H.R. 188 would revise environmental regulations that are applied to projects designed to reduce forest fuels on federal land parcels of less than 10,000 acres that are administered by the Bureau of Land Management or the Forest Service. The bill would permit projects of less than 10,000 acres to be eligible for a different standard of environmental review, known as a categorical exclusion. (Under current law that standard only applies to some projects of less than 4,500 acres.)
The bill would require the two agencies to coordinate with affected entities when conducting forest management, consider multiple ecosystem benefits, and establish a program to monitor ground conditions after the projects to reduce forest fuels are completed, actions the agencies already perform under current law.
H.R. 188 would not impose any additional requirements on those agencies; therefore, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would not affect the federal budget.