H.R. 4089, Sportsmen's Heritage Act of 2012

Cost Estimate
April 11, 2012

As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on February 29, 2012

H.R. 4089 would require federal land management agencies to provide access to certain federal lands for hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting. The bill also would allow hunters to import certain polar bear remains. Based on information provided by the affected agencies, CBO
estimates that implementing the legislation would cost $12 million over the 2013-2016 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. Enacting H.R. 4089 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.

The bill 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. 4089 is shown in the following table. The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).

Estimate for H.R. 4089

BASIS OF ESTIMATE

For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 4089 will be enacted in 2012, that the necessary funds will be provided for each fiscal year, and that spending will follow historical patterns for similar activities of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Title II would require BLM to allow recreational shooting on lands included in national monuments in eight western states. Based on information provided by the agency regarding the cost of amending land use plans and environmental analyses for the affected areas, CBO estimates that implementing title II would cost $12 million over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.

Title I would direct BLM, the Forest Service, and other land management agencies to use existing authorities to make certain federal lands available for activities such as hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting. Because those activities are allowed on most federal lands under current law and because the bill would limit the amount of environmental and land use planning that would be required if new areas were opened to those activities, CBO estimates that implementing title I would have no significant impact on the budgets of the affected agencies.

Title III would require the Secretary of the Interior to issue permits to hunters seeking to import polar bear remains from Canada that were acquired during hunts that took place prior to the polar bear being listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Only hunters who submitted applications for permits to import such remains prior to May 15, 2008, the date the polar bear was listed under ESA, would be eligible to receive a permit under the bill. Based on information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CBO estimates that processing and issuing the roughly 40 permits that would be affected by the legislation would have a negligible impact on the federal budget.

PAY-AS-YOU-GO CONSIDERATIONS: None.

INTERGOVERNMENTAL AND PRIVATE-SECTOR IMPACT

H.R. 4089 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.

PREVIOUS CBO ESTIMATES

On December 13, 2011, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 2834, the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on November 17, 2011. Title I of H.R. 4089 contains provisions similar to those in H.R. 2834, and the CBO cost estimates for those provisions are the same.

On November 1, 2011, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 991, the Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act of 2011, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on October 5, 2011. Title III of H.R. 4089 contains provisions similar to those in H.R. 991, and the CBO cost estimates for those provisions are the same.

ESTIMATE PREPARED BY:

Federal Costs: Jeff LaFave
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