As ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on June 18, 2013
S. 353 would authorize the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service to exchange roughly 15,000 acres of federal land for private lands totaling 12,000 acres. The bill also would add a total of 55,000 acres of federal lands in Oregon to the National Wilderness Preservation System. Finally, the bill would designate certain tributaries of the Rogue and Molalla Rivers in Oregon as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
Based on information provided by the affected agencies, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would have no significant impact on the federal budget. Enacting the legislation could increase offsetting receipts and associated direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO expects that any such changes would be small and would have no net impact on direct spending over the 2014-2023 period. Enacting S. 353 would not affect revenues.
S. 353 would authorize the Secretary to accept private lands in exchange for federal lands. In addition, the bill would allow the Secretary to accept a cash payment to equalize the values of the properties that would be exchanged. Formal appraisals of the properties have not been completed. Based on the values of similar properties in the area, CBO expects that the land being exchanged would be worth between $300 and $500 per acre and that the cash equalization payment would be roughly $1 million because the federal government would receive about 3,000 fewer acres than it would convey to private entities. Any amounts received from a cash equalization payment would be retained by the agency and spent, without further appropriation, to acquire other lands in Oregon. CBO expects that those amounts would be collected and spent within five years of enactment of the bill.
The acreage and waterways that would be added by the legislation to the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Wild and Scenic Rivers System are currently administered by BLM or the Forest Service. Because those areas are already being managed for wilderness values, CBO estimates that minimal additional funds would be required to manage the affected areas as a result of the new designations.
S. 353 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.