H.R. 2956 would direct the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to establish the Western Riverside County National Wildlife Refuge in California. Under the bill, federal agencies that manage land within the proposed boundary, including the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers, would be required to assess the suitability of transferring the land to USFWS to include in the refuge.
For this estimate, CBO assumes that the bill will be enacted in fiscal year 2020. Under that assumption, the affected agencies could incur some costs in 2020, but CBO expects that most of the costs would be incurred in 2021 and later.
Using information from the affected agencies, CBO estimates that the federal government would incur upfront costs of $3 million over the 2020-2025 period to establish the refuge; such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds. That amount includes the costs to assess federal land for inclusion, complete the necessary environmental studies, and conduct related planning. CBO estimates that the net change in costs to manage the land would be negligible over the 2020-2025 period.
H.R. 2956 would authorize USFWS to acquire nonfederal land by donation, purchase with donated or appropriated funds, or exchange. CBO expects that any donations, which are classified in the budget as offsetting receipts or reductions in direct spending, would be spent soon thereafter, resulting in a negligible effect on direct spending.
Any income from communication site leases, timber production, and special use permits on federal land is also classified in the budget as an offsetting receipt. Under H.R. 2956, the federal government would forgo such receipts from the affected land because federal land transferred to the refuge would be unavailable for some of those purposes. However, CBO expects that federal agencies would probably not transfer land that generates such income; thus, CBO estimates that any reduction in those receipts would be insignificant over the 2020-2030 period.