H.R. 819, Preserving Access to Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act

Cost Estimate
May 31, 2013

As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on May 15, 2013

H.R. 819 would require the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina to be managed according to the Interim Protected Species Management Strategy/Environmental Assessment (Interim Strategy) issued by the National Park Service (NPS) on June 13, 2007, until the NPS issues a new final rule. Under the bill, that final rule could not include additional restrictions on pedestrian or motorized access to the seashore beyond those in the Interim Strategy unless the restrictions are based on peer-reviewed science and the public has had the opportunity to review and comment on them.

H.R. 819 also would prohibit implementation of the existing final rule entitled “Special Regulations, Areas of the National Park System, Cape Hatteras National Seashore— Off-Road Vehicle Management” and would invalidate the consent decree concerning use of off-road vehicles at the seashore, which was filed on April 30, 2008.

Based on information provided by the NPS, CBO estimates that implementing the legislation would cost about $2 million over the 2014-2018 period, assuming the availability of appropriated funds. Those costs would be incurred as management of the seashore transitioned to the Interim Strategy and the new final rule is developed.

CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 819 would affect direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Under the existing final rule, the NPS charges fees (which are recorded in the budget as offsetting receipts) for off-road vehicle permits. Those fees are available to be spent without further appropriation. Those fees are not a part of the Interim Strategy; therefore, under the bill, the NPS would collect fewer fees. However, CBO estimates that the net impact of that change would not be significant. Enacting
H.R. 819 would not affect revenues.

H.R. 819 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.