H.R. 2954, Public Access and Lands Improvement Act

Cost Estimate
February 5, 2014

As posted on the website of the House Committee on Rules on January 30, 2014 (Committee Print 113-35)

H.R. 2954 would require the Department of the Interior (DOI) to convey certain federal lands or interests in federal lands to local governments. The bill also would prohibit the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from acquiring new lands until the agency creates a public database of all BLM lands identified for disposal. Finally, the bill would require the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to change the way they manage certain federal lands and resources.

Based on information provided by the affected agencies, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $11 million over the 2014-2019 period, assuming the availability of appropriated funds. In addition, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 2954 would reduce direct spending by $5 million over the 2014-2024 period; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting the legislation would not affect revenues.

H.R. 2954 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA).

H.R. 2954 would impose a private-sector mandate, as defined in UMRA, on plaintiffs by eliminating a right of action to seek judicial review of sales of salvageable timber on some federal lands affected by the Rim Fire. The cost of eliminating a right of action is the forgone income and value of awards in such cases. Because such losses would generally not occur for the types of cases involved, the mandate would probably impose no costs. Consequently, CBO estimates the cost of the mandate would fall well below the annual threshold established in UMRA for private-sector mandates ($152 million in 2014, adjusted annually for inflation).