5541 would authorize the Secretaries to provide grants to communities in fire-prone areas near wildlands to help them enhance their firefighting capability.  The grants could be used to develop education programs and to purchase equipment.  The bill also would require the Secretaries to submit reports to the Congress detailing how they use amounts available in the Flame Fund and the strategies they use for managing and paying for wildland fire activities. Based on information from the Forest Service and BLM and assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO estimates that implementing those provisions would cost about $100 million over the 2009-2013 period. INTERGOVERNMENTAL AND PRIVATE-SECTOR IMPACT H.R. 5541 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.  Assuming appropriation of estimated amounts, local communities would receive $100 million over the 2009–2013 period for training and activities related to firefighting. ESTIMATE PREPARED BY: Federal Costs:  Tyler Kruzich and Deborah Reis Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments:  Melissa Merrell Impact on the Private-Sector:  Amy Petz ESTIMATE APPROVED BY: Theresa Gullo Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis

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CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE - H.R. 3682

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE - H.R. 3682June 2, 2008 California Desert and Mountain Heritage Act of 2008 As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on May 14, 2008 H.R. 3682 would designate about 190,000 acres of land in southern California as wilderness or potential wilderness.  The bill also would designate over 30 miles of rivers or creeks in the area as wild, scenic, or recreational rivers under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.  Based on information provided by the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior (DOI), CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3682 would have no significant effect on the federal budget. The acreage and waterways to be added to the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Wild and Scenic River System are currently administered by the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, or the Forest Service.  CBO estimates that no additional resources would be required to manage the affected areas as a result of the new designations.  We expect that any costs to revise brochures, maps, and signs to reflect the new designations would be minimal because most such revisions would take place in conjunction with scheduled reprinting and routine maintenance.  Finally, we estimate that enacting the bill would have no effect on Forest Service or DOI receipts. H.R. 3682 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments. The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis.  The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant for Budget Analysis.
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CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE - H.R. 3513

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE - H.R. 3513 April 14, 2008 Copper Salmon Wilderness Act of 2008 As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on April 2, 2008 H.R. 3513 would designate approximately 11,900 acres of land in the Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon as the Copper Salmon Wilderness.  The bill also would designate certain segments of the north and south forks of the Elk River in Oregon as wild or scenic rivers and approximately 1,700 acres of the Siskiyou National Forest as a potential wilderness area. Assuming the availability of appropriated funds, CBO estimates that discretionary costs would increase by less than $1 million to implement the bill.  Those funds would be used to survey and mark the wilderness area as well as remove existing culverts and roads. In addition, because a small portion of the affected area has had an environmental assessment completed, timber harvesting could occur in this area during the next 10 years under current law.  Because the bill would designate the land as wilderness, some of that timber harvesting would not occur, leading to a loss of offsetting receipts.  According to the Forest Service, any such activities would likely be done through the use of stewardship contracts, a program that allows the Forest Service to use proceeds from such sales, without appropriation, for various purposes.  Thus, while the bill would lead to a small loss of offsetting receipts (less than $500,000 over the 2009-2018 period), those losses would be offset by a corresponding reduction in direct spending.  On balance, CBO estimates that enacting this legislation would have no net impact on direct spending and would not affect revenues. H.R. 3513 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments. On March 11, 2008, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 2034, the Copper Salmon Wilderness Act, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on January 30, 2008.  H.R. 3513 would designate approximately 1,700 fewer acres of forest land in the Siskiyou National Forest as the Copper Salmon Wilderness than S. 2034, and would designate that land as potential wilderness for inclusion into the wilderness at a later date.  The other provisions of the bill are similar, and the cost estimates for the bills are identical. The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Tyler Kruzich.  The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
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CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE - H.R. 2515

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE - H.R. 2515 March 24, 2008 Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program Act As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on March 12, 2008 H.R. 2515 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program.  That program is a collaborative effort between the federal government and entities in the states of Nevada, Arizona, and California to address the needs of threatened and endangered fish and wildlife along the lower Colorado River while ensuring consistent water and power deliveries to the states involved in the program. Based on information from the Bureau of Reclamation, CBO estimates that the program would cost approximately $70 million to implement over the next five years and several hundred million dollars over the 50-year life of the program.  The bureau, however, has been implementing the program since 2005 under existing authorities, and this legislation would not authorize any activities beyond those in which the bureau already is engaged.  Hence, CBO estimates that implementing this bill would not significantly affect the federal budget. Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues. H.R. 2515 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments. The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Tyler Kruzich.  This estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
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Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate - H.R. 2016

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE - H.R. 2016

March 18, 2008

National Landscape Conservation System Act

As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on March 12, 2008 H.R. 2016 would provide a statutory basis for the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS), which was established administratively in 2000.  The NLCS encompasses about 20 million acres of land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  Based on information provided by that agency, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2016 would have no effect on the BLM budget (which currently includes about $50 million a year for the NLCS) because BLM already has permanent authority to manage the lands in the system, subject to amounts provided annually in appropriations acts.  Enacting H.R. 2016 would not affect direct spending or revenues.

The bill contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.

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