Under current law, the President can declare areas of historic or scientific interest located on federally owned or managed lands as national monuments to be preserved permanently. H.R. 3990 would modify the President’s authority to designate national monuments and provide the President with the authority to reduce the acreage of existing national monuments. Under the bill, monument designations for areas larger than 85,000 acres would require an act of the Congress to be established.
H.R. 3990 also would subject certain monument designations and reductions to review under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). CBO expects that the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service would incur administrative costs associated with NEPA reviews. However, CBO cannot estimate those costs because of uncertainty about whether or when executive action to establish or modify a national monument would occur. Any such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
Enacting H.R. 3990 could affect direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Reducing the size of an existing national monument would return the affected lands to the status they held before a national monument was established. That earlier status may have permitted mining, logging, or other resource extraction activities that generate offsetting receipts, which are treated as reductions in direct spending. However, CBO cannot estimate the direct spending effects of H.R. 3990 because the potential for existing national monument lands to be used for resource extraction is unknown as is whether any future executive action would reduce the size of an existing monument. Enacting H.R. 3990 would not affect revenues.
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3990 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
H.R. 3990 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.