Discretionary Spending

Function 300 - Natural Resources and Environment

Eliminate Certain Forest Service Programs

CBO periodically issues a compendium of policy options (called Options for Reducing the Deficit) covering a broad range of issues, as well as separate reports that include options for changing federal tax and spending policies in particular areas. This option appears in one of those publications. The options are derived from many sources and reflect a range of possibilities. For each option, CBO presents an estimate of its effects on the budget but makes no recommendations. Inclusion or exclusion of any particular option does not imply an endorsement or rejection by CBO.

This option would eliminate two entities within the U.S. Forest Service: the State and Private Forestry program and U.S. Forest Service R&D (Forest and Rangeland Research). Those entities examine and mitigate environmental concerns, such as threats to forests from insects, disease, and invasive plants. They also help businesses and other stakeholders sustainably manage and use natural resources—for instance, by developing new products, such as wood-based chemicals. Provided that federal appropriations were reduced accordingly, eliminating the programs would save $6.4 billion through 2028, CBO estimates. The eliminated appropriations would not immediately decrease outlays by the same amount because funds appropriated in one year are typically spent over many years. One source of CBO's uncertainty about the option's savings is that the process of shutting down programs might cost more than CBO anticipates, which could limit savings in the near term. Another is that the agency's baseline projections of the programs' costs, against which the option's savings are measured, are themselves uncertain.