June 3, 2008
Owyhee Public Land Management Act of 2008
As 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.